It is believed that chicory coffee originated during the massive coffee shortage in Frances in the 1800s when people, desperate for their coffee fix, began using chicory root as a substitute.
As well as being naturally caffeine free, chicory also contains manganese and vitamin B6, which is essential for brain health.
Chicory (Cicorium intybus) is known by a variety of common names including succory, blue dandelion and coffee weed. Chicory is also another common name for endive (Cicorium endivia).
Its blue flowers bloom throughout the summer, and autumn is the best time to dig up and use the roots.
The chicory root powder mentioned below can be made from scratch, but it takes time to dig up, slice, dry, roast, and grind the roots, so you may wish to buy the root powder.
- Roasted chicory root powder 2 tbsp, available online
- Water 250 ml
- Milk 250 ml, or milk substitute
- Cocoa powder 1 tbsp
- Maple syrup 1 tsp
- Whipped cream
Christine Iverson is the author of The Hedgerow Apothecary and The Garden Apothecary (both published by Summersdale Publishers). She discovered a love of cottage gardens and all things hedgerow after moving to a Sussex downland village in 2001. This fascination led to volunteering as an apothecarist at the Weald and Downland Living Museum where she taught schoolchildren about medieval and Tudor medicine. She runs regular folklore and foraging workshops and gives talks to local women’s institutes and horticultural societies.
This is a recipe from The Hedgerow Apothecary: Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Christine Iverson, published by Summersdale, £14.99.
Main image: © Jeremy Hogan/Getty