Chicory coffee benefits are more profound than most people might think! And it’s a great alternative to standard coffee with an appealing aroma. While caffeine can be hard on the digestive tract, chicory coffee is gut-friendly.
Chicory coffee benefits
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is also called succory, cornflower, endive, radicchio, or sugarloaf.
Chicory belongs to the Asteraceae, sunflower and daisy family and is related to lettuce and dandelions. Chicory root is naturally caffeine free so it’s safe to drink in the evening. In fact, it’s slightly calming and sedative.
Chicory root contains potent, aromatic, active substances—the five mentioned below are responsible for most benefits of chicory coffee.
- Inulin: an excellent prebiotic that feeds and strengthens the gut colony of healthy bacteria. Chicory root contains about 8% inulin, which is converted in the gut, fist into short-chain fatty acids, then into ketones producing hormones that control appetite.
- Lactones: digestive bitters, potent volatile oils that are anti-parasite, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
- Mannitol: a sugar that paradoxically supports oral health, prevents dental caries, tooth decay, and cavities.
- Polyphenols: powerful antioxidants.
- Lactucin: a bitter substance with a mild sedative, calming effect. It can slightly reduce pain.
Potential Chicory benefits
- Effective at eliminating intestinal worms, parasites
- Beneficial for constipation, diarrhea
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Protective effect in gut
- Sedative, calming effect
- Cardiovascular health
- Improves metabolism
- Lower triglycerides
- High in antioxidants
- Regulate heartbeat
- Detoxifying agent
- Liver support
The chicory root is dried, roasted and brewed into a coffee-like drink. However, coffee lovers sometimes say that chicory coffee does not taste like real coffee. True, but chicory coffee is still an excellent, caffeine-free substitute.
Try mixing chicory root with other ingredients to create a more complex taste. Use the recipes below as a basis for make your own brews.
Roasted chicory root produce a smooth, slightly bitter, and slightly sweet taste. I think it’s lovely!
Five chicory coffee recipes
Add any sweetener of your choice (stevia, honey, agave, raw sugar). Milk, cream, or coconut milk enhance the taste. Chicory coffee can be stored in the fridge and be reheated.
1. Chicory Coffee with Cardamom
- One quart water (1 liter)
- 3 tablespoons roasted chicory root granules (organic best)
- Let it simmer for about a few minutes
- Optional: add cardamom powder just before serving
You can strain the solid parts, or leave the granules to soak longer for a fuller taste.
Another way is to grind the chicory to a powder. Use 2 teaspoons or so in a cup, pour hot water, add milk or cream.
2. Chicory & Dandelion Coffee
- 1 quart water (1 liter)
- 2 tablespoons roasted chicory granules
- 2 tablespoons roasted dandelion root
- Optional: 1/2 tablespoon cacao or carob powder
- Optional: 1 teaspoon molasses
Simmer all ingredients in water for 3-5 minutes. Pour the coffee into a cup through a fine mesh. Dandelion adds bitterness to the coffee and has additional gut benefits. Some people add a tablespoon ground coffee to the brew to raise the taste a few notches.
3. Chicory & Cocoa Coffee
- One quart water (1 liter)
- 3 tablespoons roasted chicory root granules
- 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- Raw sugar & cream (optional, but irresistible!)
Let chicory and cocoa powder simmer in a pan for a few minutes. While simmering, whisk to mix the cocoa powder. Strain and serve. This coffee feels thicker and has a fuller, more complex taste.
4. Ken’s Chicory Brew
This recipe is a dry mix to keep in a jar. It was developed and refined through many failures and tastings. The purpose was to create a more bitter, complex and supercharged brew. This has become my favorite recipe. Amounts are only approximate as it’s a matter of taste.
- 1 cup (3 dl) roasted chicory root powder or granules
- 3 tablespoons roasted dandelion root
- 2 tablespoons ground fennel seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons ground dandelion leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons wormwood (very bitter)
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- 1-2 teaspoons cardamom powder
Mix all ingredients in a large glass jar. It can be stored similar to standard coffee.
How to brew: use 2-3 tablespoons of the mix in about a quart water (1 liter). Simmer for at least 5 minutes and let it sit for another 10 minutes or so. Strain and refrigerate. Can be stored in fridge for a few days.
5. Iced Chicory Coffee
This is a great recipe in the summer. There are several ways to prepare iced chicory coffee. Some recipes call for a “cold brew” achieved by steeping grounded chicory and coffee in water in room temperature for 12 hours. However, you can also boil the chicory.
- Boil chicory granules a few minutes.
- Strain and cool the brew.
- Add ice cubes to a large glass.
- Pour the cool chicory coffee.
- Add milk or cream
- Add a sweetener like maple syrup, honey, stevia, raw sugar.
- Stir and enjoy!
How much chicory coffee can you drink?
There are no official recommendations as to how much chicory coffee a person can drink per day. Some consider a normal “dose” to be one or two cups per day, (if using 100% chicory root). However, even though a moderate amount of chicory coffee has some benefits, more is not always better.
I hope you will enjoy the chicory coffee brew!