Of Coffee-like Substances

I love coffee. I love the smell of it. The taste of it – and yes, I used to drink it black occasionally. Hell, I used to roast my own coffee beans! I really enjoyed the entire ritual of it.

However, coffee stopped loving me back. I developed some alarming symptoms, mainly diarrhea every time I drank it. Seems that for some people, coffee is a laxative.

I reluctantly gave it up. Sometimes I would still drink it and it would be fine. Other times, though…let’s just say that I still pity the poor person who had to clean that restroom up after me. I did the best I could, but it was an experience I don’t want to repeat.

So I switched to tea. And I adore tea in all its multiple variations. I ended up with a lot of ingredients that I could mix together in a tea bag. So I would take a black tea, and add cacao nibs, dried mint, ginger, and maybe some orange peel. Or a green tea and add lavender and dried leaves from my rose-scented geranium.

Then I gave up caffeine, but not tea. I would still make all kinds of nifty teas, putting together things like dried elderberries, hibiscus leaves, ginger, and lemon peel. Or maybe start with a rooibos and add in licorice, or bee balm, or even nettles.

Eventually though, I kind of grew tired of tea. Even though I had infinite possibilities, I wanted something different. I received a tea sampler for Christmas, and realized I was gravitating toward the darker, heavier teas.

What I really wanted was coffee.

So I started looking at coffee alternatives. I found the Jnantik coffee substitute, which is lovely, but it’s expensive, and it takes more than what it recommends in a serving size for me to get adequate taste.

I tried the Crio Bru – which is roasted cocoa beans. That didn’t have enough of a roasted flavor for me. It was too chocolatey. While it was lovely, it wasn’t the taste I was looking for.

Then there’s the Teeccino. It’s a chicory coffee alternative. The problem is that it also contains “natural coffee flavor.” I don’t know about you, but I tend to have negative reactions to anything that’s labeled a natural flavor.

However, that did give me the idea to try making my own chicory and dandelion root coffee. The chicory root was already roasted, but I had to roast the dandelion roots myself.

At first, I tried a 1:1 mix – 1 Tbsp dandelion root and 1 Tbsp chicory. WAY too much chicory. So I knocked it down to 1 Tbsp dandelion and 1 tsp chicory. Not enough.

Finally found my Goldilocks mix – 1 Tbsp dandelion root and 2 tsp chicory. That is perfect for me, for the chicory that I’m currently buying (chicory granules, not pieces.)

I have a regular coffee grinder that I use for the dandelion root. Because I’m still trying to use up ingredients, I’ll sometimes throw in some cocoa nibs as well. Then I use a French press to make my coffee-like substance.

I figure come summer I’ll start drinking more tea again. Tea always strikes me as a lighter drink. But for now, I have chicory and dandelion root “coffee” that I’m enjoying the heck out of.

This blog post brought to you by the fact that I needed to write something this morning so as to keep up my writing streak, as well as TAXES and quickbooks and I have a WHOLE other story there, which will be told somewhere down the line.

Do you need something like coffee or tea in the morning? What’s your favorite?

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