Food - Drink
What Makes Chicory Coffee Unique?
By AUTUMN SWIERS
Chicory is a plant that belongs to the dandelion family and blooms with light purple flowers, and the tough root attached to the flower is used to make "chicory coffee," which is really a coffee substitute. The root is harvested, cut into chunks, dried in a kiln, then roasted and ground into powder to make coffee-like grounds for brewing.
Chicory coffee is very similar to "real" coffee, but contains zero caffeine and lacks the aromatics and oils found in coffee beans, giving chicory a naturally sweeter, less bitter flavor. Healthline describes chicory's flavor as woody and nutty, and chicory is much more soluble, meaning it steeps in water and gives up its flavor more easily.
Appearance-wise, chicory and coffee are nearly indistinguishable; chicory has a comparable grain size and texture to coffee grounds, and its brown color comes from the caramelization of fruit sugars during roasting. Many drinkers like to combine coffee and chicory to enhance the coffee's flavor and add a boost of fiber.