Cold brew coffee with chicory is a blend of coffee that is growing in popularity around the world but is particularly renowned in New Orleans. Tourists who travel to the region love to try the sweet, creamy iced coffee, savouring every sip! Chicory has been around since the Napoleonic era. The coffee substitute is usually only made from the blue dandelion family and was originally introduced in France due to the restriction of imports of coffee. As a result, chicory was used as an alternative and later spread across Europe. It is now used around the world.
While coffee is now readily available worldwide, the taste that chicory left behind so many years ago, persists. We can now find the plant in coffee blends, coffee substitutes, food additives, food manufacturing and as sweeteners.
The Benefits Of Adding Chicory To Your Cold Brew
Though chicory used to be a necessary food substitute during economic strain, we now know that the plant has many more benefits. First and foremost, blending chicory with coffee grains reduces caffeine content. This is because chicory does not have caffeine. As a result, it can be a good choice of beverage for those who want to reduce their consumption of caffeine intake for any reason. In essence, it is both cost-effective while also reducing caffeine habits.
The second benefit of chicory is inulin. Inulin is an ingredient in some plants and is central to chicory. It is a type of fibre and has health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and can help stabilize diabetes. Despite these benefits, chicory needs to be roasted before blended with the coffee mix, and so may reduce the strength of the final product.
How Can I Use Chicory With My Cold Brew Coffee?
Making cold brew coffee with chicory has very similar steps to the regular process. This includes coarse grind coffee beans and cooling down the coffee between 12 to 24 hours. In addition, if you are going to grind your coffee at home and plan to make fresh root chicory, you still need your coffee grinder at hand. There are many types of grinders that can crush the concoction, whether burr, electric, blade or manual grinders. This is entirely up to your preference. What makes chicory and cold brew coffee different is the blend as well as the amount of coffee that is added. There are two ways to prepare this famous plant.
Fresh chicory roots are best found during the Autumn and Spring periods. Once you have obtained the chicory roots, you have to wash it thoroughly. As like other plants from the ground, there will always be a lot of soil, so cleaning it well is a high priority! After rinsing, the roots need to be dried and can be done in the sun or just with a towel. This process can take longer depending on your choice of the drying process, however once completed, you next have to mince the chicory roots. It is not required to peel the roots.
You now need to bake the chicory roots. Place the minced pieces on a baking sheet and cook it in your oven at 350F (approximately 175c) degrees. Continue baking it until all the chicory roots turn golden brown and keep it aside to cool completely.
Now it’s time for the coffee grinder. Blend your chicory and ground coffee in the grinder of your choice. Make sure to use the same coarseness you would usually use to prepare and make your regular cold brew coffee. There are various proportions and ratios of how much coffee and chicory you would like in your blend. If you prefer less caffeine, then it would be wise to increase the ratio for more chicory than ground coffee.
On the other hand, chicory is more acidic than ground coffee and which not everyone enjoys. If that is you, then it would be wise to create a blend with more ground coffee with just a hint of chicory taste added in. There will be some experimentation here to find the right taste that suits you best. There is also the last option which is to omit the ground coffee altogether. Some people just love chicory, however, this would not be considered a blend.
Your last step is to brew your new blend. There are many different types of brewing methods, whether a coffee machine, French Press, pour-over or drip coffee. How you brew your coffee is your choice and does not differentiate from normal brewing practices. The only difference is the substitution and blend type. How long you want to brew your coffee (the grind grinding degree), is also very subjective and depends on the fragrances you want your coffee to emerge. As a result, these processes will always be a little bit of experimentation before you find your perfect coffee fix.
While many people may prefer making their own chicory, not everyone has the time or patience. If you are one of those individuals, then it is best to buy a ready-made blend. These can be found at specific local shops such as health stores, or you can purchase the blends online. Though this is an easy solution, it should be noted that each blend has different proportions, so it might take some time to find the right combination. Once you have bought your product, the brewing process is the same.
What Makes Cold Brew Coffee and Chicory Sweet?
Cold brew coffee with chicory was born in New Orleans, and its iconic flavour cannot be whole without its sweetened taste. By nature, chicory already has a distinctively sweet flavour; however, to many, this is not enough! There are various ways to make this iced coffee sweeter, and one of the easiest and most common methods is by adding organic cane sugar. Organic cane sugar is easily available and is considered a healthier option than white sugar. If organic cane sugar just doesn’t attract you, there are other options. Some of the best alternatives are syrup, condense milk or vanilla extract.
Cold Brew Coffee, Chicory and Safety
Though chicory and cold brew coffee have benefits as indicated above, there are also some safety precautions. This is particular to pregnancy and which evidence has suggested that chicory can stimulate menstruation or induce miscarriages. In addition, individuals who have gallstones are also suggested to avoid taking cold brew coffee with chicory.
Travel to New Orleans and experience the original recipes.
If you ever make it to New Orleans, you should ‘t miss the opportunity to enjoy the original cold brew coffee with chicory. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
- Café Du Monde was first established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. It is enjoyed by locals and tourists with its open-air coffee shop and serves one of the best cold brew coffee with chicory. The coffee at Café Du Monde became so renowned that there are now ten other locations in the city.
- Gracious Bakery + Cafe has both coffee and desserts making this bakery a great selection to try cold brew coffee with chicory. The bakery provides a variety of croissants, desserts, freshly baked bread and lunch menus. This great combination makes this place ideal to try your first New Orleans coffee.
- The French Truck Coffee Shop cannot be missed with its distinctive blue and yellow exterior. Located at various locations in New Orleans, this truck style coffee shop serves a blend of South and Central American beans combined with Nebraska grown chicory for a unique experience.
Finally Suggestions in Making Cold Brew Coffee with Chicory
Though cold brew coffee with chicory began in New Orleans, its delicious flavours have inspired coffee makers around the world to make their own. Chicory roots are now sold online, making it easier than ever before to make your own personalized iced coffee. While I know it can be time-consuming to prepare fresh chicory roots, and it is tempting to buy ready-made blends, the fresher the product, the tastier the result.
In addition, once you have roasted your chicory, it is also essential to store it in a well-protected container. This can be kept at room temperature with your various herbs.
Lastly, while chicory can be very effective, whether to reduce your caffeine addiction or just because you love the taste of blue dandelion flavour, it is crucial to be aware of any health issues you may have.