Coffee, Not!

Healthy Coffee Alternative

Flavor Profile: Robust with a touch of bitter
Chicory is often used as a coffee substitute. Rosemary Gladstar suggests roasted dandelion roots as a nice substitute. Since I had no shortage of dandelions, they are this recipe’s main ingredient. This tea is great for your digestive system. I drink it whenever I feel my liver needs a little love.

Jump to Recipe

I loved taking on the challenge of making a coffee substitute. This is another of my teas that takes a little more work because it is a root-based tea and some of those roots are roasted.

Coffee, or not, you decide. Actually, I didn’t think I could mimic the taste of coffee, but my goal was to create a robust-tasting tea with a bit of bitterness. What’s funny is that when I gave out free samples while selling at fairs, I had a myriad of responses. My 3 favorites, all so different:

  • “This tastes just like coffee!
  • “This tastes nothing like coffee!”
  • “This tastes better than coffee!”

Recipe Notes

Roasting the Roots

You can roast the roots yourself or buy them roasted. If you have fresh roots (chop them first), roast them in the oven. If you have dry roots, roast (toast) them in a frying pan. I typically harvest and fresh-roast the dandelion roots, then buy already-roasted chicory, burdock, and carob.

I do not roast the sarsaparilla or yellow dock. I would typically harvest, chop, and dry both from my property, but I would run out if I were making big batches, and I never found wild sarsaparilla online (plus, you need to harvest it ethically, not taking too much). The regular sarsaparilla you can find has a stronger flavor. I suppose you could leave it out if you wanted to, but I found that cutting the amount in half works for my taste buds.

Yellow dock can stain things yellow, so if you don’t want to deal with that, just buy it.

Grinding to the Desired Consistency

Whir the larger root pieces in the blender until they look like finely chopped nuts or, I suppose, coffee grounds, but you probably won’t be able to get them to a consistent size like those. They’ll behave more like nuts, where some pieces wind up smaller, some larger. You want the pieces small enough that you can brew this like tea (steeping the root blend in boiled water) instead of decocting it (boiling the roots for 20 minutes to extract the herbal goodness). You will have some powder in there, too, from the reishi and cinnamon, so use a reusable/compostable tea bag rather than a tea strainer if you don’t want residue in your cup.

Where to Get Herbs

I get most of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, which has so much more to offer than just herbs. I also buy some herbs I can’t find there from Frontier Co-op or Starwest Botanicals. Now that I no longer live at Dandelion Forest, I will be buying my herbs from other harvesters, although I never could harvest all of the herbs in this coffee myself because they don’t all grow locally.

These days, my desire as an herbalist is to actually use things that are local to me, even though it’s going to be harder because I’ll have to forage for them instead of introducing them to my property.

Coffee, Not!

This is a robust root tea I created as a coffee substitute. It is also a good digestive tea.

Ingredients

  • 6 parts roasted dandelion root

  • 3 parts roasted chicory

  • 2 parts roasted burdock

  • 2 parts roasted carob

  • 1 part yellow dock

  • 1 part powdered reishi mushroom

  • 1 part wild sarsaparilla (or 1/2 part regular)

  • 1/2 part cinnamon

Directions

  • Roast the roots, if needed.
  • Once cool, whir the larger root pieces in the blender until they look like finely chopped nuts. You want the pieces small enough that you can brew this like tea without decocting it (boiling the roots for 20 minutes). You will have some powder in there, too, from the reishi and cinnamon, so use a reusable/compostable tea bag rather than a tea strainer if you don't want residue in your cup.
  • Combine all the herbs and stir well.

Notes

  • Y

Coffee image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay

Let's Discuss!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.