If you have only recently heard of chicory coffee, you may be curious about what it is. So what exactly is it and how is it different from instant coffee?
What is Chicory Coffee?
While the name “chicory coffee” has the word "coffee" in it, the drink is not actually a coffee drink! So what exactly is it and why is it considered a coffee?
Chicory coffee is a drink made using the roots of a chicory plant and contains no caffeine. The roots of the plant are roasted, cut up, and brewed into a coffee-like drink. In fact, it is often drunk as a non-caffeinated substitute for coffee. This is because it has a naturally dark and rich flavor like coffee.
History of Chicory Coffee
The chicory plant is native to Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It was not brought over to the U.S. until the 1700s. Today, chicory coffee is also known as New Orleans coffee. Its popularity grew during the 1840s when locals made drinks instead of coffee. This was because their harbor blocked the importation of coffee. Chicory coffee is still a popular drink among the locals today.
How to Make Chicory Coffee
While the chicory root does not contain any caffeine, many cafes will serve a blend of chicory and coffee. To make chicory coffee at home, mix two-thirds ground coffee with one-third chicory. Then brew it normally like you would with regular coffee. You can always adjust the ratio of ground coffee to chicory based on your flavor preference. You can also add other spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg for a flavor boost.
An easier way to make a chicory and coffee blend is to use instant coffee. First, steep your roasted and cut up chicory root in hot water. Then wait for the flavor to steep. Finally, add your premium instant coffee to the mixture.
If you want to make chicory coffee without any coffee, then you can brew the chicory root on its own. Steep about 2 tablespoons or 11 grams of roasted and chopped roots in about one cup of hot water. The root by itself tastes similar to coffee, but it can also be described as nutty or woody. You can adjust how strong you want it to taste based on the amount of chicory you use.
What is Instant Coffee?
Instant coffee is a type of soluble coffee that comes in the form of crystals or powder. It dissolves easily and quickly in warm or hot water. Premium instant coffee generally comes in the form of coffee crystals. It is made by brewing Arabica or Robusta coffee beans into a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then dried into powder or crystals through freeze-drying or spray-drying.
How to Make Instant Coffee
Brewing a cup of instant coffee is the easiest and fastest way to get your caffeine fix. All you need to do is mix your preferred amount of instant coffee with warm or hot water. Just wait a few seconds for the powder or crystals to dissolve and your cup of coffee will be ready! No mess and no fuss. And the best part? If you use high-quality instant coffee, it will taste just as good as drip coffee.
Instant Coffee vs Chicory Coffee
Now that we are familiar with chicory coffee and instant coffee, what's the difference?
First, the biggest difference is the amount of caffeine in each drink. As mentioned earlier, chicory coffee is typically caffeine-free or very low in caffeine. It's a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate caffeine very well.
The other big difference is the brewing processes. Chicory coffee itself can be made in two different ways. For example, it can be made on its own when steeped in hot water like tea. It can also be brewed when mixed with coffee grounds to create a unique coffee flavor. On the other hand, instant coffee is made
simply by dissolving coffee powder or crystals in warm or hot water.
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