What Is Chicory Coffee

Chicory coffee is a hybrid between tea and coffee. It is made from chicory root, and the taste is very much coffee-like. To make a chicory coffee, you need to harvest the root, roast it, and ground it, just like you do with coffee beans. Although chicory coffee began as a coffee substitute, it gained a critical mass of faithful consumers through the years. Today, chicory coffee is the first choice of many coffee aficionados around the globe. Some people prefer chicory coffee to even the strong taste of coffee Bustelo and other megapopular brands. 

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Benefits of Drinking Chicory Coffee

Both coffee and tea come with health benefits, and chicory coffee is the perfect mix of both worlds. Throughout history, chickory was famous as a remedy for parasites. And not just that, chicory has a high concentration of inulin. Inulin is prebiotic that helps you lose excess weight, upgrades your digestion, and does wonders for probiotic microorganisms in your intestines. Also, chickory coffee helps lower blood sugar and decreases the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. And, if you want a keto-friendly flavored coffee, make sure you include chicory coffee in your diet.

How Does Chicory Coffee Work

How Does Chicory Coffee Work

Chicory root needs to be fresh and clean, so the flavor can be extracted. After roasting, grinding, and brewing, you will get a cup of coffee almost similar to the real deal. The earthy notes will prevail a bit. You will feel like drinking a cup of good, strong Robusta coffee. However, the taste will be sweeter, and, of course, it will be caffeine-free. Each country’s coffee tastes different, but chicory coffee tastes the same every time, more or less.

Short History of Chicory Coffee

Chicory coffee was a momentary invention when people ran out of coffee. At the beginning of the 19th century, in France, Napoleon’s Continental Blockage resulted in a  critical coffee shortage. So, chicory root became the available substitute. Chickory coffee was also popular in the US Civil War for the same reason – coffee shortage. 

Coffee substitutes weren’t that rare in history. People made coffee-like drinks from everything available – dandelion, chickpeas, black locust seeds, and different kinds of cereals.

Pros and Cons of Chicory Coffee

Pros and Cons of Chicory Coffee


  • Chicory coffee lowers the levels of bad cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • It is caffeine-free so that everyone can drink it.
  • The low price is a solid reason to try it. Especially compared to overpriced Kopi Luwak
  • Chicory coffee can be brewed using the same methods as normal coffee.


  • Well, some people like to drink black coffee while fasting, just for the sake of caffeine. Chicory coffee doesn’t have it.
  • People that have pollen allergies should avoid chicory coffee.
  • Pregnant women are advised not to drink chicory coffee.

How to Brew Chicory Coffee

As always, taking matters into your own hands can be rewarding. Making chicory coffee at home is a simple and interesting process. As a weapon of choice, we recommend Ninja coffee makers. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System can brew tea and coffee and make you the finest chicory coffee you ever tasted. 

Step 1 – Harvest

If you are going for wild chicory, choose one with a healthy-looking blue flower. If you are buying the root, search for Chicorium Intybus Sativum. That’s just a fancy name for endive, which is – chicory.

Step 2 – Clean and cut

Peel the roots, and then wash them thoroughly, so your coffee won’t taste like mud. After that, cut the chicory root into small pieces. One inch is the perfect measure. Make sure they are all similar in size, so they can be evenly roasted.

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Step 3 – Roasting

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Put the chicory into a metal baking tray. Roast till your chicory cubes are brown with golden nuance. Let them cool on air.

Step 4 – Grinding

Take your faithful burr grinder and grind the chicory to the desired level. Of course, it depends on the brewing method you prefer.

Step 5 – Brewing

You can brew pure chicory coffee or mix it with coffee grounds. If you are new to this, we recommend starting with one part of chicory and four parts of coffee. Keep the ratio until you get used to the taste. After that, you can gradually increase the chicory dose. Cuban coffee beans are usually Arabica and make a great mix with a Robusta-like chicory taste.

Step 6 – Serving

Adding honey for a sweeter taste is a great health option to sweeten your chicory cup of joe. Making a homemade creamer or adding some premium coffee cream will further enhance the taste of your coffee.


Chicory Coffee Recipe

The best part of chicory coffee is that you can use it in all the ways you usually use your regular coffee. The NCA (National Coffee Association USA) even has guidelines on the recipe. They recommend using two tablespoons of chicory coffee to six ounces of water. However, it is a rule of thumb, not written in stone. So, you can add more or less chicory, add some of the creamers or whipped cream. You can use chicory in every brewing machine you own, including the world’s best budget espresso machine, French press, AeroPress, or any other method.  As chicory has a bit bitter nuance, it goes exceptionally well with milk.

Chicory vs Coffee

  • Chicory doesn’t contain any caffeine. Decaf coffee still has some traces of caffeine.
  • Chicory coffee is quite less expensive.
  • Up to 16% of chickory content are dietary fibers. Coffee has none.
  • Chickory coffee can cause gases.
  • As chicory has no oils, a flavor is quite different when compared to coffee.
  • You can use your usual coffee equipment and single-use coffee filters to brew chicory coffee, too.

Do’s and Don’ts With Chicory Coffee


  • Do try to pick wild chicory, as it will taste better.
  • Do add equal parts of milk and chicory coffee to create the famous chicory Cafe au Lait.
  • Do switch to chicory coffee if the regular one has side effects on your health.


  • Don’t use old chicory root for your coffee.
  • Don’t use chicory coffee If you are a caffeine addict.

FAQ About Chicory Coffee

FAQ About Chicory Coffee

Why do they put chicory in coffee?

At first, chicory was put in coffee due to the coffee shortage. Nowadays, people drink chicory coffee for the taste and health benefits.

What is the difference between coffee with and without chicory?

Coffee with chicory will have a more bitter taste, so the addition of milk is recommended. Also, coffee with chicory will have less amount of caffeine. 

Is chicory a good substitute for coffee?

Chicory is a great substitute for coffee. It is healthy, diet-friendly, much cheaper, and the taste is almost similar to coffee.

Does chicory make the coffee stronger?

Chicory makes coffee taste stronger and more bitter. However, as it is caffeine-free, chicory makes coffee effects weaker.

Is chicory bad for health?

Chicory has many proven benefits for your health. It improves digestion, reduces cholesterol levels, and even helps prevent cancer and arthritis. Chicory root is full of antioxidants and antibacterial ingredients.

Is chicory good for kidneys?

Chicory coffee acts as a mild diuretic. Hence, it helps remove toxins from your body. And not just toxins, but also calcium deposits and uric acids, which makes chicory coffee a friend of your kidneys.

Does Nescafe have chicory?

Nescafe instant coffees have a significant amount of chicory, which is always listed on the package. For instance, the famous Nescafe Sunrise has 70% of coffee and 30% of chicory.


Although it was invented as a mere substitute, chicory coffee found a way to the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide, especially in Louisiana and West India. Chicory coffee can sometimes have an acquired taste but mixed with coffee grounds; it will be a delight to your palate. Try it, and you won’t be sorry.

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