The Health Benefits Of Chicory Coffee! Top 7 Brands Review
There are plenty of good reasons to drink coffee. No calories (unless you add them), great taste, the caffeine kick, superb smell and the ritual of making coffee at home. The last one may be sufficient for many to enjoy coffee. Yet one of these good reasons is instead a negative for many.
Caffeine. It is great to wake up, to focus and to get work done, but it can seriously mess with your sleep patterns. Keeping you awake when you shouldn’t and then leave you tired when you need to be working. Plus, the acidity of coffee is hard to digest for many stomachs.
If you recognize yourself in one of these scenarios, you may have heard of chicory coffee. What is it?
Well, it’s an alternative to coffee that has no caffeine at all and a lower acidity. It solves the issues that people may have with the stomach and sleep, to the sacrifice of taste and not having the caffeine helping hand to concentrate. But if you can’t ingest caffeine, chicory coffee may be your only choice to have a drink that resembles in aroma and taste coffee that is caffeine-free.
What Is Chicory Coffee
Chicory coffee is the result of the roasting and grounding of the root of the cultivated plant species, Chicorium Intybus, subspecies Sativum. Chicory, for simplicity.
The root is rich in carbohydrates, with between 4 and 6 percent protein and a small quantity of fiber. The leafy parts of chicory are often used as animal fodder, or extirpated by farmers, as the species is quite invasive. The root is what is edible for humans, as long as it is properly roasted, which caramelizes the inulin and creates a sugar, d-fructose, giving it some sweetness. The roasting yields 45-65% of soluble extractive matter, double what the coffee beans do.
It is common to blend chicory grounds with coffee’s, making the best of both worlds. A tasty and caffeine-powered drink that hasn’t the disadvantages of this stimulant, nor as acidic as some coffee can be.
History of Chicory Coffee
Chicory is an old cultivation, known already by the ancient Egyptians over 5000 years ago. Its first uses were medicamental: it was considered stimulating to the liver. The root is pretty bad to eat raw, as it is woody and very bitter, but somewhere around the 17th or 18th century it was roasted and ground to use as a beverage.
Chicory coffee was born then. The exact date is unknown. What we know is that it was common for drinking in France before Napoleon, as in the colonial US. It is quite known in most of Europe and has held a tradition of mixing it with proper coffee in Louisiana, where it’s not uncommon to find a café au lait made with black coffee, chicory, and boiled milk.
It’s not just that chicory is caffeine-free and less acidic than coffee. Plenty of other health benefits have been discovered over the centuries of human consumption of the root. Some are disputed or held no scientific basis, but are pretty interesting to know as curiosities.
We cited already the beneficial effects that chicory was thought to have on the liver. It was also considered a “contra-stimulante”, like a sedative that nicely contrasted with the stimulating effects of caffeine.
The fresh root was said to be useful against pulmonary consumption.
Making a syrup of chicory is said to be an excellent laxative for children, and a non-irritating one at that.
The leaves of chicory was reputed to make a good poultice for swelling and inflamed eyes.
More modern herbalists believe chicory increases bile production, helps to moderate rapid heart rate, lowers cholesterol and destroys bacteria.
A Korean study partly confirms the reduction of cholesterol levels, while increasing the ratio of HDL to LDL in tested animals.
Top 7 Brand Review
Regardless of the above-mentioned health benefits, not having to deal with acid in coffee and being caffeine-free are reasons enough for many coffee drinkers to try chicory coffee.
If you have never drunk it before, it is helpful to know which brand to buy, what are the different types of chicory coffee available, and how to choose them.
We have selected the top 7 brands of chicory coffee to try. If you’re looking to taste your first chicory coffee, or looking to know if there’s a better brand than the one you’ve been drinking so far, keep reading.
Cafe Du Monde Coffee Chicory
Served at the Café Du Monde, the Original French Market Coffee Stand, since the early 1880’s, this comes straight from the tradition of chicory coffee in New Orleans. Coming in a classic large can, this is as classic as it gets as a chicory coffee from Louisiana.
French Market Coffee, Coffee & Chicory
Another classic from New Orleans, this distinguishes itself as being made of 100% Arabica coffee grounds, mixed with the usual chicory ones. Perfected over 125 years of production, French Market Coffee with chicory is a blend of medium-dark coffee and chicory. Both are roasted long enough inorder to enhance their sweetness. Caramel notes and a bold body are the main characteristics that you can expect from this chicory coffee.
Community Coffee, Coffee and Chicory
Chicory coffee doesn’t come in simple grounds only. Those owning a single serve machine can rejoice knowing that chicory coffee pods do exist. These from Community Coffee come as k-cups, thus to be used with a Keurig machine. For a bold and more delicious flavor, the chicory is accompanied with 100% Arabica coffee. Family-owned, convenient packaging and tasty Arabica coffee make this chicory coffee a superb choice.
Luzianne Premium Blend Coffee & Chicory
For a more coffee-like taste, at the cost of somewhat more caffeine, Luzianne has you covered. Their premium blend of coffee is 100% Arabica, perfectly roasted to enhance the quality of the beans, with a mellowed caffeine effect thanks to the added chicory. More focus on the taste can only be a positive aim. Be only aware that there may be too much caffeine for some drinkers. Do try it before purchasing in big quantities, to see if it’s ok for your body.
Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Chicory Decaffeinated
What if you want absolutely 0 caffeine in your chicory coffee? This offering from Café Du Monde is here for you. This is the decaffeinated version of the classic blend of coffee and chicory from the famed New Orleans brand. As you may imagine, you may have to compromise a bit on the taste but you’ll have no caffeine whatsoever. If your body can’t have any, this is the chicory coffee for you.
Bru Instant Coffee and Roasted Chicory
What’s more convenient than instant coffee? Nothing! Thus it is only logical that an instant coffee mixed with chicory is available. Bru makes a delicious, deeply roasted, with a dark flavor, chicory coffee that blends premium quality coffee with chicory. Scoop it in your cup, add hot water and mix. Chicory coffee as simple as it gets.
New Orleans Roast Pure French Chicory
For bold drinkers, or those who already know to love the taste of chicory, these pure chicory grounds from New Orleans Roast are for you. No coffee, and therefore no caffeine nor too much acidity here, only pure chicory that has been roasted following the tradition of Louisiana from the Civil War days, when coffee was in short supply. An ancient taste that is timeless in its health benefits.
Whether you’re new to chicory drinking, just curious, in need of a caffeine-free alternative to coffee or already in love with the chicory taste profile, give chicory coffee a try. It tastes much better than it sounds. Plenty of regular coffee drinkers, with no issues with caffeine nor acidity drink it, and love the chicory dark, bold, full-bodied taste that enhances some aspects of coffee, without covering them.
Take your pick among the presented brands and see if chicory coffee meets your tastes. We’re sure that it will easily become a constant presence in your kitchen cabinets.