Herbal Coffee Substitute
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People have been using roasted chicory root and roasted dandelion root as a stand-in for coffee in lean times since at least the early 19th Century France. When brewed as you would an herbal tea, you get an infusion that looks a lot like coffee and has a taste that's somewhere in the ballpark of coffee. I think it has a chestnut and anise/licorice without the sweetness flavor to it, along with the same kind of pleasant bitterness of coffee.
During the Civil War when the Southern states were under a naval blockade, cafes in New Orleans served chicory root, either on its own or blended with real coffee in order to stretch it further. To this date you can still find chicory root "coffee" in the traditional cafes of New Orleans.
Today people turn to chicory root and dandelion root in place of coffee in order to get a similar sensation of drinking coffee without the caffeine. Sometimes people will blend it with coffee in order to cut back on caffeine or to ween themselves off coffee. Whether you're looking to kick the coffee habit or not (and I'm definitely not), it is an interesting herbal beverage with a lot of history.
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