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What Is Chicory Coffee?

What Is Chicory Coffee?

While it may not enjoy the household notoriety of traditional coffee, chicory coffee is a storied beverage with a profile as rich and complex as its taste. This underappreciated cousin of coffee brings with it a tapestry of historical significance and cultural heritage, offering a distinctive taste and a suite of benefits to those who explore its earthy depths.

What Is Chicory?

Belonging to the dandelion family, the chicory plant is instantly recognisable by its vivid blue flowers. Once harvested, the roots of the plant undergo roasting and grinding, yielding a chicory root extract that offers a flavour reminiscent of coffee but distinguished by its woody and nutty notes. This extract serves various culinary purposes, offering a unique sensory experience in nearly any recipe.

The History of Chicory Coffee

Chicory coffee's tale weaves through the fabric of European and New Orleans history. In times of coffee scarcity, particularly during the Civil War and the Great Depression, chicory served as an affordable substitute. Its bitter and robust flavour profile closely matched that of coffee, making it a practical and popular stand-in during times when coffee was a scarce commodity.

Making Chicory Coffee

Brewing chicory coffee is akin to preparing your regular cup of coffee. To make chicory coffee at home, mix ground chicory root with your coffee grounds and brew as you normally would. A general guideline is to use about two-thirds of your regular coffee grounds with one-third chicory. Adjust this ratio to suit your taste and enjoy the adventure of a new flavour profile.

Health Benefits of Chicory Coffee

The health benefits of chicory coffee are as intriguing as its taste. Chicory root extract is rich in inulin, a type of dietary fibre known for supporting gut health and aiding digestion. Some studies even suggest that chicory coffee could contribute to better blood sugar control and improved bowel function. However, it's always wise to consider any side effects or personal health considerations, such as its potential impact on pregnancy or individual digestive responses, before incorporating chicory into your diet.

Chicory Coffee in Culinary Uses

Beyond drinking, chicory coffee essence is also a culinary chameleon. Its robust flavour makes it an excellent addition to stews, marinades, and baked goods. Incorporating chicory coffee into a chocolate cake or brownie recipe, for example, can deepen the chocolate flavour and add a mysterious note that will leave everyone begging for the recipe.

Cultural Significance

Chicory coffee's cultural significance shines brightest in New Orleans, where it's a staple in the legendary Café du Monde and a key player in many local traditions and festivals. It represents a history of resilience and resourcefulness, a reminder of how culture can adapt and thrive even through hardship.


Chicory coffee is not just a beverage but a journey through history, a voyage of flavours, and a conversation starter. It's for those seeking something different in their cup, an adventure beyond the usual. As you delve into the world of chicory coffee, you may discover not only a new favourite drink but a new perspective on how a simple root can define cultural resilience and offer unexpected health benefits. 

Whether you’re seeking the chicory coffee benefits for health, or just intrigued by what is chicory in coffee, this remarkable drink is waiting to be savoured and enjoyed by you. Shop the range of coffee beans at Primo Caffe today and get ready to start brewing!


Why put chicory in coffee?

Chicory adds a unique flavour to coffee and can extend a limited supply, making it an economical and tasty addition to the brew.

What’s the difference between chicory and coffee?

Chicory, when used in coffee, contributes a woody and slightly nutty flavour profile compared to coffee's naturally bitter taste. It does not contain caffeine, which distinguishes it from coffee.

Will chicory make my coffee stronger?

In terms of flavour, chicory can add depth and strength to the taste of your coffee. However, it doesn't contain caffeine, so it won't make your cup stronger in terms of stimulant effect.

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