Herbal Coffee: Cutting caffeine and boosting flavor

Here is a funny fact about myself. I drink coffee every day. I know, gasp! The horror! How could I as a tea blender and tea business owner?

Three things you may not know about me.

  1. I started drinking coffee when I was very young because I wanted to be just like my dad.
  2. I was a barista for over a decade.
  3. We are a half block away from one of the best independent coffee roasters in North America (Hi, Morning Bell).

But the truth? Coffee doesn’t always agree with me. My stomach is prone to what I lovingly call “acid gut”. So I can have a cup in the morning, and that’s it.

Sometimes I would like another cup. But usually regret it if I do.

As a tea blender, I’m uniquely positioned to create alternatives to coffee that have a robust, rich flavor that satisfies a coffee craving. There are two types of coffee substitutes: Caffeine. No Caffeine.

Top Five Energy Boosting Coffee Substitutes

  1. Fireside (Black Tea)
  2. Elder Mate (Traditional -smoked- Yerba Mate)
  3. Pretty Penny Pepper (Phoenix Oolong)
  4. Oasis (Coffee Cherry Tea)
  5. Autumnal Equinox (Oct – Dec) (Phoenix Oolong)

Top Five Caffeine-Free Coffee Substitutes

  1. Herbal Root Coffee (Roasted Chicory and Dandelion)
  2. Winter Solstice (Dec – Feb)
  3. Roasted Chicory Root
  4. Roasted Dandelion Root
  5. Herbal Root Coffee with Pumpkin Spice (Oct – Dec)

So how do you make a coffee substitute? Really it’s up to you. The easiest is probably a french press – which is our go-to for both tea or coffee. You may just want to increase the quantity and decrease the steep time for things like coffee cherry tea, chicory, and dandelion root.

You may want to try blending roasted chicory or dandelion root with your favorite coffee to lower the caffeine and acidity while still getting that coffee flavor. This is pretty common in New Oreleans.

Brewing Herbal Root Coffee

Herbal Root Coffee (and straight Roasted Chicory Root) can really be brewed just like coffee. Using a pour-over method is my favorite way if I’m really craving that coffee experience. Usually with a touch of cream and honey. Here. You can see for youself in this video.

And there you go. All my favorite blends and botanicals for when I’m craving coffee.


Kristin M Roach

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