What is Chicory Coffee? (Explored)

Cup of chicory coffee

Chicory coffee is made by roasting, grinding, and brewing the roots of the chicory plant to create a coffee-like beverage.

The taste of chicory coffee resembles regular coffee but I find it slightly woody and nutty. It is best mixed with regular coffee to complement the flavor.

If you’re keen on exploring ways to make your regular coffee tastier, chicory is definitely worth considering! Not only that, it’s very tasty, nutritious, and versatile, there are various health benefits you can gain from the chicory plant itself.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the exploring chicory coffee, the possible benefits that you can gain from it, and of course, how to make one!

Without further ado, let’s dive into the basics of chicory coffee!

What is Chicory?

Chicory is a blue-flowered perennial plant from the daisy family, in which roots are dried, roasted, and ground to be used as a coffee substitute.

Chicory root has been in use since the time of the ancient Egyptians for various health purposes.

Chicory root comes from the common chicory plant which actually goes by a lot of different names though you might know it best as cornflower.

What is Chicory Coffee?

Chicory coffee is made from the root of the chicory plant. Roasted and ground chicory has a very similar flavor to coffee which can be consumed either on its own or mixed with coffee.

When mixed with coffee, the coffee will be less caffeinated, bitter, and aromatic.

Chicory coffee is common in the Mediterranean region of France where the plant grows wild. Chicory coffee is also quite common in Southeast Asia, South Africa, the Southern USA, especially New Orleans.

What are the benefits of chicory coffee?

The chicory root is a good source of inulin, which is linked to improved gut health and weight loss.

Inulin is present in over 36,000 species of plants. It is also a type of prebiotic that stimulates your gut bacteria to produce fatty acids that will benefit your body.

Check out the video below to know more about how inulin can improve your health.


But that’s not all. There are many more positives to drinking chicory coffee!

Improves Digestive Health

Multiple studies have shown how inulin is excellent at regulating your bowel movements, so it’s no surprise that one of its most significant benefits is to help relieve constipation.

It also helps with other gastrointestinal symptoms by removing toxins from the digestive tract, optimizing nutrient absorption, and soothing an upset stomach.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Adiponectin is a protein found in chicory root extract that can regulate blood glucose levels, therefore helping in the prevention of early-onset diabetes.

Chicory coffee can benefit people who are experiencing symptoms of prediabetes such as increased thirst, fatigue, and blurred vision.

Good for the Skin

Chicory root extracts act as an active ingredient restructuring the skin barrier and preventing skin dryness.

To make use of this health benefit, though, you’d have to apply ground chicory to your face instead of ingesting it.

Chicory is high in antioxidants and helps to smoothen imperfections in the skin and also jumpstarts your collagen production giving you a healthy glow.

Protects the Liver

Chicory root can help protect the liver from cell damage.

It is often prescribed to patients with liver disorders because it can detox the organ. It’s also shown to reduce oxidative stress and improve the overall conditions of the liver.

Reduces Stress

Chicory soothes the mind and reduces anxiety and can be used as a sleep aid, perfect for a warm nightcap before going to bed.

Significant stress relief can improve your cardiovascular health, insomnia, and neurological properties.

Decreases Inflammation

Chicory root contains polyphenols, which are natural compounds that can help at combatting inflammation.

A recent study found that consuming caffeine-free chicory coffee for one week instead of regular coffee led to significant improvements in red blood cell deformability. That’s the body’s ability to respond to inflammation by restoring cells to their original condition.

Helps in Weight Loss

A study shows that chicory-derived oligofructose can decrease the levels of ghrelin.

Ghrelin stimulates your constant hunger, and when its levels become lower, you will not feel the need to consume significant portions anymore.

Not only will you enjoy a sweet beverage, but you will improve your figure and self-esteem as well.

Contains Anti-Carcinogenic Properties

The chicory root extract has been shown to reduce the risk for colon cancer.

This has been attributed to the increased growth of the beneficial bacteria bifidobacteria in the large intestine.

Now that you know the health benefits that come with drinking chicory coffee, let’s take a closer look at its nutritional content.

I made this table that compares the nutritional values per 100 grams of coffee and chicory root each.

NutrientCoffeeChicory roots, raw
Choline2.60 mg0 mg
Folate2 mcg23 mcg
Niacin0.19 mg0.40 mg
Pantothenic acid0 mg0.32 mg
Riboflavin0.08 mg0.03 mg
Thiamin0.01 mg0.04 mg
Vitamin B60.00 mg0.24 mg
Vitamin C0 mg5 mg
Vitamin E 0.01 mg0 mg
Vitamin K0.10 mcg0 mcg
Calcium2 mg41 mg
Copper0.00 mg0.08 mg
Iron0.01 mg0.80 mg
Magnesium3 mg22 mg
Manganese0 mg0.23 mg
Phosphorus3 mg61 mg
Potassium49 mg290 mg
Selenium0 mcg0.70 mcg
Sodium2 mg50 mg
Zinc0.02 mg0.33 mg
Protein0.12 g1.40 g
Fat0.02 g0.20 g
Saturated fatty acids0.00 g0.05 g
Hexadecanoic acid0.00 g0.04 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids0.01 g0.00 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids0.00 g0.09 g
Octadecadienoic acid0.00 g0.07 g
Octadecatrienoic acid0 g0.01 g
Carbohydrate0 g17.51 g
Fiber0 g1.50 g
Sugars0 g8.73 g
Ash0 g0.89 g
Caffeine40 mg0 mg
Folate2 mcg23 mcg
Vitamin A06 IU
Water99.39 g80 g
Nutritional Value of Coffee & Chicory Root

Does Chicory Have Side Effects?

Though it’s safe and well-tolerated by many people, long-term consumption and abuse of chicory root will result in side effects.

It may cause:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • flatulence

Chicory can also trigger allergies, so if you have a history of being allergic to birch pollen and the like, you might want to take chicory coffee in small doses first to test your reaction.

The recommended intake for chicory is 20 mg per day.

How Much Caffeine is in Chicory?

Chicory is caffeine-free!

Chicory contains no caffeine whatsoever.

This is why it quickly became popular in recent years as a coffee substitute.

It has the rich taste of coffee without the strong caffeine content. As a result, it really doesn’t really have that buzz you are used to getting from coffee.

Where To Buy Chicory Coffee

You can easily order ground chicory coffee from Amazon or Walmart.

There is an assortment of brands available in these stores, with a variety of roasts and additives.

If you want to go straight to the source, have a taste of New Orleans’ signature blend with the Pure French Chicory Coffee. It has a light, spicy flavor and it can be brewed on its own or mixed with your regular coffee powder.

How to Make Chicory Coffee

You can also make your own chicory coffee at home with just some chicory roots!

Simply roast the root and steep it with a few sprigs of dandelion for added flavor and after five minutes, you have yourself a hot cup of chicory coffee!

Chicory coffee doesn’t just come hot either. Try this cold brew chicory coffee recipe for that creamy goodness with the spicy chicory flavor. This recipe uses coconut milk, vanilla extract, and of course, your favorite chicory coffee blend.

You can also add a lot of other spices and ingredients to enhance your basic chicory coffee blend. You can throw in coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, mocha, and other preferred flavorings and extracts.

Final Thoughts

Chicory coffee is a great alternative to coffee, especially when you’re cutting back on caffeine as it captures everything you’ve come to like in coffee. Plus, it also has a lot of nutritional content!

While the inulin it contains primarily improves the digestive system, overconsumption can also lead to a few negative side effects too. Take note of the recommended daily amount, and you’ll be fine.

The warm and soothing taste of chicory coffee makes it a perfect drink for chilly afternoons! Its sedative qualities also help relax you, so you have that to look forward to.

Thinking of making the switch to chicory? You won’t be disappointed.

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

Read Next