Coffee Plants

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Chicory was widely used as a coffee substitute during times when coffee beans were scarce or unavailable. The Civil War immediately comes to mind. The following little ditty from Sean Paajanen might help J'Chub digest the point you have been trying to make:
"Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a hardy perennial that was brought to North America from Europe in the 1700s, and is now well-established across the continent. Though chicory has a variety of uses, it's best known for its association with coffee.
At many points through history, coffee has become unavailable or too costly. During these times, people have often turned to roasted chicory as a substitute. Folks also used to make coffee from roasted acorns, yams and a variety of local grains. Anything was better than going without!
The root of the chicory plant is long and thick, like the tap-root of the dandelion. When dried, roasted and ground, it makes an excellent substitute for coffee. There is no caffeine in chicory, and it produces a more 'roasted' flavour than coffee does. Many coffee producers offer blends with up to 30% chicory, which cuts down on the caffeine content of your cup. But many folk enjoy a cup of 'coffee' made entirely from ground, roasted chicory.
Another perk about chicory is that it's more soluable in water than coffee, which means you use a lot less of it when brewing. Very economical for someone on a tight budget.
Chicory also offers extra health benefits that you wouldn't normally get from your cup of coffee. It is reported to help cleanse the blood and improve the health of your liver.
The young leaves can be used in salads, and the root can also be boiled and eaten like a vegetable (it's related to endive and radicchio). It's also grown for cattle food in Europe. The flowers are blue-purple, and will open and close at precisely the same time every day."
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Coffee doesn't grow in Europe. During WW2, supplies of exotic non-essential imports such as coffee, became very scarce. Chicory, and dandelion root, were commonly used as a cheap and locally available coffee substitute.
Janet.
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On Fri, 27 Apr 2007 23:14:22 -0600 in

There IS no coffee substitute. Anyone who loves coffee or describes themselves as a "coffee junkie" will never be satisfied with anything but the real deal. Chicory is interesting... so are all sorts of teas, herbal and otherwise, but when push comes to shove, if you want coffee, nothing else will substitute. Chicory is added to coffee (something that started with slaves to stretch out what they had, if I remember right) to make it go further, at the expense of the flavor of a good cup. Even robusto coffee sucks ass, and it sells for about a dollar a pound green, but I see it advertised all the time like it's some great thing to drink. Dandelion and chicory are about as good of a coffee substitute as orange soda.
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Community Coffee is the brand down here...

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If by "down here" you mean Austin, TX, I buy my coffee in pound cans by the case at Hong Kong Market on Research Blvd. aka 183. I pay under four dollars a can. We've tried the Community Coffee brand and didn't like it. They also sell vacuum bags of what they call CDM which is actually Cafe du Monde coffee with chickory. I think I'll go make a pot.
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Living close to the chickory capital of the world, I must say that chickory is nasty, more bitter than coffee, the only reason it was proclaimed a substitute to coffee is because people were absolutely desperate for their coffee fix. But that is only my Not So Humble Opinion....
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