Note: We love coffee at Espresso Deco, however we recognise there are a variety of other drinks available – variety is the spice of life after all!
Guest Post: Coffee Substitute Drinks
Coffee substitute drinks have steadily gained popularity, particularly in recent years. The current trend to eat and drink healthier has made coffee substitutes even more popular. Some health issues that may be caused by coffee are acid reflux, headaches, lack of sleep, anxiety, anemia, and it causes discoloration of the teeth. It even wears down the outer layers of the teeth.
Health reasons however aren’t the only reason to drink a substitute for coffee. The Church of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, specifically discourage the consumption of caffeine which is a prominent ingredient in coffee. Coffee substitutes are also sought out if coffee is not available in a particular area or if the price of coffee is cost prohibitive. During the American Civil War for instance, coffee was hard to come by in the South so other options were used. Parents usually don’t want to give their children coffee. Sometimes different cultures have different culinary traditions, such as in Korea where roasted grain is used to make a beverage similar to coffee.
Coffee substitute drinks are certainly not a new idea. In fact coffee substitutes have been around for many years and have been used anytime that coffee has been prohibited or hard to get. During World War II people used acorns to make their coffee. Many different options can be used to make coffee substitutes. Some ingredients used may include almond, acorn, asparagus, molasses, beechnut, beet root, carrot, corn, cottonseed, dandelion, pea, sweet potato, potato peel, wheat bran, okra seed, and many others. These ingredients may be prepared in numerous ways. Some are ground up and brewed very similar to coffee. Others are made into a fine powder that dissolves easily in hot water. Still others are roasted and left whole where they are boiled and steeped in a similar fashion to tea.
Dandelion coffee in particular is one of the more popular coffee substitute drinks due to dandelions being so plentiful in most yards, much to the dismay of many home owners. When gathering dandelions in your own back yard be careful that pesticides or other fertilizers have not been used on the lawn as they will also be present in the coffee causing serious illness or even death. When picking the dandelion pick it by the root in the fall because all of the nutrients go back into the root at this time giving it its most flavor. Rinse off the roots and allow them to dry thoroughly. When the roots are %100 dry chop them up into very small pieces and spread them out on a small baking sheet. Roast them in the oven on the lowest setting until they are nice and browned being very careful not to burn them. Store the roasted, chopped up, and brown root in an airtight container away from light and heat. The Root can then be ground up and used in a similar fashion to store bought coffee.
Coffee substitute drinks can be a healthful and fun way to start your day. The ingredients can be bought in organic food stores or harvested on your own. If you are harvesting the ingredients on your own be certain that you have identified the herb correctly. No need to turn a pleasant drink into the start of a serious illness.
This is a Guest Post on the Espresso Deco Blog by Diane Johnson. Diane writes about a number of things including online education, Rasmussen College, traveling, and much more.