Common chicory cultivation and homemade chicory coffee production!

Although it exists for over two centuries, chicory coffee has gained popularity only in recent years. This coffee is a beverage made from the roots of common chicory (Cichorium intybus), which are roasted, ground and finally consumed as an alternative coffee-like drink.

The root of common chicory is the part of the plant used to produce a substitute of coffee. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, small amounts of fats, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, folic acid, magnesium as well as vitamin B6. It is also a good source of inulin, a type of probiotic fiber that has been associated with increased weight loss and improved bowel health. The flavor of the beverage is similar to that of coffee, it has a lighter and more acidic body, described by some as a bit woody, with notes of nuts or bitter chocolate.

Common chicory is multiplied by direct sowing at distances of 20-30 cm between the lines and 20 cm between the plants on the line. The seed is placed at a depth of about 1 cm and its germination takes place in 1 week. The amount of seed required for sowing is about 0.4-0.5 kg of seed per 1000 sq.m.. When sowing in a nursery, the planting in our garden or fields takes place 1-1.5 months after sowing, where the plants will have about 8 leaves. The plant has a fluffy stem and reaches a height of 40-100 cm. Its leaves are lanceolate and the flowers are light blue in color. It is a plant that forms a long fleshy root, from which we can make a coffee substitute.

The first thing to do after harvesting is to cut the fresh roots into slices and leave them under the sun for 2 days in order to dry. The next step is roasting which should take 2-3 hours in an oven with a temperature of less than 150 °C. Once roasting is over, grind the slices to have a chopped product, almost the same as the instant coffee, and you are done.

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