If you are one of those people that can drink a cup of warm, rich, earthy coffee without getting the jitters but instead getting LIFE, I am jealous of you. For me, it is all Ja Ja Ja Jitters! And this has always been the case. All I need is a cup of caffinated coffee to turn into my own personal Mr. Hyde. It is my curse to bear.
Despite this coffee induced alter-ego, I love a good cup of Joe. I love the way it smells, I love the way it looks when swirled with a good dash of almond milk, and I love sharing a cup with a friend. For the safety of those around me, I have long stuck to decaf, but a good decaf can be hard to find. There are often only one option per brand, you don’t get to choose your roast, and the chemicals that they use to decaffeinate the beans are lesssss than thrilling. The good options are slimmer than a flagpole.
I heard of herbal coffee, and was quite intrigued. Herbal coffee is a mix of dried herbs that are brewed in hot water to create a drink that is remarkably close to coffee. I had scoped out a few options at the grocery store and on Amazon, but most all of the brands contain gluten. These substitutes may not create Mr. Hyde, but it would contribute to a chic and stylish third trimester bloated look thanks to my bodies inability to play nice with gluten.
Then one fateful day, on my West Coast road trip (sharing sooooon!), I found myself, in the middle of a windstorm, on the patio of a little caffe in Santa Barbara, which was serving up a gluten-free herbal brew. I sat there sipping my drink warm drink with wind whipping my hair around my face and sending plants pieces in every which direction, thoroughly enjoying myself, because this was the real deal herbal coffee that I had spent my life waiting for. Like a sneaky food blogger, I asked a few pressing questions about the ingredients and went on my merry way, heart elated with herbal coffee dreams.
It took me near 30 tries to get this brew correct, but it has officially passed the test of real coffee drinkers. It has the same color, aroma, and is full of rich earthy, and slightly bitter flavors. Bonus: this herbal coffee is zero percent acidic. Just bold and smooth; the way we like it.
Now, this recipe calls for some out-of-the-norm ingredients. I source mine from our handy dandy first-world pal, Amazon and can get them pretty cheaply. It is more of a cost up front, since you are buying these herbs in bulk, but in the end, it is cheaper than most of our drive through and home brew coffee habits.
Pour me another glass.
Homemade Herbal Coffee is an easy at home coffee substitute with all the deep and rich flavors of coffee without the caffeine.
- 2 tbsp pau d'arco
- 4 teaspoons roasted dandelion root
- 3 teaspoons roasted chicory
- 2 teaspoons roasted cacao nibs (see recipe below)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamin
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the finely chopped cacao nibs out on a small baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven. Once cooled, store in a jar for future herbal coffee making.
Add all of the herbal coffee ingredients into a French Press. Cover with 3 cups of boiling water and let brew for 7 minutes. Press down the filter, and pour into two glasses. Serve with desired accompaniments.
- For a single serving, simply half all of the ingredients and proceed with the recipe as written.
- The strength of this "coffee" is similar to a medium roast. For a light roast, reduce the chicory to 1 teaspoon. For a dark roast, increase the chicory to 2 teaspoons.