Moving to the countryside 19: How to make dandelion coffee

You can use the roots of dandelions to make a very pleasant drink – known as dandelion coffee

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Last weekend we got out onto the plot and did some serious work. Firstly, I dug the very last vegetable bed. I still need to create a decent path and shore up the raised bed with old floorboards. At least now we have five workable plots. 

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A by-product of the digging was the huge number of dandelion plants that I was able to remove, roots and all from the soil. I had such a pile that I thought I’d give a strange recipe a go: dandelion coffee. This was suggested to me by Andy Hamilton, who’s Booze for Free book is a must for all wanna-be brewers. This particular recipe is not alcoholic, sadly. Here’s the method:

1. Gather your roots. 

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2. Wash the roots and cut away the leaves. Watch out for dock roots 

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3. Roast your roots in the oven until they are dark brown and dried out. 

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Once they were brown and dry, I took them out and let them cool down. They had a rather appealing malty/ovaltiney smell.

4. Break the roots up with your fingers then grind them in the coffee grounder. To extract the ‘coffee’ I used a simple filter paper device as below. Using boiling water, obviously.

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The result was very pleasant – and, I have to disagree with Andy H –  was very like mild coffee. A drop of milk and it made a lovely drink – plus it was good to know I’d put a tenacious weed to good use. 

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