Friday, May 23, 2008

Coffee Substitutes

I was was watching this video this morning hoping to glean some tips on the weather forecasting and came across the idea of mushroom coffee.

I've read about dandelion coffee in a few sources, most notably Thomas Elpel's Participating in Nature, and grew up across the road from a chickory plant - another substitute which is related to the dandelion.
When I was a re-enactor we tried an old idea of "goober pea coffee". This was made by taking peanuts, un-roasted ones from their shells, and then roasting them in half a canteen. Although the oil in the nuts made them fairly volatile and keen on catching fire we did eventually manage to get some roast nuts that weren't just carbon. Next we put them in a tin cup and crushed them up with a piece of wood to make a coarse powder.
After this we boiled them in water for about five minutes and produced a dark black coffee substitute. It had a fair bitter kick and would perhaps satisfy a real mad craving for a while but like many of these things could be improved with the addition of copious molasses!
Has anyone else out there tried any coffee substitutes?