Coffee substitutes are non-coffee products, usually without caffeine, that are used to imitate coffee. Coffee substitutes can be used for medical, economic and religious reasons, or simply because coffee is not available. Roasted grain beverages are common substitutes for coffee.
|“||For the stimulating property to which both tea and coffee owe their chief value, there is unfortunately no substitute; the best we can do is to dilute the little stocks which still remain, and cheat the palate, if we cannot deceive the nerves.||”|
—The Southern Banner, 1865
Coffee substitutes are sometimes used in preparing foods served to children or to people who avoid caffeine, or in the belief that they are healthier than coffee. For religious reasons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, are not supposed to consume coffee but may enjoy a substitute.
Some culinary traditions, like that of Korea, include beverages made from roasted grain instead of coffee or tea (including boricha, oksusu cha, and hyeonmi cha). These do not substitute for coffee, but fill its niche as a hot drink (optionally sweetened).
Some ingredients used include: almond, acorn, asparagus, malted barley, beechnut, beetroot, carrot, chicory root, corn, cottonseed, dandelion root (see dandelion coffee), fig, boiled-down molasses, okra seed, pea, persimmon seed, potato peel, rye, sassafras pits, sweet potato, wheat bran.
The Native American tribes of what is now the Southeastern United States brewed a ceremonial drink containing caffeine, "asi", or the "black drink", from the roasted leaves and stems of the Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria). European colonists adopted this beverage as a coffee-substitute, which they called "cassina".
Ground roasted chicory root has been sold commercially on a large scale since around 1970, and it has become a mainstream product, both alone and mixed with real coffee. It was widely used during the American Civil War on both sides, and has long enjoyed popularity especially in New Orleans, where Luzianne has long been a popular brand in this respect.
Postum was an instant type of coffee substitute made from wheat bran, wheat, molasses, and maltodextrin from corn. It reached its height of popularity in the United States during World War II when coffee was sharply rationed. It remained popular for many years but is no longer made . In the wake of its discontinuance, a number of replica recipes for Postum have circulated across the Internet.
Cafix and Pero are two European brands of cereal coffee substitutes which are also available in health-food stores in the United States. Produced in Switzerland, Cafix and Pero are both made of malted barley, chicory, barley, rye, and beetroots.
Dandy Blend, a coffee substitute manufactured by Goosefoot Acres, is made of roasted chicory, roasted beetroot, barley, rye and dandelion.
Ayurvedic Roast, a coffee substitute which borrows from both the European tradition of using roasted barley, rye, and chicory, and the Indian Ayurvedic system of health by adding the traditional herbs of ashwagandha, shatavari, and brahmi, is distributed by the Unlimited Health Company in the U.S.A.
Coffee substitutes are products that try to taste like coffee. The idea for using them is to have a drink that tastes like coffee, but has no caffeine in it. The main reasons for making coffee substitutes are medical and economic. In World War II, acorns were used to make coffee, however it tasted foul. It was also hard to get. In the American Civil War there was a similar story -
"For the stimulating property to which both tea and coffee owe their chief value, there is unfortunately no substitute; the best we can do is to dilute the little stocks which still remain, and cheat the palate, if we cannot deceive the nerves." The Southern Banner, 1865]
Grain coffee and other substitutes can be made by roasting or decocting various organic substances.
Some ingredients used include: almond, acorn, asparagus, barley and malt, beech nut, beetroot, carrot, chicory root, corn, cotton seed, dandelion root, fig, boiled-down molasses, okra seed, pea, persimmon seed, potato peel, rye, sassafras nut, sweet potato.
Chicory has been sold commercially on a large scale since around 1970, and it has become a mainstream product. It was widely used during the American Civil War on both sides.
Postum is an instant type beverage used in place of coffee. It reached the height of its popularity during World War II. For popular usage on the sitcom Seinfeld George says to Jerry he does not know why postum is not a more popular beverage.