Ecosalon Recipes: Wise Concoction: Herbal Espresso


The popularity of espresso drinks and the frustration of friends who can’t drink caffeinated beverages, but still yearn for the aroma and taste of freshly brewed coffee, led to the creation of Herbal Espresso.

This delicious healthful blend comes close to the taste of the real thing and delivers a powerful tonic effect at the same time.

Dandelion root has a reputation as a blood builder and liver strengthener, unlike coffee, which actually irritates the liver. The dark color and richness of chicory evoke the blended coffees of New Orleans. The tradition of adding chicory to coffee actually originated with the French, who believe this root counteracts the acidic quality of coffee. They also make chicory into a decoction on its own to neutralize stomach acidity. Ginseng, an overall tonic, acts as a natural stimulant for those who relish the energizing effect that coffee provides. Molasses contributes natural B vitamins and sweetness to replace refined sugar. Carob powder and cinnamon add aromatic flavorings.

You’ll need:

1-2 cups purified water

3-5 teaspoons Herbal Espresso Blend

1/2 teaspoon carob powder

1-2 teaspoons molasses, honey or pure maple syrup

Pinch of ground cinnamon

To make:

Bring the water to a boil. Place 3-4 teaspoons Herbal Espresso Blend in a drip coffee filter. Pour the boiling water through the mixture and allow to drip into a coffee cup. Add the cinnamon and carob powder for added flavor. If too strong add more hot water. Sweeten to taste with the molasses, honey, or maple syrup.

Herbal Espresso Blend:

To make the herb blend, roast chicory (1 cup dried root), dandelion (1/4 cup dried chopped root), barley (1/2 cup pearl), and ginseng (1/8 cup chopped root) in a 200 F oven for 2 hours. (Or roast in a large heavy skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.) Grind in a clean coffee grinder until very fine. Store in a glass container with a lid.

Note: Ginseng is not recommended for pregnant women or individuals with high blood pressure. It may also have estrogenic activity, which aggravates fibrocystic breast disease in women. If any of these conditions are present, simply eliminate the ginseng from this mixture.

Editor’s note: Reprinted with permission from the book Wise Concoctions.

Image: Striatic