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OK purists, shutter your eyes now. This is not real tea. This is a melange of roasted chicory, chocolate, pepper, and ginger. It brews up black like coffee with a strong ginger smell. In my teens I was quite taken with herbal experimentation and this smells like one of my experiments. It brings me back to my mispent youth. It tastes fairly close to coffee with a ginger chaser. It’s not terrible and I can see it as an option for evenings when I want something dark without the caffeine.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
Angrboda

Chicory, isn’t that that stuff they used during the war to make replacement coffee? I’ve never had that, I’m imagining something kind of earthy and woodsy.

Carolyn

If you are talking about Europe in WWI and WWII, then yes, roasted chicory was used as a coffee substitute. It basically tastes like a milder form of coffee, not woodsy or earthy at all. In New Orleans they have a chicory-coffee combination that they serve that is very good.

Angrboda

Yes, that’s what I meant. I forgot coffee wasn’t difficult to get everywhere. :) I’ve never had it myself, but I know of at least one place in the city where I work where you could get Richs Replacement Coffee until recently. It was the most common brand in Denmark during the occupation and it was even sold in the same package design as in the forties. But they’ve stopped making it now, I think. People would mix it with real coffee and stretch the beans that way. I think I’ll try and keep my eye out to see if I can get a sample of it and see what it’s like.

Carolyn

@Angrboda I had to ask my beloved (who is a military historian), “Suppose you were Danish and were talking about using chicory as a coffee substitute in ‘the war’. Which war are you talking about?” He immediately said, “World War II” and then corrected himself, ’Well, World War I also. She could be talking about either one. Hmmm. Denmark, huh? Probably World War II. The real question is how she feels about Brussel sprouts. That would tell us which war."

He’s very handy to have around.

There are three kinds of coffee substitutes: those made from roasted grains (typically barley), those made from roasted roots (like chicory); and those made from roasted fruit (figs are popular). When you pick up Rich’s, check to see what they’re using.

Angrboda

I did mean WWII, yes. Since we were occupied by the germans, that’s the big one for us. Interestingly, during that whole climate todo in Copenhagen, the police had to borrow police cars from Sweden and Germany to cover everything, and while the swedish police cars still said ‘Polis’ on them, the ‘Polizei’ on the german cars had been covered with the danish ‘Politi’. Even now over 60 years after the end of occupation, they couldn’t have cars with ‘Polizei’ on them driving around in Copenhagen. Too sensitive when there are still people alive who remember the occupation. And as for Brussel sprouts, I don’t much like them. I think they’re too bitter. But then I’m not one for most sorts of cabbage anyway.

I passed the shop today where they had it, but I forgot to stop in and check the package. I think it’s a 250g package or something like that. Bit too large to buy in case I don’t like it. :)

Anyway, I think it must have been either of the first two, or possibly a combination. I think the fruit variety would have been even harder to come by.

Carolyn

@Angrboda That’s a fascinating story about the German police cars at the conference in Copenhagen. I’ll have to tell my beloved. He will be interested to hear it.

As to the Brussels sprouts, he maintains that anyone who lived through WWII in Germany and the areas occupied by Germany hates Brussels sprouts because they were amongst the few foods that were available to the populace in the late war. I personally think that this is just his gambit to avoid eating Brussels sprouts, which he hates and I love. But since he is the historian, I can’t say much.

Angrboda

He might be on to something, actually. My dad likes it and I don’t know about my mum. It’s not something that was ever served in my family. I’ve never seen my grandparents serve it either as far as I remember. On my mum’s side, my grandparents were only children at the time, but on my dad’s side my grandparents are some ten-twenty years older, so I could imagine that they at least had eaten enough brussel sprouts to last them a life time.
With the exception of my dad’s mother, all my grandparents are out of farmer families, though, so they’ve likely had a bit of an advantage there since they could grow the vegetables they needed themselves and they had cows too so they probably almost always had butter too. A while ago we came to talk about it somehow and my grandmother told of how the german soldiers would come up to their house to buy eggs and milk and such, and how in hindsight it had probably been pretty problematic to trade with them. What if the resistance movements discovered it, would they consider it some form of collaboration? Or, on the other hand, did they dare say no to the occupational force? She said they never had any trouble though. She must have been barely ten or so at the time, and if she was alone in the house she would hide when they came and pretend no one was home because she didn’t dare talk to the soldiers.

It’s difficult for me to imagine the occupation and what it meant to the daily lives of people then, in spite of having learned about in great detail in school and a number of films and tv-series and what not having been made about it. It seems like it’s so long ago, but it’s still less than a lifetime for some people.

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Angrboda

Chicory, isn’t that that stuff they used during the war to make replacement coffee? I’ve never had that, I’m imagining something kind of earthy and woodsy.

Carolyn

If you are talking about Europe in WWI and WWII, then yes, roasted chicory was used as a coffee substitute. It basically tastes like a milder form of coffee, not woodsy or earthy at all. In New Orleans they have a chicory-coffee combination that they serve that is very good.

Angrboda

Yes, that’s what I meant. I forgot coffee wasn’t difficult to get everywhere. :) I’ve never had it myself, but I know of at least one place in the city where I work where you could get Richs Replacement Coffee until recently. It was the most common brand in Denmark during the occupation and it was even sold in the same package design as in the forties. But they’ve stopped making it now, I think. People would mix it with real coffee and stretch the beans that way. I think I’ll try and keep my eye out to see if I can get a sample of it and see what it’s like.

Carolyn

@Angrboda I had to ask my beloved (who is a military historian), “Suppose you were Danish and were talking about using chicory as a coffee substitute in ‘the war’. Which war are you talking about?” He immediately said, “World War II” and then corrected himself, ’Well, World War I also. She could be talking about either one. Hmmm. Denmark, huh? Probably World War II. The real question is how she feels about Brussel sprouts. That would tell us which war."

He’s very handy to have around.

There are three kinds of coffee substitutes: those made from roasted grains (typically barley), those made from roasted roots (like chicory); and those made from roasted fruit (figs are popular). When you pick up Rich’s, check to see what they’re using.

Angrboda

I did mean WWII, yes. Since we were occupied by the germans, that’s the big one for us. Interestingly, during that whole climate todo in Copenhagen, the police had to borrow police cars from Sweden and Germany to cover everything, and while the swedish police cars still said ‘Polis’ on them, the ‘Polizei’ on the german cars had been covered with the danish ‘Politi’. Even now over 60 years after the end of occupation, they couldn’t have cars with ‘Polizei’ on them driving around in Copenhagen. Too sensitive when there are still people alive who remember the occupation. And as for Brussel sprouts, I don’t much like them. I think they’re too bitter. But then I’m not one for most sorts of cabbage anyway.

I passed the shop today where they had it, but I forgot to stop in and check the package. I think it’s a 250g package or something like that. Bit too large to buy in case I don’t like it. :)

Anyway, I think it must have been either of the first two, or possibly a combination. I think the fruit variety would have been even harder to come by.

Carolyn

@Angrboda That’s a fascinating story about the German police cars at the conference in Copenhagen. I’ll have to tell my beloved. He will be interested to hear it.

As to the Brussels sprouts, he maintains that anyone who lived through WWII in Germany and the areas occupied by Germany hates Brussels sprouts because they were amongst the few foods that were available to the populace in the late war. I personally think that this is just his gambit to avoid eating Brussels sprouts, which he hates and I love. But since he is the historian, I can’t say much.

Angrboda

He might be on to something, actually. My dad likes it and I don’t know about my mum. It’s not something that was ever served in my family. I’ve never seen my grandparents serve it either as far as I remember. On my mum’s side, my grandparents were only children at the time, but on my dad’s side my grandparents are some ten-twenty years older, so I could imagine that they at least had eaten enough brussel sprouts to last them a life time.
With the exception of my dad’s mother, all my grandparents are out of farmer families, though, so they’ve likely had a bit of an advantage there since they could grow the vegetables they needed themselves and they had cows too so they probably almost always had butter too. A while ago we came to talk about it somehow and my grandmother told of how the german soldiers would come up to their house to buy eggs and milk and such, and how in hindsight it had probably been pretty problematic to trade with them. What if the resistance movements discovered it, would they consider it some form of collaboration? Or, on the other hand, did they dare say no to the occupational force? She said they never had any trouble though. She must have been barely ten or so at the time, and if she was alone in the house she would hide when they came and pretend no one was home because she didn’t dare talk to the soldiers.

It’s difficult for me to imagine the occupation and what it meant to the daily lives of people then, in spite of having learned about in great detail in school and a number of films and tv-series and what not having been made about it. It seems like it’s so long ago, but it’s still less than a lifetime for some people.

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I’m a suddenly enthusiastic tea aficionado. I had no idea how varied and delicious teas could be. Also I’m a dairy-free vegetarian, so if you see me say “cream” or “milk” it means soy milk or soy cream.

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Memphis

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