Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lots of Dandelions? Learn how to make Dandelion coffee.

I've made this several times now and the taste is really growing on me (yes the pun is intended). I would describe the taste as very earthy. Once brewed it looks identical to coffee. It has no caffeine which could be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view.


1.      Learn how to correctly identify a Dandelion. Although at first glance it may seem simple there are several other plants that look like a dandelion and you don’t want to be picking the wrong ones. Dandelion can be identified by its flower stalk and by its leaves, which are in a basal rosette. The flower stalks rise straight up out of the centre of the radial leaves with each stalk holding one flower head. Both stalks and leaves release latex, a milky sap when cut, and may cause dermatitis for people who are latex-sensitive. Flowers begin as roundish, green buds huddled in the eye of the leaf rosette and open into 5 cm flower heads made up of bright yellow flowers. The seed heads are well known to most people and especially children who blow them into to the air to make wishes (and thereby propagate the plant!). The bright green leaves deeply and irregularly toothed, and can grow to 25cm in length. Make sure that you only pick Dandelion from your own garden where you know that they haven’t been sprayed with herbicide. Remember that if you can't identify them then don't use them.

2.      Remove the Dandelion from the earth. This is best done when the soil is moist so you can get all the tap root out. Ideally you want to pick really large Dandelion so you get plenty of tap root as the tap root is what goes into the coffee. Remove the leaves and eat them if you wish.

3.      After gather lots of Dandelion tap roots wash them several times in clean water to get all the dirt off them. After you have washed them cut the small lateral roots from the main tap roots.

4.      Place the roots in between some paper and let them dry for a few days. Alternatively you could use a food dehydrator if you are lucky enough to possess one.

5.      Cut the Dandelion roots into small sections under 1cm in length and then place them into an oven at around 180 degrees Celsius with the door open for about 30 minutes. I then cut them into even smaller pieces and put them back in the oven with the door closed. Keep an eye on them throughout all this, the longer you roast them the sweeter the coffee will taste but you don’t want them to burn. I’m not exactly sure as to how long I roast them with the door closed, basically I just keep checking them and when they are nice and dry and brown I know they are done.

6.      Remove the roots and give them a good mortar and pestling. You should now have a nice and dry substance which looks like instant coffee. 

 7.      I like to brew the Dandelion coffee in a plunger adding 2 teaspoons per cup. Add milk and sugar if you wish. Enjoy.

The common sight of the seed head. Who would have though that as kids we were propagating them when we blew the seed head into the air to to make a wish.

Big 'bucket o lions'

The tap roots are where the action is at.


Chopped, washed and ready to oven.

Chopped again ready to put back in the oven with the door closed.

Ready to brew.