Rich and Delicious Coffee Substitute

This Homemade Coffee Substitute is just the thing if you're wanting to ditch caffeine, or just want a cuppa in the evening. It not only tastes great, but it's seriously good for you and is so easy to make!

Homemade Coffee Substitute

Why bother with a coffee substitute, and a homemade coffee substitute at that, when the real thing tastes so good?

For folks without health challenges, coffee can be a healthy choice, but for anyone with candida or adrenal issues or thyroid disease, coffee can be a real problem due to it being a stimulant.

If that's you, or if you'd like to get off of coffee for some other reason, this is a naturally caffeine-free alternative that tastes great and is good for you as well.

There are just two ingredients in this super simple substitute (well, three, if you include the water :-)). It's that simple.

Not only are you avoiding the caffeine that can be a problem for so many people, but you are also getting the wonderful health benefits of dandelion root. Dandelion roots are great for liver health.

And yes, if you really feel adventurous, you don't have to purchase dandelion roots pre-cut, dried and roasted - you can dig them out of your backyard, clean them well, chop, and roast them yourself! Don't know if I'll be doing that anytime soon, but it's an option.

My Love of Coffee

I used to drink TONS of it.

I'm not sure when my coffee habit started, but it really got exacerbated when I worked on a trading floor just after coming back from living overseas in Japan for a year.

Somehow (long story), I ended up working as a trading assistant, en route to becoming an options trader on the floor of the Philadelphia Options Exchange.  I ended up taking a sideway path and landed a teaching position at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange instead, but that's another story.

Anyhow, it was tough.  Tough environment and early mornings, and I leaned heavily on coffee.

Too heavily.

Loads of it with loads of milk and saccharine.

Not a good idea.

In fact, I remember literally drinking 2 REALLY big cups of the stuff just to get me going in the morning, and I do mean REALLY big.

Homemade Coffee Substitute

Getting Off of Coffee

Anyhow, years later, when my adrenal and thyroid issues came to a head, I needed to change things, and coffee needed to go.

It took a long time but I finally did it.

One thing that really helped was having another great tasting option that I could have every morning instead of that "cup of Joe."

I recommend going off of coffee gradually instead of cold turkey. Try replacing 1/4 of your coffee with this substitute for 3 days in a row, then 1/2 for 3 days, then 3/4, and then, you're done!

Coffee Substitute

My favorite way to drink this coffee substitute is as follows:

My Favorite Way to Enjoy Coffee Substitute

  1. 1 cup of coffee substitute
  2. Top with Homemade Coconut Milk
  3. 1 scoop of stevia (read this post on How to Use Stevia)
  4. A squirt of liquid stevia (one I like is KAL Caramel Cream but Lakanto's Drops are amazing--get 20% off with code wholenewmom!. You can also try making your own Homemade Liquid Stevia)
  5. Sometimes I add about 1/4 teaspoon cocoa or carob
  6. Dash of salt (I recommend Real Salt)
  7. 1 tablespoon of collagen powder for added protein
  8. About 1 teaspoon coconut oil

I have to say, this is just delicious! I drink at least 2 1/2 cups of this every single morning in my "Best French Press", and if I feel like it, I will make more later in the day.

Interested in a french press and wondering which one you should buy? Read more in my post on The Best French Press.

I put a lot of research into this, so you can save time by finding out which one I use and love.

- No plastic parts
- Super sturdy
- Insulated
- and attractive to boot!

Other Great Add-ins for This Coffee Substitute:

- Easiest Almond Milk Ever
- Homemade Rice Milk
- DIY Vanilla Liquid Stevia
- DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice (for the makings of a Pumpkin Latte)

Recipe Notes and Substitutions

  • Roasted Dandelion Root: Initially I was using plain (not roasted) dandelion root, and my coffee alternative tasted just fine, but it is so much richer with the roasted roots. I have no idea why I wasn't doing this from the start! Today was my first day with really rich coffee substitute, and boy did it taste great!
    You can purchase roasted dandelion root or just roast in the oven on a cookie sheet until nicely browned. Often I just toast it in a pan over a medium-low heat, but you have to really watch it. It starts to burn easily...not that I've ever done that :-).)
  • Coconut Milk: I love topping my coffee substitute with freshly-made Homemade Coconut Milk. Of course, I'll also use the milk that's already been made, but when it's freshly made, it has a wonderful frothy topping that reminds me of frothed milk. For more details, please see my post on Easiest Homemade Coconut Milk.
  • Ice Cubes: When I pour my first cup, it is super hot. Just drop 1-2 ice cubes in your mug before pouring in your coffee substitute and you can enjoy right away!
  • Filtered Water: For best taste and health, please use filtered water. See my post, Is Your Water Safe?

Flavoring Options: If you like flavoring your "coffee", the following are some great options for you:

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to your press along with the chicory and dandelion roots. If you don't have a press then add it to the pot and simmer with the grounds.
  • I love sweetening my coffee substitute with a scoop (1/32 of a teaspoon - that's all it takes!) of stevia extract and then topping it off with a little flavored liquid stevia. Right now my favorite is Sweetleaf's hazelnut. Sweetleaf's English Toffee and French Vanilla are also really nice! Puzzled about stevia? I recommend NuNaturals, but I have heard great things about Sweetleaf's as well. (Tip:  don't be daunted by the price - a little goes a LONG way.)
  • Of course, a bit of carob or cocoa powder is nice too. I used to put a 1/2 tablespoon or 1 tablespoon roasted carob powder into the french press. What a rich tasting treat!
  • I plan to share some additional wonderful flavoring options for coffee soon - so stay tuned by subscribing to my blog!

I so hope you enjoy this and that it helps you in your quest to break yourself from the caffeine habit. Your adrenals will thank you.


Rich and Delicious Coffee Substitute

This rich and delicious coffee substitute is even super nutritious. If you're trying to break the coffee habit you need to try this!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, THM:S, Vegan, whole30
Keyword: coffee substitute
Servings: 4
Calories: 2kcal


  • 1 tablespoon chicory root (roasted)
  • 1 tablespoon dandelion root (roasted - see notes above)
  • 32 - 35 ounces water (about 4 cups, plus a little) (preferably filtered)


For French Press Owners

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Put chicory and dandelion root in the press.
  • Add water to french press.
  • Let stand for at least 4 minutes.
  • Depress plunger slowly.
  • Add some sweetener of choice - I use stevia plus a dash of salt, Coconut Milk, plus a little coconut oil and some cocoa.
  • Enjoy!

If you do not have a french press, then you can alternatively

  • Place water, chicory root and dandelion root in a pot.
  • Boil and simmer for 2-10 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer and serve.


Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Where to Buy Coffee Substitute

If you don't feel like making your own Homemade Coffee Substitute or just don't have the ingredients right now, here are some great alternatives.

Dandy Blend

Dandy Blend is a great cold or hot instant coffee substitute that's also loaded with the goodness of dandelion (hence the name). It's great for travel when you might not have access to hot water or a stove. It's a tad cheaper on Iherb, plus you should get a discount using that link.

Sip Herbals

Sip Herbals has both plain and lovely flavored options of herbal coffee substitutes. Choose from Salted Caramel to Dirty Chai, Mocha, or plain to suit your taste, or try all of them in the Sampler Pack!

Do you plan to stop drinking coffee - let's encourage each other to kick the caffeine habit :-)!

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Recipe Rating



  1. This DandyBlend product sounds wonderful, but I’m confused by the gluten free claim in the product description. I have celiac disease and products containing barely or rye are a no-go.

    Can you comment on whether roasted extracts of barley and rye are GF?

    Otherwise, can you recommend an alternative coffee substitute that is celiac safe?

    Thank you!

    1. I trust them about their claims. I think you are OK with that.

      I would call them, however, if you have concerns.

      My blend is OK if you feel better with that :).

    2. According to their website, after it is processed the grains do not have any gluten in them when they are added to the blend.

  2. I’m excited to try this but I’m confused - the dandelion root link goes to a product that is raw dandelion root, and is cut, is that what you mean by granulated? Do you have a favorite brand of the roasted dandelion root?

    1. Hi there. So sorry about that! I just fixed the link. I actually have changed my mind since the original writing of this post and you don't really need granulated. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. 5 stars
    I am caffeine sensitive, so even decaf is too much (plus, it might not be healthy). I’ve been drinking Dandy Blend for a while now (an instant powdered mix of roasted barley, rye, chicory root and dandelion root) and I love it. A good option for lazy people like me. Plus, dandelion root detoxifies!

    1. I am familiar w/ Dandy Blend and I like it! I just have been making this forever and have quite a bit left still right now. Have you ever tried this? Love that it's good for you too! Thanks for reading! Hope to see you again soon!

  4. Hi. I found an alternative, but it is a bit spendy, so I tweaked it a bit to make it a bit healthier and go a bit further.
    It is called DandyBlend. It is made from roasted dandelion root, roasted chicory root, roasted beets, roasted rye and roasted barley. It really is good. I just add in more roasted chicory, dandelion, add in some mushroom powder and a homemade adaptogenic blend. THEN, I make it in a French press adding in cacao nibs, gelatin and collagen. I do strain it again into my coffee container (cup for weekends, on-the-go cup for work). I don't add any sweetener, but do use heavy cream. Sometimes I'll add a bit of grassfed butter and a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla. The DandyBlend is really rich tasting, I just added the extra dandelion and chicory root to help with the cost of it and to give it a healthier 'vibe'. Clearly, those with dairy issues could use the coconut milk or coconut cream, instead.

    1. Thanks, Carol! I do like this product! You can get it in a larger package to save some money. Why do you need to strain it---is that b/c of the things you are adding?

      1. Yes, I do get the 2# bag, but it is still a bit spendy on Amazon...over $30! I do strain it as it always seems to have bits in it. The last time I got my dandelion and chicory, I forgot to get the powdered. So I did it myself in my Vitamix with the dry container, but it was still a bit 'stemmy'. I guess I tried to do a larger batch than I should have! Also, due to the pieces of cacao nibs in it, I do filter these out also, as some always seem to slip through! I suppose I could just chew them, but I have issues about "chewing" drinks! Also, I guess my adaptogenic blend (made before Vitamix) is a bit chunky too. Not an issue when using it in smoothies, which I did at first, but with this, it needs to be filtered a bit more as well.

        I really love my coffee blend, and on Sundays/Mondays (my days off) I will add foam to it from my wonderful foamer I got on Amazon. It is a Zeppoli, and it is amazing! Not much point having foam in a take-along mug, it needs to have a larger opening, more like my 4" wide latte mug! Heaven!

        I should go back to adding the grass fed butter to it, and the salt and vanilla....not sure why I stopped, I guess my homemade vanilla ran out, and I had forgotten to start more when I opened this bottle.

        I actually had a bottle of homemade vanilla that got 'lost' for about 10 years! OMG, talk about wonderful! I nearly drank it straight. There was only this wonderful, smooth vanilla taste, all of the alcohol had evaporated off, yet it was liquid. I had left the vanilla beans in it, and they had disintegrated into the blend. You should try it! Make some and stash it away and forget about it for a few years.

        Love your blog, BTW!
        Thanks for sharing!

        1. Oh that's a shame about the straining! I did buy some but haven't opened it yet. Hope I don't have that problem! Thanks so much for the kind words :)!!!! They mean a lot!

          1. 5 stars
            Oh, no. The DandyBlend is fine, no straining! I just add more dandelion and chicory, and the last batch I ordered from my supplier, I accidentally ordered the whole dried herb, not the powdered. So I have to powder it myself and I guess I just can't get it as fine as I'd like.

  5. I've had to cut out coffee as well. I began drinking Teecino, it's about the same in cost but more convenient. Of course your recipe sounds great too!

    1. I love those kind of drinks--have you found out about acrylamides in there by any chance? That is a concern with roasted grains that you consume. Thanks!

  6. Just found your website, very helpful, especially as I suffer from hypothyroidism. Looking forward to reading much more, thank you.

  7. I'm having difficulty understanding what you mean by granulated and roasted. How does one do that? Is the chicory and dandelion root the two ingredients that make the coffee substitute?

  8. 5 stars
    Consider adding a TBLS of coco-nibs to your alternative coffee recipe, I did this and it is soooooo delicious. Plus we have a espresso maker so I steam my milk.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    1. YUM! I put some cocoa in it all the time. Are you saying that you put the nibs in w/ the chicory and dandelion root?

      1. Yes, I also add a bit of Yerba Mate for the caffeine boost on occasion and cardamom seeds for health benefits as well as a rich flavor. I brew it all in my French press, it is similar to the consistency of coffee.

    2. YUM! I put some cocoa in it every day. Are you saying that you put the nibs in w/ the chicory and dandelion root?

  9. I will definitely try roasted dandelion root! I know I love dandelion/vanilla tea.
    I've tried the Puerto Rican coffee substitute made from roasted garbanzos (Jibarita brand) . I do a 3 to 1 mix( 3tsp jibarito to 1 tsp coffee) It's a little strong on its own, but the hint of coffee removes the bitterness as with chicory.

  10. I just found this blog and love what I’ve found so far! I’ve dealt with eczema since I was a baby and started drinking cows milk. Now my little 8 week old has shown signs of a milk allergy in my milk! Thank you for sharing so much you have learned! I can tell I’m gonna love this blog! Anyways back to the original question I had- Is this ok to use while breastfeeding? I wasn’t sure because I think dandelion is used for detoxing but wanted to try it if it’s ok for nursing mamas! ?

    1. Thanks and welcome! Sorry for the delay in responding. I have read that using dandelion in a culinary means is OK to use while breastfeeding but that you might not want to use it as an herb. If you are concerned please contact your practitioner. Hope to see you around again!

    1. I don't think so. I don't like drinking it plain really but it's nowhere near the same bitterness in my opinion. In fact, chicory is often blended with coffee to mellow out its bitterness.

    1. I am not sure what you mean. I make my own. I haven't done research into what ones can be trusted. I don't like the ones where you end up drinking the grains.

      1. So what is the coffee substitute then? You say to use 1 cup coffee substitute and say you make your own, but you give no recipe for the coffee substitute, which is really confusing, at least to me, because I thought this recipe was for a coffee substitute drink. Would you mind clarifying?

  11. Your blog about Stevia is what I went through. Did not know about pure powder. Packets were bitter. Recently purchased Sweet Leaf liquid clear drops. Now trying Wholesale Health Connection 100 percent pure. Also found Carmel Sweet Leaf.

    1. If you can tell me which post on stevia I can help. I have a few posts on stevia. Looks like the one you are using is 100% pure?

      1. It was the post you were training yourself to like Stevia. Mentioned chemicals in packets. So I ordered pure powder. Betty

            1. Oh goodness. I was commenting back and forth with someone else about stevia in a recipe and got you mixed up with her - glad we got that figured out :).