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Old 11-09-2009, 06:05 PM
stonecypher stonecypher is offline
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Default Coffee Substitutes: Any That Actually Taste Like Coffee?



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Yes, I admit cheerfully that I am a caffeine addict (black, sweet, no cream, none of those Starbucks concoctions) and have stockpiled my drug of choice in case the world comes to an end or our economy collapses to the extent where imports disappear.

However, the day may dawn where my stockpiled beans are gone and my morning fix is unavailable. Since I'll still be faced with all those end-of-the-world chores around the doomstead regardless and will be comatose without the caffeine, what are my choices for foraging and gardening? (Yes, I know I should quit. Don't wanna.)

All I remember about coffee substitutes is that horrible stuff called Postum that my grandma drank, and that you Southerners use something called chicory. So here's what I found with a little digging on the Net:

COFFEE SUBSTITUTES FROM PLANTS AROUND US

The American Beech Tree's nuts when taken out of the husks, roasted until dark and brittle, then ground, will make a fine coffee. Store this in an airtight container. They are best collected after the first hard frost when they normally drop to the ground. Once stored, they can be used all year round. You might have to fight the squirrels for them. Prepare normally.

Chicory coffee: Remember those blue flowers with almost leafless stalks that grow just about everywhere there's a road? They look like daisies, but their petals are blue and are squared off at the ends. The white fleshy roots, roasted until dark brown and brittle, then ground, make an excellent coffee. Prepare like coffee. Use 1-1/2 tsp. per cup of water. Store in an airtight container. Use all year round.

Parsnip coffee: Finely chop (or grate) a batch of fresh parsnip roots (skins and all), to the consistency of hash brown potatoes. Dehydrate the bits, then roast them at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until they're a very dark brown. Allow to cool in the oven (turn the oven off). Then steep the parsnip bits in scalding hot water, one rounded tablespoon per cup.

Wheat coffee: Grind 6 cups of wheat in a coffee grinder. (If you don't have a grinder, buy the wheat already cracked.) Combine with 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of molasses, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well to a consistency of a paste, then spread on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 till brown (watch carefully so they don't burn). When brown, reduce oven heat to low and allow to dry until mixture is crisp. When cool, break the mixture into pieces and grind in coffee grinder or food processor (or just crush with a rolling pin). Store in dry, airtight container. Prepare coffee as you would with regular coffee. If you want a bit more kick and flavor, add one cup of regular coffee to the mixture.

Garbanzo beans (chickpea) coffee:
Roast chickpeas at 300 until dark brown, the color of roasted coffee beans. Then grind the beans in a coffee grinder to the same consistency you desire in regular coffee grounds. These beans seems to do better in a percolator, or boiled and then strained, rather than the quick-drip-through coffee makers.

Barley coffee: Spread barley, husks and all, onto a cookie sheet and roast at 425, stirring/turning occasionally, until completely dark brown. Grind and use 1 heaping tsp per cup of water.


Well, since those all sound pretty awful, guess I'll go buy some more real coffee. Or can anyone vouch for a good substitute?
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:41 PM
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I've tried wheat and chicory from your list...

I've also tried several substitutes I found during research that was used during the civil war mainly roasted acorns, roasted corn meal and roasted sweet potato

I have found nothing that compares to the taste of coffee and (at this point) nothing that I would look forward to waking up to in the morning like I do to a strong cup of dark roast.

Once the stores of coffee go away I'll switch to teas (blackberry and wild strawberry) that I can harvest from the yard and fields.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:32 PM
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This is something I have yet to think about. Thanks for the info stonecypher. Looks like I have some experimenting to do.
Old 11-09-2009, 08:59 PM
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Coffee is a complex compound, full of aromatics, oils, acids, etc. A lot like cocoa in that respect. Just as carob doesn't truly taste like chocolate, I doubt there's going to be a substitute that tastes like coffee.

My grandpa used to make coffee substitute from chicory and from dried okra seeds, both of which he grew. He roasted the chicory very dark, and I liked the brew made from it. It's even used as a flavor enhancer in some coffees on the market.

I think the best way is going to be trying the various substitutes now, while you have the chance. Find which appeals to you the most, then to plan to grow it.

Since I like tea just fine, that's going to be my substitute if I can get it to grow here.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:03 PM
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I still prefer chickory, myself. Not three months back, I got to explain to my young niece the diff between chickory (how it's spelled down here in the South) and cornflower and why Uncle Richard was pulling all those plants up by the roots and hanging them up to dry. She spent a couple of hours with me, pointing them out to me "so I didn't miss them" lol. I've got bags and cans of all sorts of coffees that have sat in my pantry for years....I use chickory more than anything. Most of our coffee we drink these days is of the holiday flavored varieties. Hazelnut is a fav.

Roasted grape seed works. It's pretty good, more of a smoky, almost nutty flavor than most, but finding grape seeds in any amount is tough. Acorns work, but if you don't soak them, prepare to get some bitter result. All types of beets can be used. Dice them, dry them, and roast them. Beets are pretty good, actually. Parched corn is good but takes a while to roast just right. I've tried roasted hominy corn....not too good but it was passable. Diced, dried, roasted turnip is foul....but strangely enough makes for some great ale as do beets.

Great topic.

richard
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:59 PM
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OK, I hate to be completely ignorant about something, so please tell me.

Is it at all possible to grow coffee here? If not, then why? Can't we do it in a hot house?


I fully expect to have you guys laugh at me. I don't know anything about growing coffee. Nor do I claim to.
Old 11-10-2009, 09:06 AM
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I live in Houston and have had a small coffee tree in my backyard for 3-4 years. They do NOT like freezing temperatures. I have mine in a large pot and bring it in when the temps drop below 40. It has been a fun, but disappointing experiment, I have had only a handful of beans off of it. It convinced me I need to stockpile more beans.

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Old 11-10-2009, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crutch View Post
OK, I hate to be completely ignorant about something, so please tell me.

Is it at all possible to grow coffee here? If not, then why? Can't we do it in a hot house?

I fully expect to have you guys laugh at me. I don't know anything about growing coffee. Nor do I claim to.
Hey, Crutch, I didn't have a clue, either, but I found some info on a guy in Florida who successfully grows coffee plants outdoors in Florida and even harvests the beans to roast. (Scroll down to the bottom after the info on how to plant a coffee tree in a pot.)

http://www.sweetmarias.com/growingcoffeeathome.php
Old 11-10-2009, 11:01 AM
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I love coffee with chicory. I grew up in Louisiana and dark roast coffee with chicory is what all my family drank, so it's what I started out drinking. The chicory mixed in the coffee almost gives it a chocolate flavor.

I have been stocking up on coffee but I am also stocking up on green coffee beans, they store better and longer and you can roast them yourself when you need them, add some home grown chicory to it and you've got a great cup of joe post SHTF.

There is actually a thread somewhere on this forum about green coffee beans, and how to roast them. I'll see if I can dig it up and post a link to it.

Edit: Okay so I found the link I was typing about... Lot's of good info on green coffee beans, with several links to suppliers and roasting instructions... http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...n+coffee+beans
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crutch View Post
OK, I hate to be completely ignorant about something, so please tell me.

Is it at all possible to grow coffee here? If not, then why? Can't we do it in a hot house?


I fully expect to have you guys laugh at me. I don't know anything about growing coffee. Nor do I claim to.
I certainly ain't gonna laugh at ya for now knowin'. The things I don't know would fill libraries.

Coffee is one of the hardcore tropical plants. It likes the long days and high heat of the tropics. It also likes the volcanic soils. A few rare folks down in the most southern parts of florida might have luck with it, but it's definately not going to grow for most of the rest of us.

About the only caffeine source that I know will grow in most areas is tea. It's just a camelia afterall. I haven't tried growing it yet, but it's going to have to be my caffeine source after the SHTF, if it'll grow here.
Old 11-10-2009, 12:01 PM
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How about the Kentucky Coffee Tree, it will grow all the way from Southern Canada to Nothern Lousinanna.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_coffeetree
Old 11-10-2009, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crutch View Post
OK, I hate to be completely ignorant about something, so please tell me.

Is it at all possible to grow coffee here? If not, then why? Can't we do it in a hot house?


I fully expect to have you guys laugh at me. I don't know anything about growing coffee. Nor do I claim to.

They were selling coffee plants in many of the seed/plant catalogs I received last Jan. so I'm pretty sure you could.
Old 11-10-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crutch View Post
OK, I hate to be completely ignorant about something, so please tell me.

Is it at all possible to grow coffee here? If not, then why? Can't we do it in a hot house?


I fully expect to have you guys laugh at me. I don't know anything about growing coffee. Nor do I claim to.
http://www.thegardenhelper.com/graphic2/ernie.gif

http://henryfields.com/product.asp?p...cd2=1257876297
Old 11-10-2009, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDCowboy View Post
How about the Kentucky Coffee Tree, it will grow all the way from Southern Canada to Nothern Lousinanna.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_coffeetree
I don't think this would be a good idea...

from the wikipedia article you linked to...
Quote:
The common name "coffeetree" derives from the use of the roasted seeds as a substitute for coffee in times of poverty. They are a very inferior substitute for real coffee, and caution should be used in trying them as they are poisonous in large quantities.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:21 PM
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I am not looking for a coffee substitute as I drink coffee for the caffeine. Yes, I am addicted and will get headaches if I do not have a caffeine fix in the morning. I know some teas have a high amount of my desired substance, especially Russian Black Tea and I have that on hand as well.

So do any of the above posted items have caffiene or are they just coffee flavor/taste substitutes?
Old 11-10-2009, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Russian View Post
I am not looking for a coffee substitute as I drink coffee for the caffeine. Yes, I am addicted and will get headaches if I do not have a caffeine fix in the morning. I know some teas have a high amount of my desired substance, especially Russian Black Tea and I have that on hand as well.

So do any of the above posted items have caffiene or are they just coffee flavor/taste substitutes?
They're just flavor substitutes, most/none of them have caffeine.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:13 PM
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They're just flavor substitutes, most/none of them have caffeine.
Thanks MikeK. I've given up smoking and drugs but I will not give up caffeine. Yes I know, makes no sense.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:52 PM
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Thanks MikeK. I've given up smoking and drugs but I will not give up caffeine. Yes I know, makes no sense.
Makes all the sense in the world to me. I'm the same way. I have no intentions of giving up caffeine unless I simply have no other choice. Right now I stock heavy in Nodoze. I hope I can grow tea.
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:17 PM
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I have 10 cans of coffee stockpiled right now. I think if the TSHTF I would limit everybody, myself included to one cup per day, and then re-run grounds until there wasn't any color left. That will stretch coffee a long way, I often re-brew in the afternoon with grounds from that morning, doesn't make too bad a cup. I buy coffee on sale, and I buy stuff that I wouldn't even seriously consider drinking now. I know that crap will be around when I need it.

Thanks,
Rob

P.S. The only state in the union where coffee has been successfully and reliably cultivated is Hawaii. Just a trivia answer that I think applies.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecypher View Post
Yes, I admit cheerfully that I am a caffeine addict (black, sweet, no cream, none of those Starbucks concoctions) and have stockpiled my drug of choice in case the world comes to an end or our economy collapses to the extent where imports disappear.

However, the day may dawn where my stockpiled beans are gone and my morning fix is unavailable. Since I'll still be faced with all those end-of-the-world chores around the doomstead regardless and will be comatose without the caffeine, what are my choices for foraging and gardening? (Yes, I know I should quit. Don't wanna.)

All I remember about coffee substitutes is that horrible stuff called Postum that my grandma drank, and that you Southerners use something called chicory. So here's what I found with a little digging on the Net:

COFFEE SUBSTITUTES FROM PLANTS AROUND US

The American Beech Tree's nuts when taken out of the husks, roasted until dark and brittle, then ground, will make a fine coffee. Store this in an airtight container. They are best collected after the first hard frost when they normally drop to the ground. Once stored, they can be used all year round. You might have to fight the squirrels for them. Prepare normally.

Chicory coffee: Remember those blue flowers with almost leafless stalks that grow just about everywhere there's a road? They look like daisies, but their petals are blue and are squared off at the ends. The white fleshy roots, roasted until dark brown and brittle, then ground, make an excellent coffee. Prepare like coffee. Use 1-1/2 tsp. per cup of water. Store in an airtight container. Use all year round.

Parsnip coffee: Finely chop (or grate) a batch of fresh parsnip roots (skins and all), to the consistency of hash brown potatoes. Dehydrate the bits, then roast them at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until they're a very dark brown. Allow to cool in the oven (turn the oven off). Then steep the parsnip bits in scalding hot water, one rounded tablespoon per cup.

Wheat coffee: Grind 6 cups of wheat in a coffee grinder. (If you don't have a grinder, buy the wheat already cracked.) Combine with 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of molasses, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well to a consistency of a paste, then spread on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 till brown (watch carefully so they don't burn). When brown, reduce oven heat to low and allow to dry until mixture is crisp. When cool, break the mixture into pieces and grind in coffee grinder or food processor (or just crush with a rolling pin). Store in dry, airtight container. Prepare coffee as you would with regular coffee. If you want a bit more kick and flavor, add one cup of regular coffee to the mixture.

Garbanzo beans (chickpea) coffee:
Roast chickpeas at 300 until dark brown, the color of roasted coffee beans. Then grind the beans in a coffee grinder to the same consistency you desire in regular coffee grounds. These beans seems to do better in a percolator, or boiled and then strained, rather than the quick-drip-through coffee makers.

Barley coffee: Spread barley, husks and all, onto a cookie sheet and roast at 425, stirring/turning occasionally, until completely dark brown. Grind and use 1 heaping tsp per cup of water.


Well, since those all sound pretty awful, guess I'll go buy some more real coffee. Or can anyone vouch for a good substitute?
Like it says above, chicory is an excellent coffee substitute. If you need your caffeine high, it won't do, though.
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