Another coffee post!

Just a couple of days ago, I pointed to Anne Fadiman’s piece on coffee; this time around, closer home, Anil writes about his visit to Coorg coffee plantations (via Desi Pundit). I am not sure about one small piece of information, though. This is what Anil has to say about Chicory:

Pointing to the glass jar labeled Dakshin (South Indian Filter Coffee) Vipin explains that unlike Italian Coffee, Indian Coffee is a blend of 50% raw Arabica, 30% Robusta and 20% Chicory (also spelled Chickory). Chicory is a coffee-coloured root “sourced from Gujarat” and is blended in for aroma. “Some people might prefer lesser concentrations of Chicory blended in, typically 10%, others might go in for a higher concentration, upto 30% of Chicory.

However, I am not sure if Chicory adds any aroma to coffee; I think Indians got used to drinking coffee laden with chicory because chicory was used as a low cost substitute for coffee during second world war (There is a sentence somewhere in one of P G Wodehouse’s  novel where the protagonist  complains of a shop which gave chicory water and called it coffee during those lean months). I also heard from one of my friends in Germany that she got used to drinking chicory every morning, since, during the second world war that is all they could get. Finally, it is true that some people prefer (or, used to) coffee with high amounts of chicory; my grandfather used to like a blend with 30% (as the blog post says); however, I think his reason was that chicory makes coffee more soapy and thick. At home we used to have 100 coffee + 10 chicory blend, which is slightly less than 10%; and, presently, I enjoy pure coffee without any chicory (I hope). In any case, an interesting post; take a look!

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