I love strong, bitter flavors: black coffee, dark chocolate, the burnt edges of an over-toasted marshmallow. So I indulge every morning in the bitter sweet coffee taste. I've definitely overdone it on the caffeine on the regular just to sip that deliciousness.
Now I'm not having caffeine or coffee and it's time to try a new ritual, a new hot bitter morning treat. So here I find myself after scoring the spice aisle, experimenting with an herbal replacement. Licorice, Chicory, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, anise.
I've been experimenting all morning, and that's completely fine because there is no caffeine! This would never work with coffee drinks. I'd be straight shaking by now.
My coffee replacement: ginger, cardamom, fennel, cinnamon and anise tea. Ginger gives flare, fennel tones down the sweet and still gives flavor. Cardamom is the perfect well rounded sweet and the cinnamon and anise gives intensity.
I use the sticks and the seed version of the spices and cut off a piece of ginger root. I throw them all in the pot and boil. I will say it is less time intensive than preparing coffee.
I thought I'd like licorice root but that gave an interesting taste that I kept focusing on so I couldn't really enjoy the tea.
Chicory is bitter in all the wrong ways. I brewed a whole bag of it. Gross. It's quite possible I did it wrong, but I don't think there is any way to do it right. My apologies if you are a chicory fan. It's really good for you so I wish I liked it.