Health: Skip the java and start your day with dan­de­lion-root coffee

You’re not still drink­ing matcha, are you?

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - CONTENTS - By Kayleen Schae­fer

Dan­de­lion coffee isn’t ac­tu­ally coffee: That’s the first thing to know about it. Al­though the roasted pow­der blend mixed with hot wa­ter or milk looks like what you’d get at Star­bucks, it’s made from dan­de­lion root, bar­ley, rye, chicory, and beets. Dan­de­lion coffee is the “it” drink, so if you were just about to hop on the matcha band­wagon—so 2015—don’t bother.

The idea of mash­ing up th­ese roots with other in­gre­di­ents and drink­ing them ex­ploded, nat­u­rally, in Los An­ge­les. (It’s caught on across the coun­try, at restau­rants and cafes such as Chicago Raw and the Mar­ket Street Apothe­cary Café and Wine Bar in Austin.) Cor­rina Becker, owner of the or­ganic cafe Amara Kitchen in L.A., serves dan­de­lion coffee made with Dandy Blend’s prepack­aged mix (one of sev­eral avail­able); you can get it in a home­made cashew milk latte or mocha, too. “When I tried dan­de­lion coffee plain, I was like, ‘Eh, it needs a lit­tle help,’ ” she says. Erin John­son, a server at Kitchen Mouse, a veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant also in L.A. that serves the coffee straight and in lat­tes, says, “Since we opened a year and a half ago, it’s got­ten more and more pop­u­lar. Peo­ple like that it tastes sim­i­lar to coffee and has that rich­ness but doesn’t have the stim­u­lant of caf­feine.”

That’s true, but ex­er­cise cau­tion. The vi­ta­min B in dan­de­lion root can help you feel more alert. New York well­ness coach Robyn Youk­ilis says it’s sim­i­lar enough to espresso that “you might for­get it’s not coffee.” In fact, Dandy Blend’s cre­ator, botanist Peter Gail, says cus­tomers have sug­gested he put a warn­ing on the pack­age about drink­ing it be­fore bed. Youk­ilis says dan­de­lion root has other ben­e­fits: It’s rich in es­sen­tial min­er­als such as zinc, potas­sium, and iron, and it helps soothe stom­ach ail­ments. <BW>

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