I daylight as a history teacher and so far there hasn't been much overlap between that and my blog. Today's Sunday Coffee Series however presented an opportunity to have a bit of a history nerd moment. You'll see what I mean in a bit.
New Orleans is on my bucket list and of course as a coffee lover, Cafe du Monde is going to be a must-do stop. This past February we were visiting friends in NYC who had recently returned from a trip there. We were treated to Chicory Coffee that they had brought back, and it was fantastic! It had never occurred to me that you could actually buy it outside of New Orelans....but you can! Let's take this Sunday Coffee to New Orleans, shall we?
I have found it in both Whole Foods and even cheaper on Amazon!
So what is chicory? Well it's a root, and here's where the history part comes in. Chicory coffee was invented by the French to make their coffee supplies last longer during their revolution. According to Cafe du Monde's site, the coffee than made it's way across the Atlantic and down to Louisiana with the Acadians.
During the Civil War, the Union blockaded the port of New Orleans. Once again coffee was in short supply. Drawing on their French heritage, the people of New Orleans revived chicory coffee.
So what does it do exactly? Chicory takes the bitter edge off of coffee and adds body to the coffee. I think it also adds a hint of chocolate flavor, but not everyone agrees.
It's traditionally served Au Lait style (that means "with milk") at Cafe du Monde, so if you want to try the real thing and can't afford air fare, here's what to do:
Get a can of Cafe du Monde's Chicory Coffee (it is also available in decaf). Brew it as you normally brew your coffee. For tips on making the best coffee, check out my previous post.
If you have a milk frother, froth up some milk. If you don't, put milk (whole milk works best) in a sealed container, shake vigorously until you see bubbles and then microwave for 30 seconds.
Add equal parts coffee and milk to your mug and prepare your coffee as you normally would. If you really want to be authentic, pair it with a beignet!
Enjoy your little morning trip to New Orleans! Have you ever been to Cafe du Monde?