Giving up booze for a month is usually enough of a challenge for us. But every so often, we get struck by a thunderbolt of self-help ambition and compound our martyrdom by adding other vices to the list. Caffeine is a frequent candidate for such ascetic spells.
Since decaf coffee is usually a disappointment, we rely heavily on hot tea in the mornings and lots of sparkling water to get ourselves over the caffeine-free hump. But with the discovery of dandelion root coffee, we have a decaffeinated beverage that comes closer in flavor to our beloved cup of joe.
The dandelion plant has a long history as a health preserver, having positive effects on everything from swelling to liver toxicity. Its root, when dried and ground and then mixed with other herbs like chicory, has a deep, mellow bitterness with a bright, fruity edge that’s not unlike coffee.
Even better, it’s a perfect base for an after-dinner drink like Irish coffee, since it won’t keep your guests tossing and turning all night. Until whiskey is back in our rotation, we’re treating our dandelion coffee like a Hot Buttered Rum, flavoring it with a sorghum-spiced butter. (Don’t tell our personal trainers.)
Hot Buttered Dandelion Coffee
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sorghum (or maple syrup)
- ½ tspn ground cinnamon
- ½ tspn ground ginger
- ½ tspn pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 8 bags (.05 ounces) dandelion root tea
- 12 cups boiling water
In a large bowl, use a spatula to cream together the butter, sorghum, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and salt. In a large heatproof container, steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove the bags and discard.
While whisking, slowly pour the hot liquid into the bowl with the butter, until it’s completely incorporated. Divide the liquid between 8 cups and serve immediately.