You Need Butter in Your Coffee Substitute

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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

Serves 8

  • 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.

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