March 24, 2011

Chicory journey part II: Chicory Royale


So what’s the deal with this Chicory coffee? If you’ve been at Harvard Square you might have noticed it’s now an offering on our menu. But what is it?

As Rolando and I were on the 3rd leg of our flight (cheap flight = many layovers) to New Orleans I was feeling a little discouraged. I research everything to death and I’d tried to do the same before our trip. But Chicory had me foiled. I knew a bit about the history, my Grandmother knows about it, yours probably does too. It’s a coffee from the days before paper filters existed. I knew that New Orleans was one of the only places left where Chicory is still served, that’s why we were cramped into that plane.

But I couldn’t find any good coffee shops in New Orleans, not what we think of asgood coffee shops up North. And I couldn’t find any roasters. It’s not like the coffee scene in LA, SF, Portland, NY, Boston. And Chicory? There was no info anywhere. Go ahead. Try to research it online. NOTHING.

I found the 2 coffee shops that sent people to the regional Barista championships and thought that might be a good place to start. The first was called “coffee and copy” and it was, a big copy machine across from a little coffee cafe. Nothing Chicory. Totally focused on Italian espresso.

Another coffee shop had some Chicory coffee from Orleans coffee exchanged. We noted the name and Rolando left a message in their voicemail.

I was feeling defeated. Maybe this detour was a mistake. It really wasn’t looking good. And even though Mardis Gras was about to start Rolando and I had other things on our minds and were really exhausted (neither of us get enough sleep).

We decided to hit a grocery store and see what we could buy then call it an early night.

At the Grocery store we saw a glimpse of what we were looking for. Imagine the coffee isle. But instead of Starbucks, Folgers, etc. there are 14 different brands of coffee that all include in little letters the word chicory. We learned Chicory coffee was for old people. You people were into espresso, etc. We found that older customers even called their non-chicory coffee “pure” coffee, to distinguish it from “coffee” (which means coffee with chicory).

We heard back from the Orleans Coffee Exchange guy and decided to stop by there in the morning… to be continued in Chicory journey part III

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