Thursday, April 28, 2011

Caf-Lib Grain Beverage with Chicory

Second only to chocolate, coffee is my other food "addiction" that I don't have any interest or desire to give up, at least not any time soon!  I just have to have my morning cuppa to get the day going. And most days, at least 2-3 more cups before the end of the day. It was worse when I was younger, sometimes I drank coffee to the exclusion of eating much (8-10 cups of the regular brew!) all in the name of weight control. NOT a good idea. Since then I've been trying to maintain healthier eating habits and curbing my coffee consumption is a big part of these ongoing efforts.

There is a lot of discussion these days about the pros and cons of coffee. Is it healthy or is it something we'd be better off passing on? One thing is for sure, I'm not alone in loving coffee! I don't think it's a staple beverage that's going to disappear from this world, any time soon.

I have been looking for a good coffee alternative as a way of cutting down on the caffeine found in regular coffee. I should also mention that I actually prefer instant coffee (strange but true) so finding a sub. wasn't as difficult as it probably would have been if I was looking for the regular brewed type.

I recently tried Caf-Lib a grain beverage made with chicory and barley. And I'm happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised just how good it was. A very smooth, mellow flavour. I didn't know what to expect but I actually preferred it to my regular choices of instant coffee: Nescafe, Taster's Choice and Encore.

I gave this a comparison test, trying Nescafe Instant Decaf and Caf-Lib at the same time. What I noted that was particularly different was the Caf-Lib had no aftertaste or "bite" for lack of a better word that the Nescafe Decaf did. Both are good products for this type of beverage but I actually preferred the Caf-Lib.

And if you think by drinking decaffeinated coffee that you are completely avoiding caffeine, think again. A regular 8 ounce cup of decaf instant or brewed coffee still contains approx. 5-12 mg.  of caffeine. Even that small amount can add up during a day if you are drinking cup after cup.

Another concern: beware of what process the caffeine is removed with. I still found a store brand recently that contained the chemical  dichloromethane  used to remove the caffeine in that particular instant coffee. This is a chemical that is also used as a paint stripper and for dry-cleaning clothes! It's so important to read ALL the fine print and "clever" wording on packaging. I didn't think this process to remove caffeine was even allowed any longer but apparently it still is. Here's another eye-opening article from Natural News that explains in more detail what manufacturers are actually required to list on their packaging when it comes to all the ingredients.

          Chicory plant

I found this information about some of  the benefits of chicory over at I already was aware that chicory is considered a good natural body cleanser, in particular the liver and intestinal tract (including dealing with those nasty little intestinal parasites!) and is a beneficial to the circulatory system as well. What I wasn't aware of is that chicory dissolves better in hot water than coffee, another reason it makes an ideal alternative to regular coffee.
Coffee substitutes/alternatives have been around for a long time. Apparently by way of necessity when money was scarce and coffee was simply too expensive for many people to buy. By roasting chicory and other grains, farmers came up with alternatives to the regular brew that have evolved and improved over time. Caf-Lib is a great example of what can come from this kind of innovation and experimentation.

I plan to continue buying and drinking Caf-Lib. It really was a pleasant surprise. Reasonably priced too, comparable to the better-quality brands of instant coffee I checked, about $6. for a 150g. jar. You can check it out over at Amazon too.

Now I'm off to the kitchen for another cuppa!

Overall rating for this product: Very Good. 4 out of 5.


  1. I am not sure we have it here, but I will look. Same with me, I used to drink a lot, but now only a couple cups in the morning. Water is my drink of choice for the rest of the day.

    You must be better, good to have you back.

  2. I'm the same, for some reason I prefer instant. Probably cos I like it relatively weak. I used to drink 10 to 12 cups of instant a day, using half a traspoon per coffee but now, omg I can't drink more than 1 cup in the morning and maybe 2 more over the course of the day. Anymore than that and my stomach is in knots so I'll definetly look for this not too sure we have it in Ontario but I will have a look around. I LOVE coffee but it's clear I need something milder.

    1. I live in Ontario, I drink it and love it.Not all grocery stores have it, but I get mine in a small town..good luck!!!

  3. Geraldine, It's nice to see your post here!
    I too am a coffee drinker - as you say there is alot of information now about the pros and cons of coffee drinking.
    Although I know I'll continue with my coffee "fix" of brewed coffee in the mornings, the chicory substitute may be a good idea for evenings. (Yes I'm one of those who drink coffee in the evening, and still get to sleep easily).

    I like the historical information about chicory, and it has a very pretty flower too!

    Have a good weekend!

  4. This product is very smooth. It's true, it doesn't have any after-taste like some other instant coffees do. You can't go wrong with the ingredients either.

  5. Hi SandyL, I think you'd enjoy this. I drink a lot of water too, it's never been a problem for me, I actually like (good)water as a beverage. But sometimes, it's just got to be something warm and coffeeish to hit the spot, especially with a wee bit of chocolate LOL. I'm glad to be back too.

    Hi Cathy, I'm sure they will have it in Ontario Cathy. We have very limited choices here for a lot of grocery items but this was on the shelf over at Safeway for 6. I think you'd enjoy it. Easier on the tummy too!

    Hi Brenda, If I drink regular brewed coffee after 6pm or so, I can kiss goodbye any sleep that night. Of course, sleeping is not something that comes that easy for me, a lot of nights!!! The chicory photo is one of mine. One of my knit blog buds told me what it was when I posted it previously, I had no idea this was chicory. Kind of reminds me of bachelor buttons! Let me know if you give this a try.

    Hi Joe, It is, isn't it? I'm glad to add this to the pantry.

    Happy Week, G

  6. It is in Ontario and I love it. As a 5 cups of coffee a day person, I guit cold turkey last Christmas and now have 3 cups of Cafe Lib per day instead. Once the headaches subsided, I swore I would never go back to coffee again...and I love Cafe Lib, it is smooth and mild and satisfies my hot drink habit without all that mood altering caffeine!

    1. It really DOES have a smooth taste, doesn't it? Unlike some of the coffee subs that are available. Thanks for stopping by Anita!

  7. Nice blog comment chicory I like chicory this is hallty is the valuable herb which for a long time has won popularity in

    national medicine.Chicory was also often prescribed by herbalists of recent centuries to cure a whole host of ailments;

    the herbalist of the middle ages often recommended herbal remedies made from the chicory roots as tonics, as

    laxatives, and as diuretics.

  8. I was so happy when I discovered Caf-lib!I tried it and loved it and have been buying it ever since...but our grocery store no longer sells it. Every time I find something I like, they discontinue it. I see I can still buy it on line, but it is more expensive and I have to pay shipping. So disappointed !

    1. Hi Trudy, Thanks for your comment. I am finding it hard to buy Caf Lib Organic locally now too. And yes, the shipping charges at their company's site ARE excessive. I have suggested to them that they add their products at and/or and perhaps .com too. I hope they do. I miss Caf Lib Organic very much, it is a great product.


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