Chicory Root

France’s most popular coffee alternative

Roasted chicory root (Cichorium Intybus), one of Teeccino’s main ingredients, is France’s most popular coffee alternative. It is also the secret to making “French Coffee” New Orleans-style. Chicory imparts a smoother, less acidic flavor to coffee, making it easier on both your taste buds and your stomach. For herbal teas, which can be weak in flavor and light in color, chicory is used to add more body and a deep, rich color to the brew.

Chicory roots are prebiotic

Chicory root contains the highest amount of inulin of any food. Inulin is the prebiotic soluble fiber that feeds your beneficial digestive flora, also called probiotics. It is naturally extracted into Teeccino during brewing.

10 to 20 grams of inulin per day is considered a healthy daily intake to support your immune system and improve gut health. The average Western diet supplies approximately 2.5 grams per day from common foods like wheat, barley, onions and garlic.

Teeccino has 650 mg of inulin in each 10 oz mug. By drinking several cups of Teeccino a day, you can significantly increase your daily intake of a prebiotic that keeps your probiotics flourishing!

You’ve probably eaten chicory greens before in a salad. Radicchio, endive, escarole and frisée are all varieties of chicory leaves valued for their antioxidants, nutrients and bitter flavor. It’s a super food plant that supports optimal health.

Creating new trade in India

Teeccino specializes in creating new trade for organically grown botanicals that were not available previously. By partnering with smallholder farmers in India, Teeccino was able to bring rural families sustainable income-earning opportunities while finding a reliable source for organic chicory.

Although conventional chicory is grown here in the US in Nebraska, a number of chemicals including fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides are used during its cultivation and harvest. Chicory must be weeded during the early stages of its growth. Unfortunately, Caroline was unable to get Nebraskan farmers interested in switching from herbicides to other weed control methods used in organic cultivation.

In 2004, Caroline began her quest for organically grown chicory by partnering with a fledgling company just getting started in India called Organic India. With their oversight and management team on the ground to train farming families in organic agriculture, the first crop of a couple of tons of organic chicory roots was harvested in 2005.

Roasting chicory with the French

France, the country famous for developing the tradition of drinking coffee blended with chicory, has the best chicory roasting expertise by far. Caroline had the Indian grown chicory sent to France for roasting. We work with a French family-owned company that has developed roasters customized specifically to chicory's requirements. They produce the most tasty roast we've ever had!

Working with smallholder farmers

At that time, the organic certification rules allowed a mix of both conventional and organic versions of the same herb in a product. Thus, Teeccino was able to convert its blends to organic certification while gradually increasing the number of smallholder farmers who would contract to plant organic chicory each year.

If you’re not familiar with the term “smallholder farmer,” it typically refers to families with fewer than five acres of crops that represent their entire source of income. Organic chicory was a new crop for these farmers, so Teeccino and Organic India had to assume all economic risk.

Fortunately, the successful harvests and good financial returns from organic chicory attracted more and more smallholder farming families. After five years, the combined harvest of organic chicory in India was large enough to be the main source of chicory in Teeccino. Now, hundreds of families in India grow organic chicory, which is still exported to France for expert roasting.

Unexpected outcomes growing organic chicory

Here’s another wonderful outcome of Caroline’s quest for organic chicory: In getting to know the founders of Organic India, Caroline put her expertise as a tea designer to work in return for their commitment to grow organic chicory. In 2007, she created Organic India’s new line of 18 teas made with the Ayurvedic sacred herb, Tulsi. Now, you can buy Organic India’s Tulsi teas grown by smallholder farmers all over the world.

Caroline just brought Tulsi leaves and chicory together in Teeccino’s new Mushroom Adaptogen blend, Tremella Tulsi. She combined Tulsi’s stress relieving and endurance promoting properties with Tremella’s rehydrating effects that nourish and moisturize the skin from the inside out. Enhanced by cardamom and roasted chicory, Tremella Tulsi promises to deliver tasting pleasure with optimal health benefits.