New Orleans Cafe Noir

Brazilian coffee
New Orleans black coffee, a.k.a. "Cafe Noir," brews up dark and thick. Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 7 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
0 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 11mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cafe noir is a delicious staple of New Orleans cuisine. Although less famous than gumbo or etouffee, the spiced beverage is worth a trip to the city itself, as its fragrant aroma and warming flavor make it a delightful break alongside a hot serving of crispy and sugary beignets. There's no one without the other. If you are a coffee enthusiast, this is a recipe for you. Easy and quick to make, this could become your new go-to coffee as it's milder than your average cup of joe and will energize you without the strong buzz of an espresso.

The addition of chicory, an ingredient made from the dried, roasted roots of a bitter perennial herb is what makes this coffee so distinctive. Originally from Europe, chicory plants are now common in Australia, North America, and Asia. Some varieties are used for cooking, by using the leaves as a leafy green, and some others are grown to use the dried and ground roots for adding into other recipes, like our coffee. Chicory is of common usage in times of coffee scarcity, by steeping the root in hot water, producing a flavorful dark and nutty beverage with toasty chocolate-caramel notes. The tradition held even when coffee became easily found. Nowadays, the average ratio of chicory to coffee for cafe noir is 60/40, a lighter version of a standard black coffee.

For this recipe, you'll need your favorite drip coffee, chicory, and sugar to taste if you're used to adding sugar into your hot beverages. There are many fairly priced drip coffee brands and you don't need to splurge for this mixture—but you absolutely can. And if the coffee you have is on the acidic side, add the tiny amount of salt we suggest to offset it. Chicory is available in many health food stores and upscale groceries, and it's available online. Some vendors sell premixed coffee and chicory blends, which work great, but this recipe allows you to experiment with the ratios once you get used to the flavor. If you prefer a milky coffee, pour equal parts of cafe noir and the scalded milk of your choice into your cup for traditional New Orleans-style café au lait. Alternatively, add half-and-half to taste.


  • 4 tablespoons drip-ground coffee

  • 2 tablespoons chicory

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

  • 4 cups water, filtered

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Set up your drip-style coffee maker so you can add water into the filter manually. For most coffee makers, this means rotating the brewing basket to the side and placing the pot underneath.

  3. Place the coffee, chicory, and salt, if using, into a filter in the brewing basket.

  4. Bring the water to a boil.

  5. Add enough water to moisten the grounds and chicory, and then pour about 1/2 cup of water into the filter.

  6. Wait for the water to drip through, and then add another 1/2 cup of water. Repeat until you have brewed all 4 cups.

  7. Serve immediately, or keep hot with your coffee maker until ready to serve. Add sugar to taste, if desired.

  8. Enjoy.

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