New Orleans coffee (a.k.a. “Cafe Noir”) has a distinctive chocolate-caramel flavor, intensely dark color, thick consistency, and lower-than-usual caffeine content thanks to its secret ingredient, chicory. Chicory is a coffee-like substance made from the dried, roasted roots of a bitter perennial herb. According to New Orleans locals, it’s what makes New Orleans coffee worth writing home about.
- 4 tablespoons drip-ground coffee
- 2 tablespoons chicory
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups filtered water
- Optional: sugar to taste
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.)
Place the coffee, chicory, and salt (optional) into a filter in the brewing basket.
Bring the water to a boil.
Add enough water to moisten the grounds and chicory, and then pour about 1/2 cup of water into the filter.
Wait for the water to drip through, and then add another 1/2 cup of water. Repeat until you have brewed all 4 cups.
Serve immediately, or keep hot with your coffeemaker until ready to serve.
Optional: Add sugar to taste.
Optional: If you prefer milky coffee, you can pour equal parts New Orleans coffee and scalded milk into your cup for traditional New Orleans-style Café au Lait, or you can just add half-and-half to taste.
- The drip coffee doesn’t have to be great quality; a little bit of salt will lessen the bitterness of cheaper coffees.
- Chicory is available in many health food stores. Some vendors also sell pre-mixed coffee and chicory blends.