Some of you were amused, some disbelieving, some glad that weeds could be put to good use. Faced with a quantity of younger, smaller roots dug from the veg patch, could I elevate my dandelion coffee from’drinkable…if I lost my job’ to’delicious’? Read on to discover my new and improved recipe. I’m much more of a tea person, but Italian Mr Wildlife Gardener who knows a thing or two about coffee again offered to test-drive the latest experiment. The roots I used were no more than 15cm (6 inches) long and 3-4mm (1/8 inch) in diameter. Again, they went in the oven at 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) for 25 minutes. The smaller size of the roots but the same temperature and time meant that they roasted to a darker colour and crumbled in the mortar more readily. In fact, the ground’coffee’ looked just like the instant stuff. Steeped in boiling water for a couple of minutes, strained, put in a stylish little Turkish cup with milk and sugar, it certainly looked the part:
But would the gusto cut the mostarda with the cognoscento?
Aaaah! That satisfied smile was not just after the first sip, but the whole cup. My dandelion coffee Mark II was pretty much indistinguishable from a budget supermarket instant brand. OK, so it wouldn’t stand up to a Caffe Nero espresso, but it was more than just’drinkable’. In fact so much so that I am collecting and roasting the dandelion roots I dig up, and putting them in an old coffee jar for freshly grinding whenever sceptics come round. And with the threat of having to drink my Mark I dandelion coffee now lifted, the latest incentive for Mr WG to remain at the coal face is ‘Mark II wouldn’t stand up to a Caffe Nero espresso’… but what if there were a Mk III?
Mrs Wildlife Gardener, this coffee tastes like mud.
”Well, it was ground this morning’.