Chicory coffee is my guilty pleasure. Well, to be honest, it's more like my very loud and proud pleasure but I'm sure you get my thought process.
Over the last 10 years, I've been experimenting with the various brands and types of chicory coffee out there. My findings? To tell you the truth, I love them all! However, I have noticed an increase in satisfaction when I use chicory coffee K-cups. It is probably due to the fact that it saves me a bucketload of time.
Unfortunately, my all-time favorite brand has not yet made their fine-tasting chicory coffee into a single-use K-cup (you can see my favorite chicory coffee here). But, some of my recommended brands have jumped on this bandwagon and I couldn't be happier about it.
If you are someone who is reading this with a puzzled expression thinking "what on earth are K-cups?!", then you, my friend, are about to be enlightened.
TOP CHICORY COFFEE K-CUPS
Best Value *
Cafe Du Monde
*best value = lowest cost per k-cup
1. Community Coffee Chicory K-Cups
Community Coffee's chicory blend is both tasty and strong (without the bitter aftertaste that puts even the boldest coffee drinker off).
Besides the flavor, it feels like liquid velvet as it hits your mouth and cascades down your throat, flooding over your tastebuds and hitting you with chicory coffee punch. It is by far my favorite K-cup with chicory that I've tried (and trust me, I've tried loads).
2. Cafe Du Monde Chicory Coffee K-Cups
While I don't live near Cafe Du Monde (read about the history here), I certainly feel like I do when I pop one of these into my coffee maker in the morning. Of course, that feeling only intensifies when I sip it while I get ready to tackle the day. I always feel a nice boost from this K-cup chicory coffee that's unlike any other.
Thankfully, there is no disgusting aftertaste to punch you in the gut once the drinking experience is over!
3. French Market Medium-Dark Roast and Chicory Coffee
Everyone I've spoken to has said that French Market's chicory K-cups give them the most intense feeling of New Orleans nostalgia. This is probably due to the strength and brilliance of the coffee grade they have put into their cartridges.
Aside from this, they charge such a brilliant price — especially considering how wonderful the quality is. I think this may stem from the fact that the aftertaste is far too strong for most people (in my humble opinion, of course).
4. Good Times Coffee and Organic Chicory Dark Roast
I'll be honest, while I love the other brands (Community's chicory coffee is my favorite after all) this is by far the smoothest blend.
Plus, they have ensured there is no bitter aftertaste that would take away from the whole experience! It's a win-win situation when you drink this chicory beverage.
5. Coffee and Chicory Coffee K-Cup Sampler
I've included this because I'd think it be the best for someone who has never had chicory coffee before. This way, you can try lots of brands before you decide which you prefer (if any).
I know what I like so I don't bother buying the sampler anymore, but it was great when I first dabbled in chicory K-cups.
What are K-Cups?
I will start by saying that they should not be confused with pods. K-cups work in K-cup machines (surprise surprise) but pods will definitely not. Don't worry, I'll walk you through the differences.
Features of Pods
Pods seal the tea or coffee inside filter paper. Generally, they will be pretty pliable, extremely soft to the touch and boast a round, flat shape. In some cases, they will be packaged in foil or a big, airtight bag.
Features of K-Cups
These guys make use of some sort of cartridge which tends to be a plastic cup. Round the inside of this vial is filter paper of some description which holds the coffee or tea (hot chocolate, chicory or cappuccino) inside while it brews.
Essentially, if your coffee machine pierces the cartridge that you place into it with two needs, then you are using K-cups. When your compatible brewer is working properly, the filter paper should not be punctured as this will spoil your beverage.
The Benefits of Using Chicory Coffee K-Cups
I think this benefit is the main reason why the majority of people can't get enough of using coffee pods and/or K-cups. It's just so quick! All you have to do is slot the cartridge into your brewer, hit a button and wait a few seconds for your hot, fresh beverage.
For those of you with a ridiculously crazy working week, you can't get better than this. Trust me, I get it!
While making chicory coffee doesn't have to be a messy procedure anyway, using a single-serve K-cup is a sure-fire way to having a mess-free kitchen. You just need to make sure you throw the pod away.
Obviously, there aren't any coffee beans to grind or measure here so you only spend a few seconds reaching into your cupboard and pulling out a K-cup before you've done all your preparation. From start to finish it takes no more than 30 seconds (speaking from experience).
Can't Go Wrong
There is absolutely zero chance of you messing up your chicory coffee morning beverage when you use K-cups. How? Well, there is nothing to measure since this is done in the production phase. Plus, there is no need for any trial and error type scenarios!
The Disadvantages of Chicory Coffee K-Cups
It seems obvious to some but not for others that single-use chicory coffee K-cups works out far pricier per beverage than granules.
Since money is a pretty big factor in everyone's lives, don't break the bank just taste a bit of the K-cup life. It isn't worth being broke for!
Quality of Coffee
In my opinion, this is the biggest disadvantage of using K-cups for your chicory coffee. I'm not saying that the manufacturers don't use high-quality coffee — they truly do. However, it sits in the cartridges for so long that the flavor diminishes. So, if you like super-rich coffee, it might not be the best choice for you.
Loss of Control Over Finished Brew
Many coffee aficionados (myself included, usually) want to have a lot of control over their finished brew. K-cups don't allow for this since everything is done as and when the cartridges are filled in the factory.
As I said earlier, it is convenient but if you want full control over what goes into your cup, you should give chicory coffee K-cups a miss.
Tastes Good, But Not Fresh Good
I mentioned the diminished quality earlier and hinted at the fact the flavor won't be as good but, I just wanted to bring more clarity to this situation.
The chicory coffee from K-cups does taste good. However, it just doesn't taste a true, freshly-brewed mug. You can decide whether this is something you want to deal with or not!
What to Look For When Buying Chicory Coffee K-Cups
Before you rush out to grab yourself some chicory coffee K-cups, figure out whether you can really afford to make the switch from granules. I know it is a much simpler way to brew the first drink of the morning but it will drain your pockets if you haven't budgeted well.
Honestly, doing the maths was pretty soul-wrenching. It turns out that, on average, you'll be spending around $43 for less than 2lb/900g of coffee. Not to mention that it isn't necessarily a highly regarded quality of coffee either!
Yup. I'm coming at you with the environment talk. Sorry guys, but it has to be done!
K-cups are not at all environmentally friendly — whether your drinking chicory coffee, hot chocolate, or tea from them, they aren't the greatest for our planet. However, JavaPresse has a pretty cool way to get around this.
Buy a Reusable K-Cup! While you might not want the extra initial expense, it truly saves you a lot of money in the future. Not forgetting the fabulous positive impact this change will have on Mother Nature. These are the best ones I've found on Amazon.
Don't fret — if you still need convincing, you know I'm about to drop 3 of the best reasons why you need one right now.
No More Plastic Waste
The amount of plastic waste that comes from coffee K-cups is disgusting. In fact, one company sold enough to cover the earth 10.5 times!
Think about it — everybody saving the world by making use of reusable K-cups instead of the disposable ones. Honestly, the world would be a much cleaner place.
Brew Any Chicory Coffee
As I've said before, K-cups are filled with pretty low-grade chicory coffee. So, if you want convenience and flavor (i.e. the best of both worlds), then you'll need to get your chicory drink elsewhere.
Thankfully, with a reusable K-cup, you can buy the chicory coffee from your favorite, top-class roaster and still make use of that coffee machine. You shouldn't feel like you have to settle for a poor quality beverage just because you're a bit strapped for time in the morning.
Control Your Brew and Achieve the Perfect Flavor
I know how I like my chicory coffee. You know how you like your coffee (chicory or not). And, no one can make it quite to your standards. I think this applies to everyone. We all think we make the best cup of coffee but this debate is made moot by disposable K-cups since you have zero control over the result.
This is where reusable K-cups come in to save the day. With these guys, you control exactly what goes into your morning beverage. Whether you want a fine blend, coarse blend, or something in between, you can make it.