Roasted Dandelion Root Coffee

I have been experimenting with making a caffeine-free coffee substitute from foraged dandelion roots. So far I have tried:

  • No roasting - This produced very little color or flavor
  • Light-roasted - Very nice but a little more roasting would probably add flavor
  • Dark-roasted - This was very good, and the most coffee-like

No Roasting

Without drying and roasting, the resulting hot drink was almost entirely colorless and flavorless, making the process not really worthwhile. Roasting seems like the way to go!

The tea came out way too light and watery but we enjoyed a nice dandelion meal. Yes, the two of us split a dandelion for lunch.


I found some decent dandelions and pulled them by their roots, cleaned them thoroughly with a plastic brush, dried them on a baking dish by leaving them on a table overnight, then roasted them in the oven.

I boiled some in water for 20 minutes:

The resulting tea was tasty, but roasting it a little more would likely give it a stronger flavor which would be better:


On vacation in Vermont there were some nice big dandelions growing in the garden. I pulled some as best I could. There was one nice big root that pulled up, and several clean small roots, as well as some that had a lot of embedded dirt. I cleaned them, and discarded the ones that still had dirt on them after cleaning.

I sliced them into thinner pieces so they could dry quickly in the sun:

Next I chopped them into BB-sized pieces and roasted them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes on a baking sheet. This roasted them very aggressively, so I would probably roast at a lower temperature next time. They came out quite dark:

The resulting hot drink had a tasty flavor resembling coffee with a pleasantly slight bitterness.

I really like this stuff. It would be nice to find dandelions in a large quantity. Meanwhile, the health food store (or Amazon) sells really good stuff.

Update: I tried making more by chopping the dandelion roots and putting it directly in a 250 degree oven on a skillet without drying it first. It roasted for almost an hour and still didn't get particularly dark. So I should try maybe 300 degrees next time.


  1. You make it sound so easy! The one time I tried (before you were born!) it took all day to get one cup's worth of the coffee. I don't know how you get the roots clean. I peeled them with a vegetable peeler.

  2. From what I have seen there are very different dandelions in different places. Around my yard they're all tiny with roots about the thickness of a piece of yarn. I've been keeping my eye out elsewhere and finding some nice big healthy ones occasionally. And some have roots that are difficult or impossible to get completely clean because of embedded dirt, while others come out practically clean right out of the ground. Also it is really easy to break off the big root, so I've read that some people use shovels to dig it out. I just got lucky with one of the bigger roots and it came up with a little extra effort (and a weeding tool to help pull it up, I happened to use a wrench). Anyway I think a key is just to keep an eye out for awesome looking ones with lots of big leaves above ground. And even then they don't always seem to have a great root. But sometimes!

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