Dig up your dandelion roots in the Spring or Autumn. Cut off the leaves and any root hairs. Rinse the roots well in running water and use an old toothbrush to get any earth out of the crevices.
Cut any large ones into strips, as similar sized pieces roast more evenly. Pat dry and put on a baking tray. Roast in a hot (180C) oven for 20 minutes. They will be very dark brown (not black), smell nutty and snap crisply when done.
Snap any long pieces with your fingers and put into a pestle and mortar. Or in my case, a Pyrex glass bowl and use the end of a wooden rolling pin! Crush until you have a rough powder resembling coffee. If you’ve picked a lot of roots you might want to use a coffee grinder. I tend to find that it works out as one dandelion per cup of dandelion coffee.
To brew, use twice as much per person as you would regular ground coffee. (Three times as much if you like your coffee strong.) I like a generous heaped teaspoon per mug. Pour very hot water over the grounds in a jug or cafetiere.
Although you can tell its not ‘coffee coffee’ it is surprisingly nice, and not at all bitter like chichory. Although Arabica still has the No. 1 spot in my books I would rather drink this than instant coffee any day. I like it in the evening when I feel like a hot coffee but don’t want the caffeine. Dandelion coffee is my decaf of choice!