Tea Company: The Coffee Trade Company (website)
Ingredients: Roasted rice, roasted peas, and roasted chicory
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
In 1942, coffee was rationed–one pound every five weeks, thanks to German U-boat interruption of Brazilian shipping routes. Government ration stamps weren’t product-specific, so you had to read the paper every week to find out if your java was going to cost you one airplane and three flags, or two tanks and four stalks of wheat.
Enterprising alchemists attempted all kinds of ersatz (German for “substitute or replacement”) coffees using almonds, molasses, beetroot, carrots, cottonseed, rye and wheat bran. Postum, a nationally marketed coffee doppelganger, relied mostly on grain. The one ingredient that evidently approximated the bang of the bean was chicory, which is a chief ingredient in Ersatz coffee produced by Coffee Trade Company, proud to call itself “charmingly anachronistic.”
Dry coffee has a tendency to smell up the room it’s in (my parents recommended it to us to chase away the litter box smell when we moved into a house formerly inhabited by cat owners). Dry and in unbleached paper filters, Ersatz’ scent is similar, but not nearly as strong. Steeped to the strongish side, it’s comparable in color and personality to a conventional cup of diner coffee–just a little lighter and sweeter. Cream and sugar works just fine. If you’re familiar with Celestial Seasonings’ Roastaroma, this is its slightly less tea-ish stepbrother.
This blend is not going to fool a die-hard coffee drinker. But for those folks who like the roasty-toasty taste of coffee with out the heebie-jeebie caffeine buzz, it rates a “V” for very interesting! (Cue Glenn Miller exit music.)
You can purchase the Ersatz directly from the The Coffee Trade Company website.
Written by GG
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