Dandelion Mocha Recipe (2024)

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Toasty, bitter, and faintly sweet, this dandelion mocha recipe has a gentle and nourishing effect without the kick of coffee. Instead, its bitter notes come from roasted dandelion and chicory roots, while cacao, licorice, and reishi give the drink depth and the faintest hint of sweetness.

Jump to Recipe | What is it? | Ingredients | Tips

Dandelion Mocha Recipe (1)

What is it?

Herbal coffees, like herbal teas, act as stand-ins for the real deal. Instead of true coffee (Coffea arabica), plants like dandelion and chicory give this herbal mocha its faintly bitter flavor and toasty aroma. These herbs lack coffee's punch of caffeine and can make a nice alternative if you're looking for a gentler approach to your morning routine.

Further, most mocha is loaded with sugary sweet chocolate syrup. Instead, this recipe is naturally sugar-free. Cacao nibs give the brew a subtle hint of dark chocolate, while licorice root lends a bit of sweetness without the sugar.

Dandelion Mocha Recipe (2)

Which ingredients do you need?

Herbalists often brew decoctions of dandelion and chicory root or medicinal mushrooms to make coffee alternatives. When you blend all three together, though, you get a deeper and more complex flavor. Dandelion mocha tends to taste just as deep as traditional mochas, though decidedly less sweet and somewhat less acidic.

  • Dandelion Root: Roasted dandelion root has a bittersweet flavor with notes of caramel. It's been used in the America's as a cheap alternative to coffee since the mid-19th century. Herbalists traditionally use the herb for liver and digestive support.
  • Chicory Root: Chicory is rich in inulin, a fiber that helps support the gut microbiome. Inulin also has a slightly sweet flavor and it pairs well with dandelion. Roasted chicory root has flavored coffee (and sometimes stood in for it) since the 18th century.
  • Reishi Mushroom: Reishi and other medicinal mushrooms are wildly popular additions to adaptogenic coffee blends. Reishi supports the body to better handle stress.
  • Cacao Nibs: Cacao nibs offer a little boost of chocolate flavor, but without the sugar you'd find in the chocolate syrup you'd traditionally find in mochas. Cacao also has a gently stimulating quality owing to its theobromine content.
  • Licorice Root: Licorice root is an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it supports your body's stress-response system. It also has a sightly stimulating quality, making a great match for the morning - without the heavy-hitting dose of caffeine that you find in coffee. It tastes sweet, lessening the need for added sugar.

Where to find the medicinal herbs.

Starwest Botanicals provides organic culinary and medicinal herbs as well as mushrooms in bulk, which are perfect for making herbal remedies.

Dandelion Mocha Recipe (3)

Tips for Making Dandelion Mochas

Making a dandelion mocha is a two-step process that first begins with making an herbal decoction. A decoction, like nettle infusion and this herbal pregnancy tea, involves extracting the flavor and medicinal benefits of herbs through hot water.

Since you're using hardy, tough herbal parts like roots and cacao nibs, you'll need to simmer the herbs about 20 minutes rather than steep them. This process, rather than traditional steeping reserved for more delicate herbs like nettle, allows tough plant matter to release more of its beneficial compounds.

The second step, after preparing the decoction, is to froth milk. You can use just about any milk you prefer, but we typically use cow's or goat's milk in this recipe. Tigernut milk and a blend of coconut and macadamia nut milk work well for those who can't tolerate dairy.

While making a dandelion mocha is straightforward, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Start with cold water. Adding your herbs to cold water and bringing them to a boil improves the flavor and releases plant compounds more efficiently.
  • Use a milk frother: If you want that classically foamy mocha, you'll need a milk frother. Alternatively, you can warm the milk on the stove and whisk it well. You won't have the fine foam of a classic mocha, but it'll still taste delicious.
  • Add more (or fewer) herbs. The faintest sprinkle of cloves can bring out a beautiful flavor in this mocha, or you can swirl in some toasted barley.

Rate this Recipe

5 from 2 votes

2 servings

Dandelion Mocha Recipe

Prep Time5 minutes mins

Cook Time20 minutes mins

Total Time25 minutes mins

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Making the herbal coffee.

  • Toss the herbs into a saucepan, and then cover them with cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, and then immediately turn the heat down to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  • Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, and then discard the spent herbs. To serve right away, pour the coffee into four mugs, or transfer it to a jar and store it in the fridge up to 3 days.

Frothing the milk.

  • Pour the milk into a milk frother, and then add the vanilla extract. Froth the milk according to your machine's directions. If you don't have a frother, you can pour the milk into a small saucepan and then whisk it vigorously over medium-low heat until warm.

  • Pour the milk into the mugs of coffee, and serve hot.

Rate this recipe!If you loved this recipe, give it a rating. Let us know what works, what didn't and whether you made any adjustments that can help other cooks.

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Reader Interactions


    Leave a Reply

  1. Jane Shantz says

    Dandelion Mocha Recipe (12)
    I go in spurts with coffee and I have been trying to break the habit - wow what a good recipe. I did not add the licorice - added in cinnamon, nutmeg etc... I love the bitterness. Thanks -


  2. Marin says

    This is so good!! I used organic cocoa powder instead of cacao this time and it was great. Also used macadamia milk instead of dairy and it worked well for flavor though didn't froth as well. Thanks so much for this recipe!


  3. Jazmine says

    Is this safe to drink during pregnancy? Sounds delicious!


    • Jenny says

      Hi Jazmine,
      There's very little study on dandelion or chicory during pregnancy, although many pregnancy teas do contain dandelion. They're widely believed to be safe, but you should always talk to your health care provider first.

      However, licorice root should be avoided during pregnancy.

  4. Jean Finch says

    I tried this with dandelion root tea and chickory granuals I added coconut oil, butter, cinnamon, cacao, because that was what I had! I made it in a coffee press and then put milk in the frother delicious thanks for the idea I will also add licorice root tea now that I have it!


  5. 4waystoyummy says

    Dandelion Mocha Recipe (13)
    This sounds delicious and I was happy it was made with milk. I keep hearing how "bad" milk is but I just love it in coffee or Inca coffee substitute. I've tried other milk substitutions and they don't measure up for me. I live in the Pacific NW...coffee is our thing! I drink 2-3 cups a day. Thank you!


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