Coffee Magic from the Woods

July 25, 2011 By: Mary Lane Category: Feminine Wisdom, Mind Body Spirit


I am a classic witch in the woods. You have to drive up a windy dirt road to get to my home. No neighbors in sight, although they are tucked away here and there so that I have community. Outside, medicine is growing everywhere; inside it is drying everywhere. When I’m not playing with my herbs I am gardening, gathering wild mushrooms or other seasonal bounty, cooking, writing, sitting around the fire, hanging with other women. I sleep with my cat who is a dainty, fierce, huntress that is shamelessly adored by me and everyone else who happens to come to my home.

Several years ago I was told that coffee trashes my kidneys. Knowing that they support the amount of sexual energy, (Qi) I have, I knew immediate action was required. That was one thing I wasn’t willing to compromise. I found a basic recipe for an herbal coffee substitute, played around with some roots from my yard, added a little local honey and dark chocolate and magically came up with a decoction that is a powerful tonic for the liver, kidneys and heart while building the blood and Qi. Add a little cream and you have a delicious latte. How’s that for a little magic? I hope you enjoy it!

Herbal Espresso Blend

1 cup dried chicory root

¼ cup dried dandelion root

¼ cup barley

*1/8 cup ginseng, or spikenard root

Sometimes I will add a little nettle root, yellow dock root, and, or comfrey root for extra flavor and medicinal qualities


To make the herb blend roast chicory, dandelion, barley and ginseng in a 200 degree preheated oven for 2 hours. Or roast in a large heavy skillet for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Grind in a coffee grinder until fine. Store in a glass container with a lid.


1-2 cups water

3-5 tsp herbal espresso blend

1-2 tsp molasses, honey or maple syrup

pinch ground cinnamon

pinch organic dark chocolate powder


To make the espresso, simmer the roots blend in water for about 10 minutes. Add the cinnamon and chocolate powder. Steep with the lid on for another few minutes. Sweeten with molasses, honey or maple syrup.

Ginseng is not recommended for pregnant women or individuals with high blood pressure. It may also have estrogenic activity, which aggravates fibrocystic breast disease in women. If these conditions are present simply eliminate ginseng form mixture.

Mary Lane is author of Divine Nourishment, A Woman’s Sacred Journey with Food.


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