Chicory coffee is made from the root of the chicory (Cichorium intybus) plant. The plant was brought to North America in the 1700s and grows like a weed in many parts of the U.S. The plant is in the same family as radicchio and endive.
The chicory root is roasted and ground to make a coffee substitute. It has been used throughout the centuries when coffee was scarce or just too expensive. Today it is blended with ground coffee and sometimes served pure. It is still a popular drink in Louisiana.