Barley coffee: characteristics and fascinating facts about the most popular substitute for coffee

The history of barley coffee spans two thousand years. The Greeks and the Romans drank it to benefit from its energising, physical and mental properties. This healthy habit has survived up to the present day.

It’s true. Barley coffee – called coffee even though it does not contain coffee beans and is made by the simple infusion of ground roasted barley – is now regarded as the most classic substitute for coffee. In recent years, alternative drinks to coffee have been at the heart of a real boom and barley coffee has been no exception. Let's discover why this simple rustic brew is so popular!

The characteristics, properties and benefits of barley coffee

Barley coffee maintains all the characteristics and benefits of the grain from which it is made:

Rich in starch
→ starch is a carbohydrate that our body easily assimilates: it does not give us the typical invigorating boost of caffeine but rather a gradual dose of energy and wellbeing.

Caffeine free
→ those who suffer from stomach problems, anxiety or insomnia and need to avoid caffeine can replace classic coffee with barley coffee.

Small amounts of silicon
→ it is easy to digest and does not prevent sleep: this makes it ideal at any time of the day.

Fat and calorie free
→ it does not make you fat and it can also be drunk by those who have high cholesterol.

Except for celiacs – barley is a grain that contains gluten – this infusion has no contraindications and is recommended for everyone, including children, the elderly and pregnant women. You can drink from 3 to 5 cups a day. Only in cases of prolonged and excessive consumption could the undesirable effects of acrylamide arise, a molecule produced during the roasting process: the same effects that we would encounter if we ate only fried and charred food every day, for months and months.

Barley Coffee: how to make it at home

Barley coffee can be found in capsules, in jars and packets. Here is an easy way to make it:

  1. In the traditional way using an espresso coffee maker
  2. In a moka pot, taking care to fill the filter only half full
  3. By diluting instant barley coffee in boiling water
  4. By the infusion method. Pour two tablespoons of barley coffee into half a litre of boiling water. Bring the water back to the boil, remove from the heat and let the barley settle. Then filter it through a strainer.

You can sweeten barley coffee with milk, honey or brown sugar as you please… but don’t overdo it!

With its light fragrant taste, barley coffee is ideal for those who love natural yet tasty flavours. An excellent alternative to coffee, it can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

Cover pic by Pixabay

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