Find the makings for a caffeine free coffee substitute from a plant often considered a weed: dandelion. Roasting the roots of the dandelion increases their flavor. These roasted roots then can be crushed slightly and steeped in hot water to create an herbal alternative to coffee. Since many think of dandelions as weeds, only harvest plants you know have not been treated with herbicides or pesticides. Ideally, use dandelions you grow in your own garden especially for food purposes.
Wash and dry the dandelion roots, getting rid of the dirt and rubbing off the small hairy roots branching off the main root.
Coarsely chop the roots into one inch chunks.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees F and scatter the chopped roots in a single layer in on a baking sheet.
Bake the roots for 25 to 30 minutes or until dark brown.
Allow the roots to cool before transferring to a grinder or mortar.
Grind the roots to a fine powder and store in an air tight container until ready to make your coffee substitute.
Place a tea ball filled with one tablespoon of the ground root powder into the bottom of a cup. Pour one cup of boiling water over the tea ball in the cup, and steep for five to eight minutes to make a coffee substitute. Remove the tea ball before enjoying the dandelion root "coffee". Alternatively, combine the powdered dandelion root with coffee in a 50-50 mixture and brew your coffee as usual.