Bushcraft skills: How to prepare a cup of Bushcrafter’s Coffee

Cumulus Outdoors bushcraft specialist, Ian has set you another little challenge – make a cup of bushcrafter’s coffee at home. But, before you give it a go for yourself, it’s important to remember the foraging code – ‘if in doubt leave it out!’

 

Dandelions and the bushcrafter’s coffee

Now that Spring is in full swing, there is no better time to explore the world of foraging and brush up on your knowledge of ‘food for free’. As nice as it would be to rattle off the many edible plants that presently lay along the edges of walkways, i’ve always found that the best foraging learning technique is to pick one, learn it, try it and experiment with it. Similar to learning a new language, start small and easy, then move on to the next. Before you know it your weekly shop will cost you peanuts (unless you can forage for those too!).

As such, I want to introduce you to a formidable edible that no doubt many of you will already know – but it is a good one to learn in more detail nonetheless. Whether its weeding the garden during lockdown or out on your family walks, you will have come across the Dandelion. Did you know, the name derives from the French ‘dents de lion’ or lions teeth and refers to the jagged lobes (or teeth) on the leaf. The whole plant is edible and very high in vitamin A, C and K and a nice one to easily identify with its large yellow flower heads and long stem.

Please note: unless you can get a 100% identification, always remember the foraging code of ‘if in doubt leave it out!

Although a tasty little snack whilst off the beaten track, you can also use the roots to make coffee and the following images will show you how. Note: You will need land owners permission to dig up the roots.

 

 

1. Identify a Dandelion

The first step is to get a positive identification. When and only when you’re confident, dig the root out using a stick or small gardening tool, and snap off just below where the leaves begin emerging. The more you collect, the more coffee powder you’ll get in the long run.

dandelion roots

 

2. Wash the roots

Next you will need to wash the roots thoroughly with clean running water to remove the dirt and then trim the root ends. Personally, I cut the roots down in to 2 inch pieces so they fit in my pestle and mortar easier at the later stage, but this is not essential.

pile of cut dandelion roots

3. Roast the roots

You will then need to spread the roots evenly in a small oven proof dish and roast at 180°c for 40 minutes.

 

4. Grind with a pestle and mortar

Once roasted, let roots cool before adding to a pestle and mortar – if you don’t have one of these, the back of a spoon in a bowl will work just as well as the roasting process makes them very brittle. Grind them up until they become a fine powder. It’ll surprise you at this stage just how similar to coffee the aroma is. Nearly there now!

ground dandelion routes in a pestle and mortar

 

5. Add hot water

Lastly, add half your regular coffee dosage of the powder to your cafetiere and add hot water. The reason why I say half the dosage as it can be quite powerful if you add too much so start small, you can always add more. If you want, add a little muscovado sugar and a cinnamon stick to make it sweeter.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the benefits of not only a cracking cup of bushcrafter’s coffee but a weed free garden and money in your pocket!

Take care, happy foraging and let us know how you get. You can share your bushcraft coffee creations with us on our social channels.  We’ll hopefully see you in the woods soon!

 

Bushcraft in Dorset

If you and your friends or family would like to have fun learning or further developing your bushcraft skills, contact us so we can arrange a session with Ian, our bushcraft and survival specialist, for you when the time is right.