How to Make Foraged Wild Coffee


Dandelion Root Coffee

Acorn Coffee

Sticky Weed Seed Coffee

Coffee itself is fairly unique, 400 billion cups of coffee drink on average per year around the world which is set to increase as more cultures join the coffee bandwagon and America’s influence over the world increases. England alone has seen a dramatic shift from tea to coffee within the past number of years, although I still love a good cuppa brewed in a pot.

It’s one of the things I miss the most when I do prolonged periods of eating only wild ingredients and that’s why I decided to test out the range of wild and Caffeine-free coffee alternatives.

There are three main wild ingredients you can use for making a wild coffee substitute, and these are (there are others but these, in my opinion, are the best::

  • Dandelion Roots
  • Acorns
  • Sticky Weed Seeds

Let’s look at each one a little closer:

Dandelion Roots: Difficulty to make: 3/5 – Taste 4/5

Dandelion Roots are my current go to wild coffee substitute, firstly because they’re in vast abundance, secondly because people tend to dig these up left right and centre, which saves me the job of doing and lastly because it taste brilliant both as a drink and in cooking.

Acorns: Difficulty to make: 4/5 – Taste 3/5

Acorns are harder to collect, you first have to beat the squirrels to them and then they’re more time-consuming in their preparation, having to go through a stage of boiling in 2 changes of water, then being shelled before roasted. I have done this before but since the coffee tastes no better, actually worse than the dandelion I just stick to them now.

Sticky Weed Seeds: Difficulty to make: 5/5 – Taste 5/5

sarefo, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Sticky weeds coffee is undoubtedly the best flavoured wild coffee! The plant is actually in the same family as coffee and this is why I imagine the flavour is most similar to its brothers. Saying this it is the hardest to make any quantifiable amounts, the seeds/quorls are absolutely tiny and surrounded by sticky stems. Just picking 10 seeds off leaves you with about 2m’s of sticky weeds stems wrapped around your arms and legs. Venturing further into the plants to get more is like wrapping yourself in cello tape, but great fun I must admit.  The easiest way to collect the seeds is to wear a pair of Lycra trousers and simply runs straight through them. The seeds will stick to them, you can then stand on top of some newspaper and rub them off your legs onto the paper.

In summary

There are absolutely loads of different ways you can make coffee from wild and foraged ingredients and I’m certain there will be plenty more substitutes, such as chicory root, burdock root, possible baked barks and other nuts. However, from what I’ve tried out the three mentioned above are the most successful I’ve come accross.

For speed and flavour I head back to roasted dandelion root coffee every time 🙂

To find out how to make these coffees or how to identify these plants simply click the links below


Click here for plant identifications


Click here for recipes

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