Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A. Vogel Bambu Filter Organic

I am intrigued by this coffee substitute for a couple of reasons: my parents tried for a while a chicory-based product long ago, called Caf-Lib and the notion of it intrigued me at the time, though I was never a coffee drinker when young, it is only more recently that I have drunk coffee, and only 5 or 6 cups per week; and Bambu contains, along with chicory, figs and, more interestingly, acorns (which I have been long intrigued in as a food source - they contain large amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat, along with niacin and the minerals calcium, phosphorous and potassium). Chicory has some interesting properties, it aids digestion and the heart, and also may help you sleep (as opposed to coffee, which contains caffeine, which could hinder your sleep). Bambu, made from fruits and cereals (chicory, wheat, malted barley, figs and acorns), tastes likes coffee but is caffeine-free, is gentle on the stomach and heart and nerves, and is also suitable for children (though my young one won't taste that for a long while). You can make it in the same way that you make coffee, by pouring boiling water on it (use a teaspoon per cup of water).

The first thing I did when I opened the bag, was to smell, and I immediately thought, what is that smell?, but then it resolved itself to 'figs'. The packaging I have lists figs as the main ingredient, followed by rye, chicory and acorns (all roasted); as opposed to the website, which lists chicory as first, no rye, and wheat and malted barley. I like figs, so I don't mind that, certainly, but I don't know whether the recipe is different in Canada, or the website is wrong. Looking inside, I see that the ingredients are wet and crumbly, small bits. I put some inside my individual coffee filter and poured boiling water over it, essentially preparing it the same way I would prepare my coffee, I just didn't use as much Bambu to fill up the filter reservoir. This worked, except that it was weaker in the first few sips, and much stronger in the bottom of the cup. I then tried it by putting some in the bottom of a cup and pouring hot water over it. This worked better, in terms of taste, but there was the problem of the grounds at the bottom of the cup. I think that I will try it next, with a French press (which worked best, and tasted good; I added a little raw cocoa powder, too, for a chocolate mocha taste).

I like figs, and this tastes very much like figs, hot watery figs is the predominant taste, and it doesn't really taste anything like any coffee that I've had. I keep thinking that the chicory should be the first ingredient, like the website says, and then I could see how it would taste like coffee.

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