Q. About once every three weeks, someone calls my radio show or sends an email to ask this question: “I’ve heard you say many times which is your favorite kind of coffee at home. But I can’t remember. Tell me again, please. While you’re at it, would you tell me if there’s a decaf version of it?
A. My default coffee (I’m always tasting others, for research purposes) is Union Coffee and Chicory. I began enjoying it when I discovered that it was closest to the coffee in the French Market coffee stands–notably the cafe au lait at the Morning Call. I still have two big mugs of cafe au lair every morning, usually with Union. Other brands I like are CDM, Orleans Coffee, and the chicory blend roasted and blended by PJ’s, under the brand name “New Orleans Roast.”
I have never seen a decaf chicory blend. Chicory contains no caffeine at all, while accounting for some 65 percent of the flavor. The very dark-roast coffee also helps, because the darker the roast, the less caffeine it has. I drink it even late in the evening with no ill effects.