What do you drink to kickstart your day? The chances are, you probably said tea or coffee, unless you're like me and have a glass of orange juice or water instead. There is a different option available though that you may not know about - Barleycup. At first glance, it looks just like coffee, both in the jar (if you go for the granules, that we tried - it is also available in powder form) and also when made up with hot water.
It is described as a natural alternative to tea and coffee and it has a lot going for it - it is certified by Coeliac UK as gluten-free, it's naturally caffeine-free, it's also free of any added sugars and is only 10 calories per cup. It is made from a blend of roasted barley, rye and chicory roots, which doesn't sound as if it should be gluten-free but the manufacturing process involves washing the ingredients so that the water-soluble ingredients separate from the roasted raw materials and the non-soluble ingredients, including gluten. The extracted liquid is then dried and becomes Barley Cup, either as powder or granules.
I have to admit, I did have my doubts before tasting it, because in France, chicory is often looked down on as a cheap alternative to coffee, often drunk by older people who got a taste for it during the war when the real thing wasn't readily available. Madhouse Daddy remembers drinking it at his grandparents' house when he was a child and wrinkled up his nose when I told him about Barleycup. I'm not sure if his tastes have changed or if it's the fact that it is blended with barley and rye, but Barleycup has a mild, vaguely nutty, smooth flavour that met with his approval. It does have a similar taste to coffee but, as it is much milder, it is better suited to children, especially as it is caffeine-free.
It is available in four varieties : Barleycup Powder, Barleycup Granules, Barleycup Organic and Barleycup with Dandelion. I was impressed to see that the Barley Cup website also has a series of recipes for you to try, including Barleycup Pancakes with Plums, Barleycup Cake, Barleycup Cookies and Barleycup Frappe. I may have to experiment with some of those !
for more information : http://www.barleycup.co.uk/
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.