dandelion: this one not so good for dandelion coffee.

How to Make Dandelion Root Tea: The Best Dandelion Root Coffee Recipe

A great step-by-step video on making dandelion tea. (Not my video)

Despite being a thorn in the side of suburban dads everywhere, dandelion has gained popularity for it’s robust health benefits. Dandelion, or taxaracum officinale is a popular the herb-of-choice for many herbalists treating liver support, detoxification, digestive woes and PMS.

Dandelion coffee (along with chaga) were once used during the civil war as a coffee substitute. Now a trending drink among non-herbalists, the world is wondering: what is dandelion coffee (tea)? What benefits does it have? And most pressingly: does it actually taste like coffee?!

Stick around, because this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process from foraging to brewing– even if you’re not a seasoned wildcraft-er.

Why Would Anyone in Their Right Mind Drink Dandelions?

Although it might sound like some weird new trend, the truth is that dandelion has long been used by Native American tribes for its medicinal benefits. (The Ojibwe used dandelion for heartburn, specifically.) While all parts of dandelion have some medicinal properties, the root is typically what’s used when making dandelion coffee.

Let’s look at some of the benefits:

  1. Detoxification: Dandelion root is known for its liver-cleansing properties, helping to support liver function and promote the elimination of toxins from the body. It’s also considered a depurative which helps detoxify the blood. Not only is it helpful for detoxifying the liver, some studies have shown that it has reversed damage from cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. (But I’d be willing to bet it’d help with alcoholic fatty liver disease as well.)
  2. Digestive Aid: The root contains medicinal constituents that act as a mild laxative and like many bitter herbs, can improve digestion, especially considering it can balance beneficial bacteria in the large intestines.
  3. Anti-fungal: Dandelion has been shown to have a direct action on Candida albicans, a species of yeast responsible for yeast infections.
  4. Anti-inflammatory Properties: It has been traditionally used to reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system.

This isn’t a full list of benefits, but you can click here to check out our post on dandelion’s seriously impressive medicinal profile!

How Do You Harvest Dandelion Roots?

The first step in making dandelion root tea is sourcing the roots. (You can also cheat and buy dandelion root from your local herb store. But where’s the fun in that?! Ok, ok fine. You can skip this section if you did just buy the roots.)

Obligatory Safety Cautions: For the love of all things holy, look for dandelion that you know for a fact haven’t been sprayed with pesticides.

Dandelions and other plants also absorb toxins from the environment. This means no roadside collecting, where car exhaust could have permeated the flowers. No taking them from your Round-Up-happy neighbor– or even school fields. Try to find dandelions that are growing naturally outside of the city.

Now, onto the fun stuff.

Spring is also the best time to look for dandelions before they get flowers. … For this purpose, anyway. You’ll also need a spade or something to dig up the root with.

  1. Identification: Ensure you correctly identify dandelion plants. I don’t know many people who couldn’t identify a dandelion plant when they see one, but just to be on the safe side, you can use an app or a field guide for this.

    It gets a little more complicated that just finding a dandelion: as soon as the flowers bloom, they begin to receive most of the energy from the sun, so the root system begins to shrink.

    This means that you should look for a dandelion rosette in a shady area that DOESN’T have the flowers yet.
  2. Harvesting: You can’t just pluck a dandelion root of the ground. … No, no no no no. Use a spade to loosen the soil around the roots and carefully pull them out.

    For the purposes of making the coffee, I would collect about 10-15 roots.
  3. Cleaning: Rinse the roots thoroughly under running water to remove all soil and debris.
  4. Trimming: Trim off the leaves and small rootlets, leaving only the main taproot (the huge root.) Chop the tap-root into small parts for roasting.

How to Prepare Dandelion Roots

Once you have harvested the roots, the next steps involve preparing them for tea:

Preheat your oven to 375.

Roasting: Spread your dried roots out on a baking sheet. Pop them in the oven at 375 for 30-40 minutes. They should be roasty but not toasty. (Put more succinctly: don’t burn them)

Drying: Alternatively, you can let them air dry or use a dehydrator on a low setting.

How to Brew Dandelion Roots

With your prepared dandelion roots ready, you can now brew your “coffee”.

Some people like to grind up the dandelion roots ever so slightly to release some of the constituents before making the coffee, (in theory making it more potent) but it will work either way.

Note: It’s important to use non-metal pots and pans because dandelion has been shown to react to certain metals, degrading some of the constituents (medicinal components)


  • 2 teaspoons of dried, roasted dandelion root
  • 2 cups of water

Dandelion can be bitter, so you can add other aromatic herbs to disguise the taste but it’s optional. (Suggestions: Orange peel, Oregon grape root, fennel, cinnamon, burdock…)


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small non-aluminum saucepan.
  2. Add the dried dandelion root to the boiling water.
  3. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea in a non-metal strainer into a cup, removing the root pieces.
  5. Enjoy as is, or add milk or honey.


Foraging and creating your own dandelion root coffee/tea is a rewarding process that can significantly improve your health. Now you have a use for all of the dandelions that pop up in the spring time!

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