Chicory was a popular coffee substitute and economizer for 2 centuries, back when coffee was more prized, and pure coffee was a luxury. In that time, it became a matter of cultural preference to use chicory in coffee. In the United States it was synonymous with New Orleans coffee. The specific taste of famous New Orleans brands is due to the blend of dark roasted coffee and chicory. But when I worked in New Orleans I found how stale the coffee was, and what low quality chicory was being used. If you use high quality coffee, like our French Roast Blend, that you roast yourself and a true imported French Chicory, you will get optimal results with that typical New Orleans Cafe au Lait cup character. Read the review below for the ratio of coffee-to-chicory typically used.