The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. Chicory is the root of the endive plant. The root of the plant is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee. If you don’t like your coffee dark, serve it up Au Lait, with half & half and steamed milk.