I swear I didn’t plan this, but what luck that I’m posting this Hi Lagaar Coffee recipe on none other than National Coffee Day! Well, I mean it’s called coffee, but as with several other posts of mine, you can’t always judge a recipe by it’s name. Indeed I have to admit that this coffee recipe doesn’t contain any coffee at all! *gasps*
As I’ve written about before, one of the most captivating things about this recipe blog is doing the research to determine the origin of these seemingly outlandish video game foods (and drinks now apparently!) This Hi Lagaar Coffee was no exception. However I suppose we should start by talking a little about the game it’s inspired by, Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight.
High Lagaar is the name of a city located at the base of an enormous, mystical tree called Yggdrasil. It also happens to be the entry point of a series of monster infested forest mazes known as the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. As such, the city witnesses countless adventures enter into the labyrinth’s twisting strata in search or treasures and glory, but there are other resources to be discovered as well, ingredients! In fact, the citizens of High Lagaar used to enjoy a unique cuisine made exclusively from ingredients hunted or foraged from the Yggdrasil labyrinth.
Sadly, with the passing of Aspicius, the genius chef behind these mystical foods, many of his secret recipes were lost or otherwise indecipherable.That is, until Regina Dubois assumed the task of rediscovering this storied cuisine with the opening of her government funded cafe. During the game, the player can help Regina fulfill this quest by bringing her ingredients and monster parts/meat they gather from the Yggdrasil Labyrinth. As a bonus, when prepared and eaten, these foods imbue the adventuring party with all manner of enchantments to assist them as they continue to explore. It’s a win win!
I played a good amount of this game years ago and was honestly pretty fascinated with this cafe mechanic. All the food items in this game are really unique in style as well as ingredients and they even go so far as to categorize them into Western, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines. I’m definitely planning to do a few more recipes from this game in the future, but today we’re starting simple with a cup of coffee.
My starting point for this recipe, as you can see from the image above, was the in-game ingredients: rye and sugar beet. Now I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like any kind of coffee I’ve ever had. So I took to the internet to find out if there were in fact any coffees that used these ingredients. I ended up being redirected to a page about coffee substitutes and found that there is actually a Polish drink called Inka that lists toasted rye and beet root powder as two of its ingredients! Awesome!
The other two ingredients were toasted barely and chicory. I know that chicory root finds its way into a lot of coffee blends, so it makes sense to include it in this recipe to promote a strong coffee taste. It seemed I had all I needed to start toasting and grinding, but one thing I wasn’t sure about was what the ratio of these ingredients should be. After tasting five different blends of the ingredients I settled on a ratio I liked. The toasted rye and barley lend a comforting toasted character to the drink while the beet powder gives it a subtle natural sweetness. Paired with the aforementioned chicory, I was surprised at how similar tasting to coffee this tea really was! With the ratio locked down, I was all ready to start working on this post when one of my friends nonchalantly asked:
“what about cold brew?”
AH! How did I not think of that! I had been steeping the blend like hot tea the entire time but hadn’t even thought about brewing it cold. That being said, I wasted no time in putting together another blend for the cold brew and after a day of steeping I’m happy to say that it’s really nice cold as well. I’m actually drinking some as I’m typing this right now! It’s a bit stronger, but absolutely delicious with a splash of milk.
As for obtaining the ingredients, beets are easy, but it took a few different places before I found the barley, rye berries, and chicory. Of course you can always grab them online, but I ended up finding what I needed at a local food co-op that offers lots of whole grains in bulk.
I definitely had fun with this recipe and I learned a lot of coffee and coffee substitutes in the process. I know I’ll be making another batch soon :]. Let me know if you get a chance to try it out or if you have any questions in the comments below! Bottoms up!
+ Hi Lagaar Coffee Blend +
makes about 1 pt of tea blend (enough for 20 cups)
|Rye Berries||1 cup||150 g|
|Barley (hulled)||⅔ cup||65 g|
|Roasted Chicory Root||½ cup||60 g|
- Sharp knife and a cutting board
- Mandoline slicer (or cheese grater)
- Baking tray with rack
- Heavy bottomed frying pan
- Spice/coffee grinder
- Tea bags or french press
1) We’ll begin the recipe by creating some homemade beet root powder! Preheat your oven to 200° F. Prepare the beet by removing the leaves off the top and peeling it almost completely. Leaving the top unpeeled can help you better grip the beet for the next step. Use a mandoline to slice the peeled beet into several thin pieces, the thinner the better. Arrange your beet slices on a baking sheet with a rack and place it in the oven to dehydrate for about two hours. If you don’t have a mandoline, you can use the small side of a cheese grater to achieve very fine pieces. Spread out the shavings on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and use a spatula to turn several times during the baking.
2) Once your beets are dry and crispy, remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Next, use a spice grinder to pulverize the dried beet chips into a beautifully vibrant powder. A food processor or mortar and pestle could also be used if necessary.
3) Next we want to toast the grains. Heat up a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium high heat and pour in your grain, no need for any oil or other fat. Both the rye berries and the barley groat take around 20 minutes to achieve a good color and roast so you’ll need to keep an eye on the pan and toss or stir often to prevent burning. If at any point you begin to hear a lot of popping noises, reduce the heat slightly until they subside. Keep toasting until the grain looks like a medium roasted coffee and then remove from the heat.
you can see the difference in color between the pre- and post-toasted barley.
4) Once again, let the toasted rye and barley cool for 10 minutes before using a spice or coffee grinder to buzz them up. Pulsing a few times should be sufficient to crack open most of the grains, but try not to process them too fine or the final product will be cloudy and taste grainy.
5) Mix the ingredients together according to the ratio given below:
50 rye : 22 barley : 8 beet powder : 20 chicory
or more specifically, if you have a digital scale:
150 g rye : 65 g barley : 25 g beet powder : 60 g chicory
6) At this point your mix is complete! Now it’s up to you whether you’d like it hot or cold. For a hot drink, add 15 g or about 2 Tbsp of the blend to 8 oz of hot water and steep for 5 minutes before decanting (if using a french press) or straining the ‘coffee’ into another cup. If you’d rather make a cold brew, use tea bags to steep the entire pint of mix in 10 cups of water. Leave it out to brew at room temperature for 24 hours before removing the bag(s) and pouring into containers to store in the fridge. This creates a really strong brew that’s perfect for the adventurer on the go!
And of course, as with normal coffee you should always feel free to add things like milk and sugar to your liking! (it’s really tasty with splash of milk!)
Hey! Thanks for reading all the the way to the end! You’re awesome :D! If you haven’t already and are looking for more nerdy food stuff, consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and Instagram. I post a lot of work in progress pictures for the blog as well as stuff from my Twitch streams. If that sounds like something you’d be into, please check out those links above! Anyway, take care everyone and I’ll see you next time with an all-new recipe!
I also wanted to add that recently launched a Patreon page where fans like you can help support me directly! There are some pretty cool rewards in it for you as well so you’ll definitely want to check it out :].
Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far!
Chets Y., Charlotte G., Tyler S., Derek R., Dan S., Victoria , Kurt P., Fox Corp., Archy Dan, The Gluttonous Geek, Josh M., Val C., and Katharina.