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Coffee substitutes are products that try to taste like coffee. The idea for using them is to have a drink that tastes like coffee, but has no caffeine in it. The main reasons for making coffee substitutes are medical, economic and barbaric. In World War II, acorns were used to make coffee, however it tasted foul. It was also hard to get. In the American Civil War there was a similar story -
"For the stimulating property to which both tea and coffee owe their chief value, there is unfortunately no substitute; the best we can do is to dilute the little stocks which still remain, and cheat the palate, if we cannot deceive the nerves." The Southern Banner, 1865
Some ingredients used include: almond, acorn, asparagus, barley and malt, beech nut, beetroot, carrot, chicory root, corn, cotton seed, dandelion root, fig, boiled-down molasses, okra seed, pea, persimmon seed, potato peel, rye, sassafras nut, sweet potato.
Postum is an instant type beverage used in place of coffee. It reached the height of its popularity during World War II. For popular usage on the sitcom Seinfeld George says to Jerry he does not know why postum is not a more popular beverage.