Orzo coffee substitute, a toasted barley drink, is such a delicious beverage, you won’t mind skipping your coffee. Toast and orzo is a typical Italian breakfast combination which is perfect for children and babies. If you’re looking for a caffeine-free, no sugar alternative to coffee, why not try orzo?
Originally published November 5, 2012.
Most of you know “orzo” as the rice shaped pastina which is cooked in soups or made as a pilaf, for example.
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However, orzo, in Italian, means barley, and the type of orzo I’m going to tell you about is a caffeine-free barley drink, which is very popular in Italy. My children grew up having toast and orzo for breakfast. The photo you see above is my breakfast from a few days ago (adult version of toast and orzo). You’ll see the children’s version below.
You may like this toast for breakfast, too!
Nestle’s brand of orzo drinks are called “Orzoro” and come in different grinds and flavors (there’s an orzo and cacao blend, which I also love, but cannot find in the US). If you like, you can mix a little cocoa with the orzo coffee substitute and achieve the same result.
You could probably guess that this is one of the items I stock up on when I go to Italy because it’s very light to pack in my suitcase!
This is another brand of Orzo I buy; this “solubile” can be made easily in a pot or cup as it melts easily. However there is another type, “tostato, macinato” (toasted, ground) which can be made in an espresso coffee maker. These products have no added sugar: the only ingredient is barley.
Orzo coffee substitute is much like coffee, but milder, and caffeine-free, making it a perfect beverage for children and those who want a coffee alternative. I don’t usually drink coffee (my aunt says this makes me “un-Italian”), but I love orzo. One place to look for orzo products would be in your local Italian market, however, Amazon does sell it too.
How to Make Toast and Orzo Coffee Substitute
- orzo barley powder
- milk (or water)
- sugar (optional)
With the “solubile” type of Orzo, there’s no need to premix and add to the milk or water, you can just add it directly to the cup full of liquid (like instant coffee), but if you don’t have “solubile”, you’ll want to make it the way I show below.
Heat the desired amount of milk in a small pot. When the milk is beginning to get hot, add the orzo and whisk well.
Continue to stir over medium high heat until mixed well. Add sugar to taste, if desired. I like about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in mine.
Serve hot in a cup or mug, or if making breakfast for a child, break up pieces of toasted bread into a bowl. Next, pour the orzo over it.
Serve orzo coffee substitute immediately, or for a very young child, let cool slightly. Enjoy!
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- 1 tsp orzo barley powder
- 8 oz milk (or water)
- sugar (optional)
- With the "solubile" type of Orzo, there's no need to premix and add to the milk or water, you can just add it directly to the cup full of liquid (like instant coffee), but if you don't have "solubile", you'll want to make it the way I show below.
- Heat the desired amount of milk in a small pot.
- Meanwhile, mix 2 to 3 teaspoons of orzo powder per cupful of milk (or water) with just enough liquid to form a runny mixture.
- When the milk is hot, add the orzo mixture and stir well.
- Continue to stir over medium high heat until mixed well. Add sugar to taste, if desired. I like a little bit of sugar in mine.
- Serve hot in a cup or mug, or if making breakfast for a child, break up pieces of toasted bread into a bowl and pour the orzo over it.
Nutrition info is for 8 oz whole milk, 1/2 tsp of sugar and no toast.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 176 Total Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 6g Protein: 9g
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orzo coffee alternative