Orzo Coffee – Organic Ground Roasted Barley – Review

Orzo Coffee

 This is a guest post by Michael Doherty from The Michael Files

For anyone looking for analternative to coffee, who wants to give up caffeine for health reasons, but who still enjoys the whole coffee experience, there’s a drink that’s very popular in Italy, made from ground organic roasted barley. It’s so popular in Italy that you can get it from their coffee vending machines.

Taste Test

I was given the task of testing Orzo Coffee’s Organic Ground Roasted Barley and as Kelly is currently on a gluten-free diet I was given the opportunity to carry out this review. When it arrived I really looked forward to trying it as I wanted to cut down on my caffeine intake, but wasn’t too keen on decaff coffees, many of which are decaffeinated using chemical solvents, and even then there is some caffeine left.
I got down our faithful cafetiere and followed the instructions on the Orzo packet using about 25g instead of the recommended tablespoonful (15g) because I like a large mug. The aroma was very pleasant and the colour was dark and coffee-like.
I left it to brew for about five minutes, pressed the plunger and poured. I added sugar and cream just as I do when I have coffee. (I’m not keen on milk in my coffee, and I wanted to compare the Orzo with my normal drink).
It felt like coffee in my mouth, with a well-rounded flavour, and just a hint of bitterness, the same as
you get from ground coffee. I will happily replace some of my coffee drinks with Orzo in the future.
I was pleasantly surprised by Orzo Coffee, because I have tried other coffee substitutes in the past, and haven’t liked them. Many of them left a very bitter aftertaste which was unpleasant, but not this one.

So It’s Not Coffee, But…

Orzo Coffee with Cafetiere and Mug


OK it’s not coffee, but it is a pleasant hot drink which is similar. The taste has grown on me, and I now drink it for its own sake and not as a coffee substitute.
If you want to try it out, you can get free samples from their website. All they ask is payment of £1 to cover postage and packing.
It can be brewed just like ground coffee, in cafetieres or filter machines, in traditional percolators and expresso machines. It has an intense aroma and because it’s caffeine-free, can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It’s suitable for children as well as adults, vegetarians, vegans, diabetics, and is Dairy, Lactose and yeast free. 

Suitable for children, adults vegetarians, vegans, diabetics, and is Dairy, Lactose and yeast free.

However, as it’s made from barley, it does contain gluten (I will leave Kelly to discuss the gluten aspect further down as she is now gluten-free but did taste Orzo and adores it).
It’s available in the UK as ‘ORZO Coffee’, in both ground and instant forms. The barley is organically grown in the Veneto Region of northern Italy, harvested and then slow roasted at low temperature to preserve its flavour and nutrients. As it’s produced and packed in Italy, you know it’s the original organic Italian coffee alternative that’s been used for centuries.

So Who Would I Recommend To Try Orzo?

  • Anyone who cannot drink caffeine based beverages.
  • Anyone who loves coffee but finds it has adverse side-effects (too much energy, insomnia etc).
  • Anyone that wants an alternative to tea.
  • Anyone looking for an evening beverage that can be made creamy or milky to suit taste.

My Overall Experience Of Orzo Coffee – Ground Roasted Barley

Great alternative to coffee.
You can drink it at any time of the day without it keeping you awake at night.
It’s suitable for many groups of people who have to be careful with what they
eat and drink. It’s organic, so you know it’s free from herbicides and
I haven’t got anything to say against Orzo. Just keep in
mind that it’s not coffee, but an enjoyable alternative.


If this has wetted your appettite for trying Orzo you can purchase organic ground or instant from their website HERE and you can also keep up to date with Orzo on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE
Button Pushers As ReflectionsBIO: Michael has had a wealth of experience in many areas – teaching, counselling, writing and business, to mention just a few. He has studied mathematics, physics, psychology, western and eastern philosophies, and continues to remain up-to-date in all his areas of interest. Because of his wide ranging skills, he is able offer penetrating insights into many areas, but especially those involving interpersonal relationships. He has written a beginners’ guide to the ‘I Ching’, due for publication this year, and has a new blog at: The Michael Files.
For more guest posts by Michael Doherty please click HERE
A Note from Kelly regarding Orzo:

So this is not gluten-free (sniffles into a hanky) and as I am currently gluten-free I felt it wise not to overindulge in Orzo. However… I did taste it and I was in heaven with the flavour. To me it tasted very much like coffee and I just tasted it black without any additions. After investigating further I did find out that as this is filtered the chance of getting a lot of gluten in the drink are negligible. I haven’t any solid evidence so far but it makes sense that eating barley would be very different to filtering when making a lovely cup of Orzo. So even though Michael is hogging all the Orzo I am managing to pry his hands away so I can have a cup at least once a week now. In future hopefully increasing this amount. After all, winter is coming and a warm drink is often called for.*I would not recommend this to Coeliacs as I am basing this on my personal experience.




*Post Disclaimer: I received a packet of Orzo Coffee – Ground Roasted Barley from Orzo Coffee in the UK for review. All opinions are my own.   
Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is the author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ , a passionate writer and blogger questioning life’s illusions. After what seemed like a decade of intense anxiety, feelings of failure and grief from the loss of her father she chose to take a mindfulness path and has not looked back since. Kelly encourages people to find the treasures that lie within the pain and suffering and to learn to see themselves as ‘enough’ exactly as they are, right now through her writing and You Tube channel .

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. September 10, 2013 / 12:04 pm

    Great review. I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but so many of my friends struggle with caffeine, but love their coffee. Its great to know that there is an alternative out there that actually tastes as good as coffee does. There's nothing worse than something that promises to taste good, but doesn't. I will make sure to pass this onto my friends 🙂

  2. September 10, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    Yes I am so surprised. I really like it, and when I re-introduce more gluten again this will be a keeper. Mikes diving through the bag at the moment (grin).

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