Product Profile: Coffee? Tea? RōBarr (Roasted Barley)!

Linda and Jim O'Brien, Rō-Barr

In our household, we drink tea (black or green) at home and I drink coffee at the office – alternated occasionally with maté. Now we have a new favorite: roasted barley!

Grain farmers in north central Montana grow all kinds of grains, legumes, and pseudo-grains (cereal grains that are not in the grass family) for all kinds of uses. Commercial growers ship wheat all over the world. And most barley goes to brewers.

Linda and Mike O’Brien raise barley for a large national brewer on their farm in Conrad Montana. And now they are exploring new opportunities: transitioning their fields to organic production and offering a value-added product – roasted barley.

Calling the coffee alternative RōBarr, Linda has launched a new business roasting, bagging, and marketing grains that can be used for a flavorful beverage as a coffee or tea alternative.

RōBarr Roasted Barley and Chicory

Popular in Europe – and called Caffè d’orzo in Italy, where it originated – roasted barley is served as an espresso-style drink and can be made in any conventional espresso machine or coffeemaker. The Italians traditionally considered a coffee substitute for children.

Open the package and you find something that looks like steel cut oats, certainly larger than coffee grounds. The grain ranges from creamy white to dark brown, and the mixture of colors and texture is very appealing. It looks like you could just boil it and eat the roasted barley like porridge.

Do not try it! You will NOT be eating that bowl of cereal…

Brewing RōBarr bold or original in a drip coffee maker gives you a pot full of rich dark brown liquid looking very much like coffee with a more grainy, yeasty fragrance. To many people the aroma of coffee is so attractive and distinct; the aroma of roasted barley is just as good!

Ground Roasted Barley

Why we like RōBarr:

  1. Linda and Mike are transitioning from conventional growing methods to organic.
  2. Roasted barley is a new (new to most Americans anyway), value-added product for Montana grain farmers.
  3. RōBarr is a small, family operation.
  4. RōBarr is made from locally grown, organic barley.
  5. RōBarr has a full, rich flavor from the roasted barley and a touch of chicory.
  6. Unlike coffee or tea, RōBarr does not contain caffeine.
  7. RōBarr does not have the bitter after-taste that can come from the acid in coffee.
  8. RōBarr will not stain your teeth like coffee and tea and may even inhibit some of the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Where to buy RōBarr roasted barley?

If you live in Montana or Spokane, Washington, you can buy RōBarr at natural food co-ops and markets in major metropolitan areas. If not, never fear! Buy online!

RōBarr comes in three varieties – or flavors – in either 24-ounce ($8.99) or 48-ounce ($15.99) bags:

  • Bold Roast – a dark, earthy flavor between tea and coffee
  • Original Roast – the flavor is more mellow than the bold roast, but definitely more full-bodied than herbal teas
  • Mugicha (Boricha) – served hot or cold as a barley tea

Linda is so sure you will like RōBarr that she will send you a FREE sample containing a packet (enough to make a pot of 5 or 6 cups) of each flavor.

Tell her GoodFood World sent you…

3 comments to Product Profile: Coffee? Tea? RōBarr (Roasted Barley)!

  • Judy – You can order complimentary samples on my website at and just pay $6 for shipping and handling. You can also purchase it in Great Falls, from 2 J’s. They have it in the coffee tea section. I just delivered 6 cases last Monday, so they should have it in stock!

  • Judy Shannon

    My husband bought me the prairie star this morning and told me to read your article about the barley. I had to go off coffee because of my stomach problems. I do so miss it and I would love to try your barley Robarr. I don’t live far from you, we live on the Fairfield bench, near Greenfield school. We are re-tired barley growers.

  • Linda, my husband and I have always drank coffee. Just recently in December of last year he had a heart attack. No more caffeine for him. Decaf just isn’t the same. I was looking for a good alternative for us, and came upon this website. I can’t afford to buy any from you right now, but if you send us samples, I will let you know how good it is!! I will also hopefully look forward to buying from you in the near future. I also like reading all of the articles GoodFood World has to offer.
    Thanks Bunches
    God Bless,