From wandering the Internet. http://reprorations..../WW1 German.htm
Rudi’s granddad, Alfons, fought for Germany in WW1 and survived, and in the 1950’s he shared his memories with Rudi.
Old Alfons described the appalling conditions in the trenches of WW1. Food, getting fed and feeding his men was a major issue for Alfons, who was a Hauptmann. Getting the food was one thing, preparing it another. And if "rations" theoretically existed, they were rarely issued as such. Adolf Hitler himself won a medal as a food carrier / message carrier on foot, dragging insulated containers of prepared meals to the men in the front lines. The food was usually cold when or if it ever got there. And food carriers were a prime target for French snipers.
Coffee was a much prized commodity. One day Alfons told Rudi how they brewed coffee in the trenches, in 20 easy steps: (This comes directly from Alfons’s diary.)
1. Send request to higher echelon, stating that the company did not have any coffee for 3 weeks.
2. Get answer, stating that coffee will be included in next main food distribution.
3. Get four 10-litre insulated canisters of brewed coffee, 2 weeks later, cold and stale, since canisters were on a cart that got hit by an artillery shell underway and were only retrieved after two weeks and then brought to the front line.
4. Try to stay polite while requesting 5 Kg of DRY coffee and send request.
5. Get big, new, wax-sealed tin can containing 25 Kg of freshly roasted coffee.
6. Open can and find whole beans.
7. Say something that cannot be printed.
8. Tell men who are off-duty to find one or two coffee grinders.
9. Ignore demeaning remarks from men who have been 5 weeks in the same wet mudhole called a "trench" and not replaced by fresh troops because totally cut off and cannot go anywhere.
10. Briefly think of possibilties of using a machine gun to grind coffee. Decide it would not be a very good idea although there is plenty of ammunition.
12. Notice that single French / Senegalese black P.O.W. (who is also stuck in the same hole) is laughing his head off since he noticed that the German Army is not capable of grinding coffee.
13. Ignore Senegalese stupid remarks about village women doing a better job in Senegal and without a coffee grinder.
14. Suppress urge to shoot P.O.W. and put pistol back into holster.
15. Ask P.O.W. how Senegalese women would do it.
16. Get four men to "get and clean that large piece of 380 mm artillery shell fragment that is lying somewhere over there".
17. Tell two men to clear their rifles and carefully clean the butts.
18. Pour 5 Kg of coffee beans in mortar-like shell fragment and tell the men with the clean rifle butts to use the rifles as pestles and grind the coffee, African-housewife style.
19. Have ground coffee distributed to all men of unit who have not died laughing and tell them to do with it whatever they like, avoiding remarks about sunshine.
20. Toss cup at Lt. Muller and tell him to brew coffee.
Chicory was also very much in demand since, in Germany, the harsh taste of coffee like the French, Italians and Spaniards like it, was not appreciated at all and some chicory smoothens the taste of coffee very much. 100% chicory you could call Ersatzkaffee, but up to 25% chicory would rather have been usual. In 1919 there was still around 1,000 tons of green, unroasted, coffee available in traders' warehouses in Germany and Austria.