While most of us are familiar with coffee (like duh, this is a coffee website!), not much light is shed on coffee cherry tea, also known as cascara tea. So here we are, placing a pedestal on the unassuming but perfect bridge between coffee and tea.
Cascara means “husk” in Spanish, and while it is still not very mainstream in the Western world, the history of this beverage goes back centuries to Ethiopia (and no wonder, that’s the birthplace of coffee), where it is called “Qishr”. Coffee is a fleshy cherry-like fruit, and the coffee beans that we know are the roasted seeds from these cherries. In order to obtain the seeds, the flesh of the fruit must be removed. When coffee is processed with care, the flesh can be dried and then brewed as a tea.
Why is cascara a rising star? Well first, it’s sustainable – what is considered as “waste” from coffee processing, is now a wonderful beverage that combines the best of both worlds, coffee and tea, and providing an additional source of income for farmers.
Cascara is also high in antioxidants. It has been reported that cascara is the fourth highest antioxidant-rich superfood in the world, according to the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) chart, with 78 times the antioxidants of blueberries and pomegranates. It can also boost the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which supports brain health, memory, and focus. Cascara contains less caffeine than coffee, which makes it a perfect choice when looking for an enjoyable drink with a tiny kick.
So what does cascara taste like? It’s like a herbal tea, exhibiting sweet and fruity taste from the coffee cherry.
Here are 3 of our favourite recipes, give it a try!
Hot Brewed Cascara:
- Heat water to 95°C.
- Put 6g of cascara to 100ml of water.
- Brew like tea and allow it to steep between 4-8 minutes.
- Strain using plunger or sieve. Enjoy!
Cold brew Cascara:
- Pour 100 ml of room temperature water for every 10g cascara in a container with a lid.
- Leave to steep for 12 hours covered.
- Strain using a plunger or sieve.
- Serve over ice or keep in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
Cascara Soft Drink:
- Use 250 ml Cascara cold brew.
- Stir in 5 ml fresh lemon juice (adjust to taste).
- Add in 7.5g sugar or simple syrup (adjust to taste).
- Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon slice.
Try our Limited Edition Cascara from Colombia, La Estrella Geisha.