Cascara—an increasingly popular tea-like beverage—comes from the dried skins of coffee cherries. These pulped skins are collected after the seeds (aka coffee beans) have been removed from the cherries. They are then dried in the sun before they are packaged and sent to us. Normally, coffee cherries are considered a by-product of the coffee-making process and are either discarded or used as compost. Now these cherries are being recognized for their value to produce a uniquely delightful brew in their own right.
Sort of a cross between coffee and tea, cascara still has a caffeine content, but it is not as high as coffee. The flavor is much more cherry-like and many describe it as rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, and red currant.
We recommend that you steep it like a tea using a ratio of a heaping tablespoon or two— about five to seven grams, per eight-ounce cup of water just off the boil.
There are endless possibilities with this relatively new-to-the-market product. We’ve seen it used in cocktails, iced tea, cooking, and more. Be as creative as you dare and don’t forget to share with us your favorite recipes on Facebook or Instagram.