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Red Fruits, Roses, Floral Flavors
Cascara, which means “husk,” “peel” or “skin” in Spanish, is the dried skins of coffee cherries. These pulped skins are collected after the seeds (aka coffee beans) have been removed from the cherries.


Country: Kolombiya
Region: Cauca
Variety: Wush Wush
Process: Natural
Altitude: 1800 - 2200m 





As we know it, when we have coffee it is the seed that we drink. Coffee beans are the seed of a fruit, known as “coffee cherry”. The cherry itself contains caffeine and is high in antioxidants. Also the seed gets its caffein content from mostly from the cherry.

So what happens to the cherry-pulp itself after the seed is processed? Obviously used be dumped or substituted as a compost or fertilizer. Until in modern times when it was first produced by legendary Aida Battle in Latin America, it was only used as a drink in Ethiopia as some kind of “tea” (which is called Qishr) and Yemen. Later in the history of coffee’s epic migration, it started to be known as “husk” or “Cascara” which is our protogonist in this episode.

Nowadays, Cascara might become a savoir and an important additional income for the farmers who are struggling with the market prices, higher expenses, lower incomes, global warming, soil erosion, big food companies, coffee-chains etc. Buying, drinking and liking Cascara can be a great support from our side to the producers in that sense.

While fermented cascara (unfermented is too acidic for the soil) can be an effective fertilizer, in practice 97% of the discarded pulp goes to landfill. There it decomposes through the action of microbes fermenting the waste, a process which releases greenhouse gas methane. This has is 25 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, which leads to climate change

Likewise, the tea does not have the same caffeine content as coffee. In the post “Cascara and Caffeine” on the Square Mile Coffee Blog, co-founder Anette Moldvaer explains that in August, Square Mile sent some cascara to a lab in Germany to test exactly how much caffeine the drink contains. Moldvaer reports: “As expected, [the] ratio of cascara to water has an impact on the caffeine content of the final beverage, while steep time seems to make little difference. However, she continues, “Surprisingly, we found the caffeine content to be fairly low. Even at the strongest, longest brew, the caffeine content of cascara came in at 111.4 mg/L, compared to broad range of about 400-800 mg/L in brewed coffee.”

While cascara isn’t exactly coffee, it isn’t tea either. Because cascara comes from the genus coffea instead of the Camellia sinensis plant, it can’t be classified as a true tea. Nor is cascara quite what some people imagine when they think of herbal tea, as cascara is made from a fruit rather than an herb. However, there are a number of tisanes made from fruit, so perhaps the best category for cascara is as a fruit tisane. Cascara is often described as having a sweet, fruity taste with notes of rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, red current, mango or even tobacco.

It definetly has a very nice sweetness, tanginess and fruity acidity but we can relate it to herbal teas such as hibiscus or tisane more than coffee as it is brewed from dried fruit.

Very refreshing  in summer times for sure with some tonic or lemon squeeze.



How to brew Cascara?


We recommend 1 to 19 ratio for brewing cascara which means adding 190 grams of water to 10 grams of Cascara. It can simply be brewed by using any French press. Our recommended brewing time is around 5-6 minutes, and the recommended water temperature is 94 degrees celcius.







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