Cascara is the fruit (or "coffee cherry") that surrounds coffee beans as they grow (coffee "beans" are actually the seed of a fruit!)
Typically considered a byproduct of coffee growing and processing, cascara's job is usually done once coffee beans are extracted from the fruit. However, this shiny-reddish yellow fruit is packed with health benefits that have been gaining it more and more popularity.
- packed with antioxidants (8x more than blueberries!)
- an anti-inflammatory
- full of antiviral properties that boost the immune system
Few coffee farms will dry and export cascara as it takes just as much time, attention, and care as coffee beans themselves! Coffee beans are extracted from the cherry in a way that keeps the fruit as whole as possible, then the cascara is washed, dried in the sun, then it ready for brewing or exporting.
It's subtly sweet, slightly caffeinated, and its gently fruity taste stands on its own or pairs well with spices, citrus fruits, and even coffee!
At Artisan Coffee Shop you can try french pressed cascara tea on its own or spiced, or at our Ellet shop we have a slightly sweet cascara soda on tap. Stop in and taste it for yourself!
More About Cascara:
- Cascara contains 25% of the caffeine of coffee beans (the boost you feel after drinking it is actually more from vitamins and antioxidants!
- Dried cascara has the flavor notes of cranberry, hibiscus, watermelon, raspberry, and cherry, however, much like coffee, the tasting notes can vary due to changes in weather each growing season!
- In some countries, like Ethiopia and Yemen, cascara is steeped with spices like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg to make a traditional tea. Both of these countries grow coffee so cascara is more available and actually a less expensive morning boost than coffee!
- Many coffee farms that do not wash, dry, and export cascara will compost it so it can be used as a natural fertilizer on the farm!