What is Cascara?
This product is not roasted coffee. Caracara is the actual flesh of the coffee cherry, that has been dried and is tasty to drink as an infusion.
Coffee is a cherry about the size of a cranberry. This is the flesh that surrounds the coffee seeds which is normally a waste product or is sometimes used as a blender in fertiliser. In history people would drink the coffee pulp as an infusion, and it still is in Yemen and some other coffee producing countries around the world.
Cascara means “husk” in Spanish, and is commonly repurposed as means of providing nutrients for coffee plants on farms.
We love that we can buy yet another product from the producers and give them one more source of income for a product they already have naturally at the farms. All they have done is actually dry the skin to a desired level after removing it from the coffee bean.
About Finca Baquelito, Guatemala
This Cascara comes from Baquelito in Guatemala. One of Guatemalas' most challenging coffee regions by Juan Carlos Estevez. The farm is located in Alta Verapaz, also known as Cobán. The farm, Finca Baquelito, is almost hidden in the mountains and the coffee trees are flooded by rainfall. It is located between 1,000 and 1,450 metres above sea level and covers a huge 158 hectares of growing area. Cobán is challenging because it has two main growing seasons: the rainy season and the rainier season. The constantly high humidity and constant rain make it a difficult place to cultivate coffee in traditional ways. The clouds and cooler temperatures mean that the coffee cherry maturation takes longer than usual, and that allows the flavour characteristics to develop slowly.
How to brew it
The flavour of Cascara is reminding of rose hip and simply how a red mature coffee cherry tastes. The easiest way of using it is as an infusion. Here is one recipe we find tasty:
Scale and a tee pot or some kind of vessel, and a way of separating the cherries from the liquid.
90-94 degrees water
24 gram Cascara per liter of water
Pour the water over the cascara. Let it brew for 4 minutes. Serve.
You can play and experiment as much as you like with the Cascara, with everything from making to carbonised sodas to ice-cream. Personally, we love the Cascara Tonic where we do a strong (1/4 ratio) over-night infusion of the Cascara that we mix with lemon and tonic water.