Cascara is the name of the outer skin of the coffee cherry. Its flavour is simply dried coffee cherry, but for those of you who haven’t tasted a fresh coffee cherry, it tastes like prune juice and rose hip. The easiest way to brew it is to make an infusion. Cascara can be dried to different levels for different taste profiles. When you infuse this Cascara for a slightly longer time (8 minutes) it gets some wine like acidity to it and the coffee cherry flavour gets more intense. If you are curious and want to understand more of the coffee production and what a sweet delicious berry it is, order this one. Contains caffeine.
What is Cascara?
This product is not roasted coffee. Cascara (meaning “husk” in Spanish) 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 fertilizer. Historically people would drink the coffee pulp as an infusion, and it still occurs in Yemen and some other coffee producing countries around the world. We are so happy to be able to bring it to our guests at the café and show what coffee looks like. It is a perfect refreshing welcome-drink to a coffee tasting, or to enjoy at home.
From a sustainability perspective, 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 Las Roudriguez, Bolivia
All of the coffee we buy from Bolivia is through the exporter Agricafé, or Daniela, Pedro-Pablo and Pedro, as you probably know them by now. This Cascara is from a small plot of their land where they are doing an organic experiment on. Growing fully organic, high quality coffee is expensive in the first few years. From this lot they are learning and doing experiments to see if they could grow organic on a bigger scale. The coffee beans are removed from the cherries and dried at the dry-mill located out of La Paz at an altitude of an extreme altitude over 2500 meters. After that, the dried coffee cherries are sorted by hand on a belt. (see pictures).
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 brewing it is as an infusion. Here is one recipe we find tasty:
Tea pot or some kind of vessel
Strainer or some 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 6-8 minutes, strain and serve.
In fact, we like this Cascara infused for even 8-10 minutes. It gets even more wine like, the sweetness more raisin-like and the coffee cherry flavour more intense.
You can also put the ready brewed Cascara in the fridge, for a refreshing caffeinated juice. You can play and experiment as much as you like with the Cascara, with everything from making to carbonated 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 some citrus juice, thyme or black currant and tonic water served over ice.