Cascara is coffee like you've never had it before: as tea! When we first tried this gently-caffeinated tea made from the coffee fruit, we were blown away. We made our first batch on a chilly fall day; naturally, the whole office gathered around to smell and taste the sweet, cinnamon-spiced beverage. Given its history as a social beverage, we're not surprised.
Dried coffee cherry "skins", or "cascara", are a natural byproduct of a coffee harvest. There's a rich history to the hot drink made with them-- known as Qishr, or Keshr in Yemen and Buno in Ethiopia-- and it's a common, enjoyable beverage within the northeast African/Arabian coffee-growing region. While many regional variants exist, the most well-known preparation is Yemeni: a cozy steeped tea of dried cascara husk with a spiced melange of ginger, honey, cinnamon, and/or cardamom. Yemeni culture has used this drink within their hospitality ritual for centuries, brewing it for guests and serving it at social or family functions.
Cascara has achieved a degree of quirky popularity within the coffee world of late, and can be found in a variety of incarnations: as a hot tea that's fruity, tart, or floral; prepared as a cold brew or iced tea; reduced to a thick syrup and added to sodas or cocktails. However you prefer to enjoy it, it's a fantastic way to feel connected to the coffee harvest as we in the U.S. rarely see or taste it.
Our basic recipe: 3-4 tablespoons of cascara steeped within 10oz of boiled water for 4 minutes. You can give the husks a rough chop, steep for longer time, or agitate while steeping to maximize flavor. Our favorite office method adds a teaspoon of honey and a healthy dash of cinnamon as it steeps. A french press is a convenient way to brew a larger amount.
This bag contains 6 oz of cascara for ~12 servings of tea following the above recipe. We also offer a smaller 1oz "sample" size of this product available to add to your order at checkout, containing roughly 8 tablespoons of product for two servings of the above recipe.