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What is Cascara? – Exploring Coffee Cherry Tea

Cascara (a.okay.a. espresso cherry tea) is one thing that is selecting up steam within the craft espresso world. A couple of years in the past, I might hear some mentions of it right here or there however would have needed to actively search if I wished to search out some (not to mention a recipe for brewing it up). These days, I see cascara in lots of espresso retailers and on-line roasters. If you may have questions on this trending fruit tea, right here is an informational and brewing information.

What is Cascara?

A short historical past

Coffee is the seed of a fleshy, cherry-like fruit that grown primarily between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (you may learn extra about inexperienced espresso right here). In most circumstances, the flesh of the espresso cherry is eliminated and discarded throughout espresso processing. This discarded flesh from espresso processing could be a nuisance and might even create a air pollution downside if it is not handled correctly.

WARNING: Do not confuse cascara constructed from espresso cherries with Cascara Sagrada. Cascara Sagrada (sacred bark) is the dried bark of the cascara buckthorn plant that grows within the Pacific Northwest. It has an especially bitter style (allegedly) and is identified for its laxative properties.

Traditional consumption of espresso cherry tea is regarded as even older than roasting the espresso seeds (beans). Legend has it that espresso was found by an Ethiopian herdsman (Kaldi) and his goats. He started making a caffeinated tea out of the fruit (which ultimately morphed into roasting the seeds themselves). A drink constructed from the espresso fruit has been consumed in Yemen (known as qishr*) and Ethopia (known as hashara) ever since. Cascara is additionally consumed in Bolivia underneath the normal title of sultana.

The credit score for the current rise of cascara’s reputation has been given to Aida Batlle, a famend espresso grower from El Salvador. It is mentioned that in a cupping, Batlle made an infusion out of some discarded espresso cherries and coined the phrase cascara (which suggests pores and skin or husk in Spanish) as a result of espresso pulp wasn’t a really marketable title.

Other helpful information- properties of cascara

No one would confuse a cup of cascara tea with a brewed cup of espresso. Cascara tea is mild in colour (like watered down apple juice), subtlety candy and delicate tasting. Cascara is additionally not technically a tea both (as a result of it is not constructed from tea leaves). Most individuals would classify it as an natural infusion or tisane.

Cascara has about 12-25% the caffeine content material of a comparable quantity of espresso. Some individuals report feeling extra of a buzz after consuming a cup of cascara than after they drink their morning cup of joe. The cause for this is unknown however it has been speculated that there are some further antioxidants that give your physique a jolt.

There are totally different high quality ranges and flavors related to cascara (similar to with inexperienced espresso) however there is no grading system that I’m conscious of. This means in case you are keen on exploring cascara, it is best to get a couple of totally different samples. One of those samples would possibly resonate with you greater than the others.

How to Brew Cascara

Brewing cascara is quite a bit like brewing free leaf tea. Let the dried espresso fruit steep in water for a prescribed period of time then filter the tea away from the pulp. You can obtain this in your favourite immersion brewer just like the French press or the Clever Coffee Dripper. Any of the opposite free leaf tea brewing methodology ought to work as properly.

Just like with guide espresso brewing, you will have to regulate your power and steeping time to satisfy your private choice.

Hot cascara tea

My favourite method to brew scorching cascara tea is with a French press. It is simple and it is a standard immersion brewer to have readily available. I usually use a 1:25 (cascara to water) ratio however I’ve seen recipes vary from 1:14 to 1:30.

  • Combine 14 grams of cascara with 350 grams of water simply off of boil.
  • Steep for 5 minutes.
  • Filter out the tea and revel in.

This is a reasonably center-of-the-highway recipe, I like to recommend taking part in round with the ratio in addition to the steep size to search out one thing that you simply take pleasure in.

Cold brew cascara

You may also chilly brew cascara. Like chilly brewing espresso (or making solar tea), this methodology leads to a unique type of extraction and thus totally different flavors. I additionally choose the French press (for comfort) with this methodology.

For chilly brew:

  • Combine 30 grams of cascara with 360 grams of chilly consuming water.
  • Let it steep for 24 hours.
  • Filter out the tea and revel in.

Qishr and Hashara

Qishr and hashara are conventional methods of getting ready espresso cherry tea. Recipes for these drinks are few and much between however you may usually count on them to include some contemporary grated ginger, a sweetener and the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg or caraway (or a mixture).

Like including flavoring and components to your espresso, doctoring up your cascara will change the beverage. The cascara teas I’ve tried have been fairly delicate with delicate flavors. Adding ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg or caraway (all very robust flavors) can dominate the beverage. Still, cascara tea could make a pleasant base for these spiced drinks.

I like to recommend beginning with 350mL of water and a base of cascara (15-20 grams) and grated ginger (1-2 teaspoons). Add small quantities of cinnamon, nutmeg or caraway (or some mixture). I additionally discovered wildflower honey to be a terrific sweetener do you have to really feel the necessity.


Overall, I’ve discovered cascara to be an attention-grabbing beverage. It is a pleasing diversion and a pleasant change of tempo for a day beverage. Cascara can not exchange espresso for me as I don’t discover it to be practically as attention-grabbing or satisfying. If you’re curious, I like to recommend you give it a attempt for the sheer novelty of it. If you’re detached, follow nice craft espresso; it not often disappoints.

*There are additionally recipes for qishr that use roasted espresso over the dried espresso cherries.

Do you may have any expertise with brewing cascara, qishr or hashara? Have an opinion or query about espresso cherry tea? Join the dialogue by leaving a remark under. Thanks!

 

Author Since: Mar 08, 2019

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