Our Cascara Bourbon Coffee Cherry Tea from Finca Las Mercedes offers sweet syrupy honey, mild citrus, watermelon and raspberry. This is a very refreshing drink, like a sweet tea from the south with a slice of lemon to get your day shining brighter!
Cascara, meaning ‘skin’ or ‘peel’ in Spanish, is an efficient way of recycling leftover coffee pulp, which is produced in huge quantities when ripe coffee cherries are pulped before the beans are washed and dried. In most producing countries this pulp is traditionally seen as worthless and is usually broken down and used as fertilizer - but it is also possible to dry this left over cherry to create the base for a unique and refreshing tea.
Although few have heard of it, cascara has a very long and interesting history. Coffee farmers in Yemen and Ethiopia have in fact been drying and brewing coffee cherries like this for centuries - possibly since before coffee seeds were first used to make a drink. In these countries the dried cherries are often steeped along with spices such as ginger, nutmeg or cinnamon to make a fragrant drink known as Hashara in Ethiopia or Qishr in Yemen.
Cascara is commonly consumed in Bolivia, where it is referred to as Sultana, and is made of sun-dried and lightly toasted coffee cherries. It may also be mixed with sticks of cinnamon. It is also called "the poor man's coffee", and "the coffee of the Army".
Coffee cherries contain caffeine, as does the tea, however the caffeine level in coffee cherry tea is quite high. The taste of coffee cherry tea is different from coffee, and has been described as somewhat sweet and cherry flavored, surprisingly pleasant.