Cascara tea, also known as coffee cherry tea or cascara coffee, is a beverage made from the dried husks or skins of coffee cherries. The word “cascara” is Spanish for “husk” or “shell.” Typically, coffee beans are extracted from the cherries for coffee production, and the remaining pulp and skin are often discarded. However, cascara tea makes use of this byproduct.
Here’s how cascara tea is generally made:
- Harvesting: Coffee cherries are harvested from coffee plants.
- Processing: The coffee beans are extracted from the cherries for coffee production. The remaining husks (cascara) are then dried.
- Drying: The dried coffee husks are usually sun-dried, similar to the drying process of coffee beans.
- Brewing: The dried cascara is brewed to make a tea. It can be steeped in hot water, much like traditional tea.
- Flavor Profile: Cascara tea has a unique flavor profile that is distinct from coffee. It often has fruity, floral, and slightly tangy notes.
Cascara tea has gained popularity as a specialty beverage in recent years, and it’s appreciated for its unique taste and the sustainable use of coffee byproducts. Some variations include adding sweeteners, spices, or other flavorings to enhance the taste.