Cascara Coffee Cherry Tea
berry, tart, raisin
Twelve years ago, Ricardo Pérez Barrantes and the brothers Marvin and Felipe Rodriguez, opened the micro mill in Llano Bonito de Naranjo so they could provide full traceability and highest quality processing for their own coffee crops. In the past years, Ricardo has been working with the University of Costa Rica to develop a new way to do Cascara, a coffee cherry tea.
Cascara is a dried fruit tea made from the coffee cherry that we love drinking over ice all summer long! In the washed coffee process, the first step is to remove the seed (which is the coffee “bean”) from the cherry with a de-pulper. Normally, this skin is considered waste, or a byproduct of coffee processing. It is usually composted for use as a natural fertilizer in the farm later in the season. To create this tea, the pulp is collected and washed and then laid out to dry. Cascara, which means skin or peel in Spanish, is a relatively new product in Central America, though it has been consumed for centuries in Ethiopia and Yemen. In Yemen, it is called Qisher, and is often steeped with spices or ginger.
Typically, Cascara is produced by washing the pulp and drying on raised beds in the sun, similar to specialty coffees we offer. Ricardo has built an entire facility dedicated to producing cascara. The process is enclosed to create the most sanitary conditions. After the coffee is depulped, the cherry skins are washed with clean water and then go through a vaporizing chamber that heats them very fast and very hot to kill any potential bacteria. After this cleaning process, the skins are put into a large dehydrator to remove all the moisture.
Farm: Finca Santa Lucia at Helsar de Zarcero Micro Mill
Country: Costa Rica
Region: West Valley
Altitude: 1650-1800 meters
Processing Method: Fully washed, pasteuried & dried
The Cup: A fruity, complex coffee cherry tea. A perfect alternative to black coffee. A sweet fusion of raspberry, raisins, orange along with honey and subtle green tea undertones.
Cup profile: berry, tart, raisin
Temperature: 203F to 212F
Time: 4 minutes
Measurement: 12 g (0.4 oz) / 12 oz serving
This is my first time steeping coffee cherry tea. I let it steep for 3 minutes for light tea. The color is pleasantly warm. The taste is intriguing, like you are experiencing something special. When it cools, there is light acidity, like coffee. It is great as is and it will be great with your favorite cookie.