Working as a barista, I have witnessed first hand the universal language of coffee, celebrated by coffee lovers (for its diverse flavours) and cherished by tired morning souls for its awakening caffeine content. That the coffee bean actually grows in a cherry fruit is known by few. In countries like Yemen and Ethiopia, however, the sweet coffee cherry tea called “Cascara” (càscara meaning “shell” or “husk”) has been brewed for centuries as “quishr“ and “hashara” sometimes with spices, even longer than western coffee culture can trace back. In recent years, coffee shops have discovered the herbal fruit infusion which allows baristas to communicate & educate their customers about the origins of the coffee bean through a by-product whose husks are usually removed and wasted during the coffee process: The coffee cherry.
Neither coffee, nor tea
and yet a fruity fusion of both!
Neither coffee, nor tea, and yet a fruity FUSION of both, coffee cherry tea combines fruity, sweet flavours (sometimes hibiscus, dried fruits or peach) with subtle earthy caffeine taste. Telling the full story of coffee, it is easy to fall in love with the surprising flavours & complexity of coffee cherries! Paired with cooling ice, cascara can be the perfect natural summer energy drink with a caffeine kick that has the power to unify coffee lovers & tea drinkers!
“A summer energy drink with caffeine kick that has the power to unify coffee lovers & tea drinkers!”
“Cascara” with coffee cherry tea from Kaffeemanufaktur Mark Schnibbe
Reasons to Love Coffee Cherry Tea
1.) Using the whole cherry instead of just the inner bean, the environment and the entire supply chain benefit from a more efficient use of the coffee plant.
2.) In this way, coffee farmers can increase their yield & income by reducing needless waste.
3.) Moreover, due to high levels of antioxidants, coffee cherry tea is a healthy herbal infusion that can fight diseases and improve digestion. The cherry is also said to have a beauty effect nourishing skin and hair.
4.) Cascara contains caffeine providing energy without artificial substances like other synthetically produced drinks. However, even if adopted for the strongest, longest brew, cascara contains only a quarter to an eighth (111.4 ml/L) compared to brewed coffee (400-800 mg/L) as research on behalf of Square Mile Coffee Rosters has shown, which qualifies the tea as energy source even for people with low caffeine tolerance!
5) Interestingly, Cascara is neither tea nor coffee, and yet one of the most exciting combinations to taste both! The sweet flavour of hibiscus, dried fruits or peach meet earthy notes of caffeine, which makes a cup of coffee cherry tea an energising drink that serves coffee and tea drinkers!
Even if adopted for the strongest, longest brew, cascara contains only a quarter to an eighth of caffeine compared to brewed coffee.
DIY Cascara Ice Tea
- 40 g coffee dried coffee cherries
- 1 l water
- 1 tbsp. ml agave syrup
- Fill a glass jar or professional brewing can with hot water at 92-95 degrees Celsius (about 200 degrees Fahrenheit). If the water has cooked, leave it for 3-4 minutes for the desired temperature.
- Brew the dried coffee cherries in a tea bag.
- Steep for about 6-10 minutes.
- Filter out the tea and add the agave syrup. Let the tea cool down and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours until cool.
- You can enjoy the coffee cherry tea with ice cubes and slices of orange, lemon or peach to enhance fruity flavours. Store the cascara in a glass jar in the fridge and you can enjoy the ice tea as a refreshing energy drink for 2 days.