What Is Cascara?

When it comes to coffee cherries, we are usually only concerned with what’s inside right?

But what about the cherry that protected the beans during growing? Well, this is known as Cascara (Spanish for husk), and today we are going to talk more about it!

Where Do Coffee Cherries Normally End Up?

After the coffee cherries have been harvested, they are sent to be processed and then dried. Part of the wet processing method used is known as pulping. This is where the flesh is removed from the seeds (which will become roasted beans) by a mechanical depulper. The beans are then fermented and dried before they make their way to various parts of the world. The cherries, or pulp, is usually discarded or turned into compost.


coffee cherries

Is Cascara Used For Anything Else?

Oh, I thought you’d never ask! Rather than being wholly discarded, the pulp is sometimes dried so it can then be brewed. Although Cascara comes from the coffee plant, it tastes nothing like coffee! Instead, it is similar in flavour to that of a herbal or fruit tea. Just like speciality coffee, the variety of the cherry, where it’s grown, how it is picked and then processed can have a significant influence on the overall taste of Cascara.



Where Was It First Brewed?

Ethiopia, known as the birthplace of coffee, have dried and brewed the cherries for centuries. The beverage it makes is known as Qishr. When coffee began to grow in Central and South America, the dried cherries were given the name Cascara which means “husk” in Spanish.

What Process Does Cascara Go Through?

The few coffee farms that sell Cascara use the same process the farmers who grow our coffees use. Cascara requires the same level of attention to that of speciality coffee. To ensure the cherries are of high quality, they must be grown, picked, processed and dried very carefully with complete attention to detail.


Ripe coffee cherries

How Is It Brewed?

Because it is so similar to tea, Cascara is usually put into bags and then steeped in hot water. Alternatively, it can be brewed using cold water to make a cold brew. Although the flavours of coffee aren’t there, the caffeine level is. The level of caffeine in Cascara is about the same as the amount in a cup of black tea.

Would You Recommend It?

If you’re a devoted coffee drinker, Cascara probably isn’t the drink for you. However, if you are partial to herbal tea occasionally, it may be something to try at least once. You will notice the flavours between Cascara and herbal tea are very similar.


brewed cascara


We do recommend however that if you do get the chance to try it then you should. There is no harm in trying everything at least once is there?

Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Not to worry; our shop has a selection of at least seven freshly roasted coffees for you to get stuck into!

Grab a bag today.


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