What Is Cascara?
Cascara, derived from the Spanish cascara which means ‘husk’, ‘peel’, or ‘skin’ is made from dried skins of the coffee plant. This dried skins or ‘dried cherries’ can be used to make herbal tea.
Cascara is found somewhere at the intersection of coffee and tea—although it comes from the coffee plant, the drink doesn’t taste anything like coffee.
Cascara is often described as having a sweet, fruity taste with notes of rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, red current, mango or even tobacco. Likewise, the tea does not have the same caffeine content as coffee.
In the post “Cascara and Caffeine” on the Square Mile Coffee Blog, co-founder Anette Moldvaer explains that in August, Square Mile sent some cascara to a lab in Germany to test exactly how much caffeine the drink contains.
Moldvaer reports: “As expected, [the] ratio of cascara to water has an impact on the caffeine content of the final beverage, while steep time seems to make little difference.”
However, she continues, “Surprisingly, we found the caffeine content to be fairly low. Even at the strongest, longest brew, the caffeine content of cascara came in at 111.4 mg/L, compared to broad range of about 400-800 mg/L in brewed coffee.”
source : freshcup.com
Cascara Tea Health Benefits
Photo courtesy of Jessica Festa.
While coffee cherry skins mark the taste of coffee, they provide a major boost for your health. In fact, these juicy, sweet skins pack eight time the antioxidants of blueberries, meaning you don’t need to worry about making a complex salad or juicing to get a solid health boost.
For those who don’t have access to recycled coffee cherries, KonaRed, a Hawaii-based company, developed a series of antioxidant-rich juices based on the health benefits of the local coffee cherry, which is where Greenwell Farms now donates their skins.
“We spent months in the lab, identifying the marker compounds and antioxidants in the coffee cherry from Kona, Hawaii,” explains Shaun Roberts, co-founder and CEO of KonaRed.
“Our test results from leading antioxidant testing firms like Brunswick Laboratories and Chromadex identified these compounds and antioxidants and the levels contained in coffee fruit.”
source : epicureandculture.com
How to Make Cascara Tea in a French Press
There are wildly different recipes for making cascara tea. I’ve seen brewing ratios as strong as 10:1 (10 parts water to 1 part tea) and as weak as 20:1, but many use a ratio in between those two outliers.
- Add Cascara To French Press
- Add Hot Water and Fill French Press
- Steep Cascara For 4 Minutes and Stir
- Push Down and Serve
Details explanation on I Need Coffee.