Cascara (dried coffee cherries) - Finca Las Lajas
WATERMELON, RED CURRANT & HIBISCUS
ORIGIN: Costa Rica
PRODUCER: Chacón Solano family - Finca Las Lajas
REGION: Central Valley, Sabanillas de Alajuela
GROWING ALTITUDE: 1500 m.
VARIETAL: Caturra, Catuaí (organic)
WHAT IS CASCARA?
Cascara, which means “husk,” “peel” or “skin” in Spanish, is the dried skins of coffee cherries.
Coffee beans are the seed of a fruit, which is called the coffee cherry. The fleshy fruit can vary in colour based on its variety, but is most often red when ripe. The cherry itself contains caffeine (that’s how coffee gets its caffeine), potassium and is high in antioxidants. The fruit protects its seeds against insects and other wildlife as they grow and develop.
In many cases the coffee cherries are turned into compost and used on the farm as fertilizer, but in some cases the coffee farmer also produce dried coffee cherries for export, this is called Cascara.
We are very proud to work with Finca Las Lajas in Costa Rica, an extremely talented and sustainable farmer, that produces our high end Cascara.
The Chacón Solano family has been growing coffee for over 80 years and three generations in the foothills of the Poás volcano in the Central Valley.
Once the cherries have been harvested, the pulp is sun-dried, thus allowing for the extraction of the coffee beans from the cherry, giving the Cascara a unique taste of watermelon, red currant aroma and hibiscus flower notes, with a mango aftertaste.
Although it comes from the coffee plant, Cascara tastes nothing like coffee when brewed. Because it’s brewed from a dried fruit, it most closely relates to an herbal tea or tisane.
Cascara generally has a caffeine content that is about 25% that of coffee or less, even after a longer than normal steeping period. It has been surmised that the sugars present in the cascara contribute to the energized feeling reported by many of its drinkers.
Sustainability is a key component of our mission statement at Gust Coffee Roasters, and using every aspect of a product without wasting, is a core component of that statement. When we drink our Finca Las Lajas cascara brew, we’re reminded of the long and storied history of the coffee tree and its fruit, and are delighted by the floral, fruity flavors presented by the cascara infusion.
Brewed hot or cold, Cascara is a super interesting way to enjoy, without wasting anything from that amazing coffee plant we love so much!
Drink it hot:
- weight out 10g of Cascara
- add 400g of hot water at 95°C (brew ratio 1:40) in a tea pot with filter or french press
- wait for 4 minutes and stir 5 times
- wait another 4 minutes and your infusion is ready!
Drink it cold:
- weight out 20g of Cascara
- add 400g of cold water (brew ratio 1:20) in a tea pot with filter or french press
- let it sit in your fridge overnight (10-18h)
- remove the Cascara from the filter
- Add some ice cubes and your cold cascara is ready!