While working on a project in Hong Kong, I visited several coffee and tea shops where I came across tea made out of coffee fruit skin. This tea is called “cascara” and has pleasant floral, yet dry and leathery undertones.
Let’s find out more.
Cascara is commonly taken in coffee producing countries such as Bolivia, Yemen and Indonesia for centuries as a byproduct in coffee production.
Cascara (Husk in Spanish), is the dried skin of coffee cherries.
The skins are collected, after the stones have been removed from the cherries for further production of coffee. The coffee cherry skin is then dried under the sun.
Although it comes from a coffee plant, it does not taste anything like coffee. Cascara has a sweet, fruity taste with notes of rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, mango and tobacco.
Until recent years, coffee cherry tea was rarely commercially available. It first started popping up in coffee shops as an educational tool for baristas to teach guests where coffee comes from.
As part of the team development, the bar team at Akademi decided to work with Cascara for a month and shared their recipe below. Come and try what they did.
Cocktail Recipe – Cascara
20ml Ketel One Vodka
20ml Cascara Arak
10ml Rosella Arak
25ml Cascara Tea
10ml Citrus Juice
15ml Lemongrass Shrub
2 dashes of Mountain Bitter
Shake, then garnish with lemon strings and dried lemon.
Bartender’s note: While Cascara is already fairly sweet, some people recommend adding a little honey or sugar for extra flavour. You can also add ginger, nutmeg or cinnamon to the drink to make the traditional Yemen drink, ‘qisher’.