Cascara Tea: Natural Process - El Paraíso, Honduras
From the Spanish meaninghusk, cascara is the fruit or husk that surrounds the pit of the coffee cherry, and the pit is what is roasted and consumed as coffee.Even though it comes from the genus coffea, cascara doesn't actually taste like coffee. It’s also surprisingly low in caffeine, averaging about half of the amount found in prepared coffee.
In traditional washed coffee production, coffee beans must be removed from the coffee cherry before drying. These cherries are typically discarded by farmers or used as compost, but as demand for cascara grows, many farms are now preparing their cascara for export. This cascara was produced in El Paraiso, Honduras by farmer Nelson Paguaga, who dedicates the same care and attention to detail to his cascara processing as he does to his renowned specialty coffee microlots.
In natural processed coffee, whole coffee cherries are dried on beds, in a rotation that lasts up to four weeks. The dried cherries are then processed in a dry mill. This removes the beans from the pulp, and creates two distinct products - coffee beans and cascara.
After the initial milling process, the fruit pulp is then left to dry again, until it reaches a moisture content that allows it to be packaged and stored.
Similarly to coffee, the cup characteristics of cascara are heavily dependent on its terroir- or environmental influences, in addition to the method of processing and brewing. It’s also rich in antioxidants, offering aid to the digestive system, organ function, and more.
With notes of roses, peach, sugar cane and caramel, you’re sure to enjoy this naturally sweet and lightly caffeinated cascara.