What we traditionally think of as coffee is actually the pit of the coffee cherry fruit. After the process of coffee bean removal, a fruity pulp, orcascara, remains.Even though it is a byproduct of the coffee plant, cascara doesn’t actually taste like coffee.
In the washing process of coffee, the beans must be removed from the coffee cherries before drying. The remaining hulls are often used for compost or discarded. However, with a growing demand for cascara, a product that would typically become waste is turning into a secondary income for farmers. Cascara is a delicious middle ground between the worlds of coffee and tea, and a great alternative for those looking for something a little different.
In the washed coffee method, fresh coffee cherries are left to ferment in water for up to 24 hours, where afterwards, they pass through a wet mill. This milling process removes the pit from the fruit and pulp of the coffee cherry, creating two distinct products: coffee beans and cascara.
The fruit hulls, or cascara, are then laid out to dry on beds in a greenhouse. This pulp is left to dry until it reaches an appropriate moisture content for packaging. It is then bagged and stored until export.
Produced by Nelson Paguaga of Risus Coffee in El Paraiso, Honduras, this cascara is zingy and clean on the palette, with notes of notes of cranberry, star fruit, green grapes, and citrus. It’s rich, full bodied, and promises an exciting and refreshing alternative to coffee. It’s delicious hot or iced, and has only a slightly caffeinated kick when you’re looking for a boost that won’t keep you up past bedtime.