What is Specialty Cascara?
The word cascara originates from the Spanish word cáscara, which means ‘husk’ or cherry skin. Traditionally, The husk or cherry skin is discarded post processing. In some cases, the cherry skins are used as compost to fertilize the coffee farms (due to its richness in Nitrogen). Alternatively, it can also be processed carefully, upcycled, and brewed; this brew results in an almost coffee-tea like combination, with notes of raisins and tamarind. A natural and perfectly upcycled complement to coffee.
At the farm-level, Cascara requires the same meticulous attention to detail in processing as coffee. The variance and modulation in cascara processing, i.e bringing it to a consumable form, highly influences the flavor.
Cascara happens to be the discarded fruit skin or husk of the coffee fruit, which is generally leftover at the end of the processing cycle. It is entirely different from Cascara Sagrada, which is a tree bark and a laxative.
This leftover fruit skin/husk that is known as Cascara has mainly been utilised as fertiliser on coffee plantations, or is otherwise discarded as waste. However, the potential of the fruit skin that was hitherto being discarded or not fully utilised is only just being uncovered as an antioxidant super source.
Importantly, Cascara, technically still does belong to the same genus as coffee, but the brew and body it produces is more similar in likeness to a tea, and it also bears a correspondingly lighter caffeine concentration.