We're now serving Cold Brew Cascara in the cafe and at the Great Barrington Farmer's Market. We've known about it for a while, but it was while we were in Panama last February that we grew to love it. And not just for the taste. It also happens to be super-high in antioxidants, great for the environment and even better for the farmers who grow it.
What it is
All coffee is grown as a cherry. The seed of the cherry is our beloved coffee bean, which we roast, grind, brew and drink. Cascara, which means “husk” in Spanish, is the skin and pulp of the coffee cherry which are dried in the sun with the bean inside per the natural process. When the time comes, the dried skin and pulp are taken off the bean. We now import this and cold brew it for 22 hours to bring you Cold Brew Cascara.
Why it's so good for you, the farmer and the fish
Cascara (or, rather brewing the coffee fruit/skin as a tea) is not new at all. In fact, it's very old and goes by many names. The name Cascara originated in El Salvador where a coffee grower discovered the beverage and named it after the Spanish word for husk or skin. In Ethiopia, it is known as Geshar or Hashara; in Bolivia, Sultana; In Yemen, Qishr.
It was centuries ago in Yemen and Ethiopia, the birthplace of all coffee, that they started brewing the skin as a tea. In fact, it is the first way that coffee was served as a beverage, before they discovered the magic that could come from roasting and grinding and brewing the bean.
How it tastes
Nothing like coffee, first of all. It has a natural date-like sweetness and a dry, tannic finish. It is fruity-flavored but not much like a fruit you know. If pressed, we'd go with rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, mango, apricot or even tobacco. Regardless, it pairs exceedingly well with mint, lime, ginger and lemon and we love it with a splash of seltzer to bring it alive. We'd love to hear your thoughts!
How to make it
You can make it as a:
How to get fancy
Dark and Stormy
4 oz. ginger beer½ oz. fresh lime juiceCascara tea concentrateGlass: Old FashionedGarnish: lime peel
Combine the lime juice and ginger beer in an Old Fashioned glass over ice and stir to combine. Float the cascara concentrate on top of the mixture and garnish. (Onyx Coffee Lab)
Maple Cascara Mojito
Cascara No. 1
1 oz. gin1 oz. cold-brew cascara tea½ oz. sweet vermouth1 oz. grapefruit cordial*3 dashes AngosturaTools: mixing glassGlass: rocksGarnish: microgreens (or a grapefruit twist)
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill. Serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass and garnish. (Josh Conley, Memphis)
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice¼ cup honey2 sprigs fresh rosemary2 whole cloves2 ounces vodka
Add first four ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the liquid to cool, leaving the rosemary and cloves in to steep. Once cooled, remove the rosemary and cloves, stir in vodka, and bottle. (Josh Conley, Memphis)
Hot cascara tea with a dollop of orange marmalade and 1½ oz. of spiced rum. Good morning! (44 North)
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