Cascara in Spanish means “husk” or “shell,” and is used to describe the skin of the coffee fruit that has been removed during depulping. It has become popular as a dried fruit used to brew tea, create a flavorful simple syrup, or any number of endless possibilities that you might imagine.
For tea, we recommend 5g of cascara for every 100mL of water.
After being harvested, the cherries are transported on the same day to a facility to be specially processed: The seeds in their mucilage are whisked away, but the removed pulp is washed, pasteurized, and dehydrated in a sterile environment to keep it free of pathogens, debris, and other not-delicious stuff commonly found in “regular” cascara.
This cascara come from Helsar de Zarcero Micromill owned by Richardo Pérez and brothers Felipe and Marvin Rodriguez. The mill was built in the early 2000s in order to control the processing (and therefore the quality) of their farms. Since 2012, the University of Costa Rica and Helsar Micromill have been researching the possibility of creating food-grade cascara using modern technology, pasteurization, and specialization. In an interesting role-reversal, the coffees used here were picked specifically to produce cascara—the coffee seeds are the "by-product" in this unique case!
Caturra, Catuai, and Villalobos coffees from fincas Santa Lucía and Anonos in Naranjo, Costa Rica, comprise this special lot.