What is Cascara exactly?

Exciting News!

We are about to land our first batch of Cascara, we have been searching for this for a long time and it is very soon to arrive!  But first, many of you will be asking what is Cascara, so we have put together a bit of a blog to give you all those important and interesting facts.

So what is Cascara and what is it used for?

Cascara when translated from Spanish literally means “Shell”.  It is essentially a by-product of coffee production.  After the coffee cherry has been picked, the cherry is pulped to remove the bright red skin.  This pulped skin is often discarded as it is only the inner seed, the coffee bean that is normally required.

Recently though, it was discovered that this discarded cherry had some real fruity properties that was worth extracting like a tea.  So by taking these pulped skins, and drying them in the sun, we can literally create a new fruity beverage which reduces wasteage, and tastes fantastic.

However, finding an organic supply that was set up to send out great tasting Cascara was a problem and now that we have managed that we are thrilled.

This Cascara is from various smallholders in the Yungus region of Bolivia.  Grown in an altitude of between 1500 and 1800masl, this cascara has been fully washed after the pulping, and then it has been dried on raised beds, and organic certified as well!!

What do I do with Cascara?

There is a simple recipe that you can use as the base of most of your drinks, and like anything else, these can be changed to suit your pallet.  Whether you wanted a stronger more fruity drink or a lighter less bodied drink, just adjust the ratios to suit.

Use the ratio of 50g per litre,

Water Cascara
1 Litre (1000ml) 50g Cascara
0.5 Litre (500ml) 25g Cascara
0.25 Litres (250ml) 12.5g Cascara

Leave to Brew in hot water at approximately 95°C for around 5 minutes and you will get a super-rich and syrupy sweet beverage that can be enjoyed hot, cold over ice, or mix it in your cocktails.

Does Cascara contain caffeine?

The simple answer is yes, Cascara does indeed contain caffeine.  But how much?  If you compare drink types then this will paint a picture as numbers can often confuse people.

Using the chart1 below, but expanding on that a little:

Coffee and Tea (8oz / 227ml) Caffeine (mg)
Coffee, Drip 115-175
Coffee, Brewed 80-135
Coffee, Espresso (2 ounces) 100
Coffee, Instant 65-100
Cascara2 78
Tea, iced 47
Tea, brewed, imported brands (avg.) 60
Tea, instant 30
Tea, green 15
Hot cocoa 14
Coffee, Decaf, brewed 3-4
Coffee, Decaf, instant 4-3
Dark chocolate (1 oz) 20 mg

This was based on an 8oz drink (227ml), with a brew of high brew of 60mg/Litre and a longer steep time of 10 minutes which is possibly worst case as this would be considered strong for most.

Suffice to say, that though the caffeine content is lower than regular coffees, it is still high enough for you to feel those effects, so it would be a beverage that needs to be enjoyed sensibly.

Our Cascara is available online in our store.

 

1 https://www.math.utah.edu/~yplee/fun/caffeine.html

2 using lab results from http://www.squaremileblog.com/2013/08/30/cascara-and-caffeine/

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