Brewing with cascara

The cherries of the coffee tree can be brewed into tea, syrup and even used in cocktails.

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Photo : Cascara tea

Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherry.

Traditionally the fruit has been discarded after the precious seeds have been removed, but now they are being kept, dried and sold as a sweet, floral and cherry tasting tea called cascara.

We’ve played around with these dried cherry skins and come up with a few recipes.

Make sure to save a little of the tea and soda syrup for the cosmopolitans!

TEA

The simplest way of drinking cascara is in a tea.

  • 10g cascara
  • 150 ml boiling water

Brew for 6 minutes

Adjust the ratio of cascara to water to suit your tastes. The brew doesn’t become bitter, so you can leave it as long as you like. Delicious hot or iced.

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Photo : Cascara mixers

SODA

Make a syrup of cascara, water and sugar to mix with sparkling water for a light, refreshing summer softdrink.

  • 25g cascara
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Combine cascara, water and sugar in saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Simmer for 6 minutes, or until all sugar is dissolved and the syrup has turned a deep reddish brown. Strain and bottle.

To serve, mix 1 part syrup with 8 parts sparkling water. This recipe is light on the sugar in order to allow the flavours of the cascara to shine through, but it can be increased if you’re after a sweeter soda.

COSMOPOLITAN

A twist on the classic, replacing cranberry with cascara.

  • 30 ml Tanqueray gin
  • 15 ml Cointreau
  • 15 ml cascara tea
  • 30 ml cascara syrup
  • 15 ml lemon juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cheers!

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