Coffee cherry tea

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Coffee beans inside the coffee fruit.

Coffee cherry tea is a herbal tea made from the dried skins[1] of the coffee fruit. Often it is more than the skins that are used, and include the dried berries (or "cherries") of the coffee plant that remain after the coffee beans have been collected from within. It is also known as cascara, from the Spanish cáscara, meaning "husk". It is different from cáscara sagrada tea, a powerful plant-based laxative derived from Rhamnus purshiana, which is native to the Pacific Northwest.

Coffee cherry tea is a common drink in some coffee-growing nations, notably Bolivia, as well as in Yemen (where it is called qishr) and Somalia (where it is called bun). Outside of these traditional uses, the coffee fruit is usually considered a wasted byproduct of the coffee-production process.[2] However, increasing demand for cáscara from large U.S.-based coffee chains has, in some cases, led to the dried husks fetching higher prices than the coffee beans.[3]

It is commonly consumed in Bolivia, where it is referred to as sultana, and is made of sun-dried and lightly toasted coffee cherries. It may also be mixed with sticks of cinnamon. It is also called "the poor man's coffee", and "the coffee of the Army".[4] It is believed that cáscara tea was consumed in Yemen even before the form of coffee we know today.[5]

Coffee cherries contain caffeine, as does the tea, though while the tea is popularly understood to have a high level of caffeine,[6] it actually only has about a quarter the caffeine levels of coffee.[7][8] Cascara is known to be high in antioxidants.[9] The taste of coffee cherry tea is different from coffee, and has been described as somewhat sweet and cherry flavored, surprisingly pleasant.[10]


Brewing guidelines are not standardized, but 20 grams per liter of water,[11] or approximately 5 grams per cup (8 oz, 240 ml)[10] is suggested. When the coffee cherry tea is ground and classified to loose tea industry standard size, one teaspoon per 6 ounces of water, steeped for 5 minutes are the standard brewing instructions.

Proper brewing yields a dark red tea; brew time guidelines range from 4 minutes[11] to 7 or 8 minutes.[10]


As of 2017, cascara is regularly sold in a small number of cities in the United States, including Washington D.C.,[12] New York City,[13] Boston,[14] Raleigh,[15] Los Angeles,[16] and Seattle.[17]

After the coffee beans are collected, the remaining fruit is sundried and brewed into coffee cherry tea.

Starbucks Coffee and Blue Bottle Coffee have both featured cascara-based drinks on their seasonal menus, including a "cascara latte" and a "cascara fizz", respectively.[3] In September 2019, Shake Shack introduced a cascara shake. [18] In October 2019, Dashfire Bitters of Minnesota released a ready-to-drink Manhattan cocktail using fig and cascara. [19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ What is Cascara?, Fresh cup, 28. März 2017
  2. ^ "Welcome to Lazy Bear Tea!". Lazy Bear Tea. Archived from the original on 2018-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  3. ^ a b "Coffee Waste Is Now Fetching a 480% Premium Over Coffee Itself". Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  4. ^ " • View topic - Ever Eat A Coffee Cherry?".
  5. ^ Dave, Eggers. The monk of Mokha (First ed.). New York. ISBN 1101947314. OCLC 987983540.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2012-12-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Cascara and caffeine". 30 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Beverage derived from the extract of coffee cherry husks and coffee cherry pulp". Kraft Foods R&D Inc (Munich). 16 November 2010.
  9. ^ "ORAC Values: 2018 Food Antioxidant Database | Superfoodly". Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  10. ^ a b c (Dane 2009)
  11. ^ a b (Hoffman 2008)
  12. ^ "Commonwealth Joe May Have Scraped Together the Next 'Hot' Drink". Eater DC. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  13. ^ "Home". Nomad Trading Co.
  14. ^ "Home". Lazy Bear Tea.
  15. ^ "Home". Slingshot Coffee Co.
  16. ^ "About". Venice Cold Brew.
  17. ^ "menu". Ada's technical books.
  18. ^ "Shake Shack Spins New Cascara Shake". Chew Boom. 2019-09-07.
  19. ^ "Ready to Drink Cocktails". Dashfire.

External links[edit]