100% Bolivian Cascara Tea
Cascara, or coffee cherry tea, is an herbal tea made from the dried berries (also called cherries, or guindas) of the coffee plant. The Spanish word cáscara means "husk". In Bolivia, it is also known as sultana, and is commonly consumed as a tea. It can be mixed with sticks of cinnamon for enhanced flavor and additional anti-oxidants. It has now become a highly appreciated specialty tea. This bag contains 4 oz. of un-roasted, un-ground cascara berries.
Coffee cherries contain caffeine, as does the tea, at about a quarter of the caffeine level of brewed coffee. The taste of coffee cherry tea is different from coffee, though: sweet and cherry flavored and very pleasant. Our Bolivian cascara tea has an effervescent, citric acidity. The taste of sweet lemon comes across throughout. It also has hints of chocolate and vanilla. The aroma is of tropical fruits, raisins, and is very intense.
Our cascara is un-roasted and un-ground. It is dried on elevated drying beds, known as "camas africanas" ( African drying beds), not on the patio floor, which makes it cleaner and tastier. It also comes from specialty-grade coffee beans (only 20% of the world's coffee supply). We sourced it from one of our regular micro-lot coffee producers, Pablo Coromi, whose coffee trees are 70% Caturra, 30% Typica coffee varietals. His farm is located in the Llusta region, community of Nuevo Canal, part of the Caranavi Province, Department of La Paz. Altitude of his farm is 1,600 meters above sea level (5,000 feet). We ask Pablo to select the best cherries and dry them over a raised bed. To maintain its quality we pack the cascara at origin (in Bolivia) in hermetically sealed GrainPro® bags, which do not allow oxygen in and maintain constant water activity levels.
Brewing guidelines for cascara tea have not yet been standardized, but 22 grams per quart of water, or approximately 5.6 grams per cup (8 oz., 240 ml) 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. We simply put the cascara in the bottom of a coffee mug, fill it with boiling water and let it steep covered for 3-4 minutes. Some people strain the tea to remove the dried berries. Others enjoy it by just letting the steeped dried berries fall to the bottom of the cup. Proper brewing yields a dark red tea. Brew time guidelines range from 4 minutes to 7 or 8 minutes. Experiment and enjoy!
Our organic Bolivian cascara (AKA Sultana) is certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers