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Cascara: A Coffee By-Product

Coffee beans, as you may know, are actually just the washed seeds of the coffee cherry fruit. During the washing process of coffee production, the two are separated so that the coffee beans may be exported alone. But what happens to the flesh of the fruit?

For some, coffee skins are a by-product to be thrown away or used as compost, but for other producers, it is an opportunity for extra income. You see, these skins can be dried out as cascara, something which is brewed into a delightful fruit tea.

Omwani’s Cascara brew guide

Though the drink of choice at Omwani HQ is Coffee through and through, we have been known to enjoy a good cuppa when the mood strikes, and as such spent an afternoon brewing up variants on the cascara tea recipe to establish the Omwani Preference.

You will need:
  • 10g of Cascara

  • Water and a means to boil it

  • A tea strainer

Instructions for one cup of Cascara Tea:
  • Bring some water to a boil. 93 degrees celsius is rumoured to be the best temperature, but letting the kettle work its magic turned out fine for us.

  • Put 10g of cascara in your cup.

  • Add 200g* of boiled water. *The amount of water you add will ultimately decide on the intensity of the drink. Our office Tea Drinker LC ruled that 200g would produce the best cup, with a strong fruity flavour that doesn’t hit too hard. On the other hand, Livi, who manages all our coffee cuppings, was in favour of twice that amount of water (which would give you two cups of tea) for a subtler, more nuanced drink. We also tried a recipe that called for around 130g of water, which we can only recommend if you like your tea to smack you across the face with its strength.

  • Steep for 4 minutes. The cascara we have is entirely whole husks, though you may also encounter the sort made up of smaller chunks. If that’s the case, 3 minutes to steep will do just fine.

  • Strain your tea and enjoy!


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