This is not roasted coffee, this is cascara. Meaning "husk" in Spanish, cascara is the dried fruit of the coffee plant. A coffee bean is really the seed of a coffee berry, colloquially known as a cherry. Traditionally, the fruit was simply a byproduct of the seed extraction process. Leftover fruit is typically composted and returned to the fields as fertilizer. It was discovered that, if treated carefully the remaining dried coffee fruit taste great on its own and could be steeped in water to make a delicious tisane, or infusion.
This cascara was produced in Panama by our friend Willem Boot, on his farm La Mula, which is located in the famous Boquete growing region. It is the dried fruit of Gesha variety plants and is exceptionally sweet. There are a number of ways to brew cascara but we have enjoyed variations of the recipe below, which can be adjusted according to taste.
1-2 Tablespoons cascara
8-12 ounces hot water (about 200° F)
Steep for 3-5 minutes