Cascara—the dried skin of coffee cherries—is typically discarded during the coffee production process, but as baristas and roasters recognize its tart, tea-like flavor, they’re finding creative ways of working it into drinks, like this Cascara Dark & Stormy. Even though it’s not commonly found in retail shops for purchasing, a growing number of coffee roasters are making it available online. While you’re waiting for your shipment, be sure to read more about cascara in the January/February 2016 issue.
44 North Coffee
Finca Las Delicias, $9 for 8 oz.
Hailing from one of the nine farms owned or managed by the Menéndez family in El Salvador, 44 North’s Cascara comes from shade-grown coffee that’s certified sustainable from the Rainforest Alliance. Flavors include rose hips, tamarind and hibiscus. 44 North also has some suggestions for mixing cascara into cocktails.
49th Parallel Coffee
El Salvador La Florida Cascara, $7.50 for 2 oz.; $26 for 8 oz.
After sourcing a batch of coffee from the Finca La Florida in Santa Ana, El Salvador, 49th Parallel decided to invest in the cascara husks from the same lot of coffee. Expect flavors of black cherry, hibiscus and prune.
Detour Coffee Roasters
Helsar de Zacero Costa Rica, $7.50 for 50 grams
Developed in conjunction with the University of San Jose, this cascara comes from an organic coffee farm in Costa Rica. It tastes like peach, sweet lemon and maple.
Onyx Coffee Lab
Los Lajones Gesha Cascara, $35
Onyx also sourced from the Los Lajones Estate, and the crew is looking into sourcing another batch to sell, this time from Antioquia, Colombia.
If you want to skip the hassle of brewing your own cascara tea, you can order a 3-pack of cold-brew cascara for $12 (plus shipping). It’s so delicious that we dubbed it a recent Drink of the Week.
Los Lajones Gesha Cascara, $15
Husks sourced from Gesha trees grown on the Los Lajones Estate are sun-dried and aged for six months before processing and packaging. Look for notes of rose water and boysenberry.