|Farm||Helsar de Zarcero, Naranjo, West Valley|
Coffee cherry tea may be quite a new thing in Europe. But it has been known in other areas of the world for some time. The cascara tea used to be brewed and drunk way sooner before coffee roasting was discovered in the fifteenth century. Sadly, it disappeared for a long time due to so popular coffee roasting. Farmers started using cascara either discarded as waste or turned into compost and used on the farm as fertilizer. Cascara tea is often described as having a sweet, fruity taste with notes of rose hip, hibiscus, cherry, red currant or even tobacco. You can also put it in your granola or salad to enhance your meals.
Cascara from Helsar de Zarcero
Cascara from the Helsar de Zarcero farm is quite unique. It is BIO certified. The farm also has been working with the local University and came with a new way of processing that can preserve all vitamins and enzymes of the coffee cherries. The process takes around 18 hours. They first wash coffee cherries clean and then they steam and dry them abruptly in order to keep all the nutrients and sweetness. They do grind their cascara here. They don’t just crush it. Grinding gives more intense flavour.
Ricardo Perez founded Helsar de Zarcero farm in 2004 during the micromill revolution. They are eco-friendly coffee farmers and most of their production is BIO certified. They use rain water and waste water for the cherry processing. They plant hundreds of new trees to lower their carbon footprint. They will be soon the first carbon neutral processing station in Costa Rica.
How to make cascara tea?
The easiest way to enjoy cascara is to brew it in a tea pot with a metal strainer. Use 10g of cascara and 500ml of boiling water and let it steep for 5-8 minutes. Hot or over ice.