Guatemala Jalapa Cascara Nano Lot
Flavor note: Rosehip, plum, honey, clean aftertaste
Area: New Oriente, Colis, Jalpa
Barista's comment: "Unbelievably sweet and clean Cascara, achieved due the careful handling, care, and “dry bicycle” de-pulping.
Cascara, also often referred to as "coffee cherry tea", is dried outer skins of coffee cherries. It has been considered a by-product of coffee making process, and often discarded in mass, if not used as a compost. Recently, however, cascara is gaining its popularity in specialty coffee scene as an exciting, new and tasty ingredients. After all, beautiful coffee comes from beautiful cherries- why waste?
This dark red, sun-dried fruit peel has a shell-like, leathery texture, and makes a tea-like infusion. The flavor is quite different from roasted coffee beans- sweet and a bit tart like rosehip or plum, and mellow as honey. Although it is caffeinated, the caffein content is less than a brewed coffee for about 1/4 to 1/8.
You can explore quite a lot with it as well- you can make a syrup, or dried cascara can also be used as a "coffee flour", ground and mixed with wheat flour to be used in baking. Playing around with some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to make it warmer and more fragrant infusion is also a known way to enjoy it.
What we love about introducing cascara at Kurasu is not just because it is especially high quality, gorgeous cascara, but because we feel that it is a wonderful way of up-cycling. As mentioned, cascara has been discarded most of the time, sometimes even causing a water pollution. Consuming cascara means less waste, less pollution, pioneering a new revenue source for the coffee farmers, all while enjoying a wonderful and curious encounter with coffee cherries.
GOOD COFFEE FARMS, run by Mr. Carlos Melen is an organisation that supports small sized farmers in Guatemala to produce great coffee, in sustainably and eco-friendly way.
Amongst their numerous intriguing activities and novel ideas, there is their Dry Bicycle Pulping method. The pulping machine runs simply by pedalling, and it requires no electricity, no water, and causes no pollution.
We recently invited Mr. Melen to Kurasu Kyoto for a cupping/auction, and thanks to his great work, we could get their cascara and green beans all from micro/nano lot, and extremely rare- don’t miss it!
I would definitely buy again. It has a very clean loose-leaf taste with no aftertaste. One of my all-time favorite teas in 2019, hopefully, I'll buy some more in this new year of 2020.