When coffee is processed, the multi-layers of the skin are removed from the seed of the coffee cherry. These discarded layers are often composted, but can also be dried as cascara, which means ‘peel’ in Spanish. Cascara tea is made from these dried, coffee cherries and is brewed similarly to tea. It has a slightly sweet taste with notes of hibiscus, raisin, and maple and is full of health benefits. The tasting notes can vary based on the growing region, the maturation of the coffee cherry when it is harvested, and the brewing method.
Cascara tea is rich in both antioxidants and nutrients contributing to overall health and wellness. Polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids are antioxidant compounds that can help combat oxidative stress and protect against damage to the body’s cells. Along with reducing stress, antioxidants are known for their potential to reduce inflammation and decrease the likelihood of various diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. The coffee fruit is also a valuable source of essential nutrients, including Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Magnesium, Chlorogenic acid, Quinic acid, and Diterpenes. The antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals found in Cascara benefit overall health and body function. Cascara also contains prebiotic fiber, which promotes a healthy gut bacteria and aids in digestion. Although cascara tea has a lower caffeine content compared to coffee, it still contains some caffeine providing the potential for a natural, energy boost. And like other herbal teas, cascara tea can contribute to hydration and support overall hydration and fluid balance in the body.
Bona’s Cascara is sourced from Fazenda Camocim (The Café Bio Project), located in Espirito Santo, Brazil. The farm is grown within an agroforestry system, operating on almost 600 acres of land containing over 300,000 different varieties of coffee trees. The Café Bio Project utilizes biodynamic farming which is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to agriculture that incorporates similar methods and values of organic farming. This agricultural approach promotes self sufficiency for both the farmers and the land while limiting the use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides. Decreasing reliance on chemical applications enhances the soil quality and can help better preserve the natural flavors and health benefits of the coffee fruit. Promoting sustainable agricultural methods protects the environment and supports the long-term sustainability of coffee farming. In biodynamic farming, the goal is to operate and sustain the natural ecosystem of the land and the agricultural methods are used with the intention to maintain the natural function and balance of the land. Biodynamic farming practices have the potential to enhance the quality of life for the farmers, surrounding community, and the environment through strengthening soil quality, preserving water resources, and reducing carbon emissions.