In order for coffee to be brewed, beans have to be harvested from coffee plants. Coffee beans are actually the seeds of the fruit grown on coffee bushes and trees -- commonly referred to coffee cherries. The fruit helps protect the seeds by deterring insects and wildlife from harming it.
When coffee beans are collected, the fruit is left behind or discarded. However, instead of wasting the fruit, they can be harvested, dried, and used to make tea. Thees dried coffee cherries are known as Cascara. The idea of using the coffee cherries for tea started in Ethiopia and has been going on for centuries. Making tea from the cherries is a great way to make use of the whole plant and cut down on waste.
Even though this drink comes from the same place coffee does, it tastes nothing like coffee. It is very similar to herbal teas and the taste will vary depending on the region of growth. It is described as having a fruity and floral taste and has a very low level of caffeine. It is a relatively new drink to the US, but a craze that is growing amongst coffee and tea connoisseurs. We have talked about the Cascara trend in more length in our Coffee Life blog.