BEAN: Arabica |
TASTING NOTES: dried coffee cherries
TASTING NOTES: dried coffee cherries
Cascara tastes nothing like coffee! The word, Cascara which can be translated from Spanish to mean “husk”, is an increasingly popular byproduct of coffee processing. After coffee fruit is picked and pulped, the fruity pulp is dried to produce cascara, also known as dried coffee cherries. Our version is slightly tweaked, it is cascara in its original form, the husk of fruit after both have been dried together. Cascara can be brewed like loose leaf tea, steeped in hot water or as a cold brew. Although it does contain caffeine, it is about a quarter of that of coffee and jampacked with antioxidants. We love coffee but we’re nudging you to try a lesser known part of coffee’s journey!
The Arabica from which this Cascara comes, has been grown by our partner producers in Biligirirangan Hills. This region, BRT as it is fondly known is a magnificent forest with elevational gradients that go from 800 to 1600m! This unique range in altitude enables all major forest types and this in turn produces a magical cup of coffee…and cascara!
How to Use
You can enjoy both hot and cold brew versions. Here is our recommended recipe:
1 tbsp cascara
3 cups water
2 tbsp jaggery
Simmer the cascara, water and jaggery on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes till the volume is reduced to half. Allow it to cool, strain the mixture, and refrigerate.
To make the Cascara Tonic, add ice cubes into a tall glass, pour 90 ml of the cascara brew, the juice of half a lime and top with tonic water. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Developed in partnership with The Locavore & Chef Thomas Zacharias
Our office consists of rough-around-the-edges revolutionaries – scattered between Bangalore and BR Hills, India. Morning coffee is a Pour Over brewed with beans from leftovers – samples of new coffees we are trying out. By the afternoon our bloom is more precise. The bakery next door makes the best eggs puffs ever so those are consumed as part of our refined coffee pairing experiments. In the early evenings as rain beats down on rain, a chart paper is fashioned on to the tabletop. Mind maps are drawn, redrawn and reviewed. Where are we going and how can we get there in the most democratic way?
The idea of Black Baza Coffee did not come from us at all. It came from coffee growers themselves and it was the idea of creating a local, participatory and meaningful movement for coffee – starting with India and hopefully elsewhere as well. The idea of Black Baza Coffee holds within it a want for an alternative – a production and market system which values producers and nature equally.
For those amidst us, a four-year research project led to the realization that coffee markets are structured in ways that undermine the wellbeing of farmers and forests. This is true even for contemporary sustainability mechanisms – which are, on paper, designed to tackle social and environmental inequities, but in reality achieve little. The uneven power structure of coffee value chains and the inherent limitations of existing sustainability mechanisms is what emboldened us to create Black Baza Coffee, a movement that attempts to reconstruct marketplaces such that coffee as a commodity is re-embedded in place, people and ecology.
Quite simply, our work is two-staged – first we co-imagine a sustainable future with coffee growing communities and then we interconnect producers to consumers through telling stories on a community-supported agriculture marketplace.
This means that Black Baza Coffee is not solely a trading organization but an enabling one.