What does "Mugged" mean?
Subject: Counter Culture Coffee
Cascaras Mugged: Finca Mauritania, Finca Kilmanjaro, Finca Los Alpes
Rating: 5+ [see key]
As a big fan of coffee and tea, I was very intrigued when I first heard of cascara a few years ago. A tea brewed from dried coffee cherries, cascara has been a beverage of coffee-growing cultures for some time.
Recently, my friends at Dean & Deluca and Counter Culture sent me out three Cascaras from El Salvador to sample. Having never really had Cascara before, I wasn't interested in comparing it to other cascara but more to see how it stands up as a tea.
In sampling, I brewed it according to the explicit directions on each package (5 g per 8 oz of tea) and each batch sampled similarly. Each had some kind of apple flavor and some noticeable juicy-like sweetness as well as its own flavors.
Finca Mauritania: Held the flavors of spiced apple and sparkling cider, bits of fig, date and sassafras. The body was distinctly that of a light tea but very potent.
Finca Kilimanjaro: Provided sparkling cider with notes of oolong, pumpkin seeds and a little black cherry. Also a nice light complexion with a syrupy punch.
Finca Los Alpes: The brew showcased apples and champagne, as well as some bubblegum and a fresh white grape. The body proved light and sweet.
All together, the three cascaras proved delicious and something fairly unique to my tea knowledge. I would say that as teas go, cascara demonstrates a naturally-sweetened option that not only is sustainable (farmers can get money from the coffee cherries!) but is also pretty satisfying as an after-dinner drink or refreshing morning beverage.
Go grab some cascara.
note: cascara was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.