Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mugged: Cascara [Counter Culture]

What does "Mugged" mean?

Counter Culture Coffee
Cascaras Mugged:
Finca Mauritania, Finca Kilmanjaro, Finca Los Alpes

Rating: 5+
[see key]

s 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.


Anonymous said...

So does the cascara taste anything like coffee?

Bill said...


Not at all. It's amazing in a way how two very similar components of the same plant can taste so very different.

TESOL certification said...

I do admit that I am an avid fan of coffee. I just can't resist their explicit smell and aroma! Following your blog posts has given me ideas to venture and try different types of teas as well!

Kopi Luwak said...

It sounds expensive. I mean, is it? It's always nice to have a new taste from time to time. The name itself is very aromatic.

Tapping Therapy said...

Cascara seems a very interesting add on to try in teas. Sounds flavorful and sweet to me.

Unknown said...

A different kind of coffee it seems. I am looking for information on White Coffee. Has anyone tried this? The stuff in Starbucks is not very good and I am looking for alternatives. A friend of mine just got back from Malaysia with Asian White Coffee and he said it is the best he has ever had. I have looked for it and cannot find it. Can anyone help?

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