KLLR Coffee started, as the name suggests, with a focus on coffee. Sure, we knew we may have to sell some syrups and such along the way in order to best serve the clients we partner with but at the end of the day, for us: coffee is king.
Three years later, that hasn't changed, however, we are excited announced to present our first non-coffee, official KLLR product to date: Cascara!
Well... It's kind of "non-coffee," anyway.
For many of you, that news would probably be a lot more exciting if we could answer one follow-up question; namely – What is Cascara?
Cascara – which translates to “hull” or “shell” in Spanish – is the dried fruit from which the coffee seeds (a.k.a. beans) are removed in order to be processed, roasted, and brewed.
Typically, this material is composted on the farm, however, in more recent years, producers have begun to experiment with processing this product to sell alongside their coffee and ultimately to be steeped – like a tea – and enjoyed by consumers.
Unfortunately, most of what has been available on the market before now has been low-quality, poorly processed, or even contaminated. Not our idea of a tasty cup.
And that’s where Helsar de Zarcero Micro-mill comes in. The micro-mill was started by Richardo Perez and brothers Felipe and Marvin Rodriguez. Together with the University of Costa Rica the micromill has been conducting research on how to utilize modern technologies and techniques like pasteurization, to create a truly “food-grade” cascara (food-grade essentially means ‘fit for human consumption’).
Two farms, Finca Santa Lucia and Finca Anonos have been focusing on the development of this cascara product. On these farms, coffee is harvested and then transported that same day to a special processing facility. The pulp is removed from the seed and then washed, pasteurized, and dehydrated in a sterile environment. The result of all of this attention to detail is a product free of pathogens and other contaminants that historically have been common to find cascara.
Our sourcing partners at Café Imports have been submitting samples of these cascaras for several years now, hoping to finally discover the elusive food-grade cascara but the samples always fell short. This year, however, the results came back with good news – a food-grade cascara that is clean, safe, and delicious.
KLLR Coffee is excited to add this offering to our catalog – although only for a limited time!
Cascara is rich in antioxidants, easy to prepare, and can be enjoyed both hot and cold.
How to Make It
As a relatively new phenomenon, exacting brewing standards don’t necessarily exist for cascara as they do for coffee. The following is a general recipe that we’ve enjoyed the results from but feel free to experiment (and if you discover something delicious – report back)!
Dose: 2-3 grams of cascara per oz. of water.
Water temperature: 185F
Steep time: 5 minutes
Pro-tip: To make as an iced beverage, use half the amount of water when steeping and pour over an equivalent amount of ice.