What Does Cascara Taste Like Getting To The Skin Of Coffee

What Does Cascara Taste Like? Getting To The Skin Of Coffee

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:12

Cascara Latte is popular at Starbucks which causes many coffee lovers to ask What does Cascara taste like? 

It’s a legitimate question!

…and a hard flavor to pin down. To give you the quick answer it has a slightly or light sweet taste of a cocktail of dried fruits where you will pick out a number of different fruits flavors like apricot, raisins, and peculiarly hints of maple.

Purely for the purpose of research and inspiration I am eating dried cascara while writing this article and have a homemade Starbucks style cascara latte – purely for research of course.

Keep reading for a more detailed dive into what cascara tastes like.

What Does Cascara Taste Like?

The most common use of cascara is to make herbal tea and despite its popularity at Starbucks coffee is not brewed with cascara, the outer skin of coffee beans.

The taste is tangy, zesty and reminds you of cider or hibiscus and orange. It is slightly sweet.

At Starbucks they make a tasty and delicious Cascara syrup that has rich notes of apricots, raisins and dried fruits. The simple syrup is used to make their famed cascara latte and goes quite fantastic in their cold brew and iced coffee.

At home, you can use it to make an Italian soda or some great homemade cocktails.

What Does Cascara Taste Like
Cascara Tastes Like Dried Fruits

Read: What is cascara syrup?

What Does Cascara Smell Like?

When you brew cascara it has the scent of hibiscus, cranberries, apricots, raisins and a slight chocolate smell. It has a lingering sweet smell.

What is Cascara At Starbucks?

The Cascara is the outer dried skin of coffee cherries. They are the pulped skins that are collected after the coffee seeds (coffee beans) have been removed from the coffee cherries.

They are parts of the coffee plant that would normally be discarded and are now used to make a beverage of their own.

At Starbucks a Cascara syrup that is made from the skins of the coffee cherries and sugar and a pump or two used to make a cascara latte.

It adds notes of maple syrup and dark brown sugar to your beverage.

How Is Cascara Made?

Cascara is made first by depulping coffee and the cherry skins are then washed using either water or via a vaporization chamber that heats them and kills all bacteria.

After washing the cascara they go through a drying process which they are either processed through an industrial dehydration machine or the traditional process of sun drying.

Years ago, cascara was discarded as a waste product or used casually as an afterthought. In more recent times more focus has been put on cascara and improving the process.

Surprisingly there are even farms that dedicate to producing the cascara, particularly in Costa Rica where cascara is enjoyed as a delicious tea. Even the University of Costa Rica has a dedicated tea that researches cascara as a food product.

It is the Catuai and Caturra variety of coffee that is used due to achieving the better flavor.

How Is Cascara Made
Cascara Is Popular In Costa Rica

Read: Cascara latte

Is Cascara Caffeinated?


there is caffeine in cascara but very little, less than all coffee drinks you can name and even less than regular tea. The caffeine content of a cup of cascara has approximately 20 milligrams of the stimulant.

Why Should You Try Cascara?

A good reason to try cascara is because it’s pretty tasty. It’s fruity, floral and has a taste that is hard to pin down. The flavor profile is not far from the taste of a cocktail of dried fruits with hints of apricots, cranberries, raisins and hibiscus and maple syrup.

There are also hints of black tea, lemon and cola.

It is a very refreshing and alternative type of latte; a cascara latte is something to enjoy and try.

Besides, there is the benefit of knowing that you are using the whole part of the coffee fruit and not wasting any of it.

Cascara Health Benefits

Cascara has a number of health benefits and like coffee is packed with antioxidants.

Let’s be clear, to avoid any confusion, I am talking about the coffee plant cascara, the skin from coffee cherries and not Cascara Sagrada, which is a natural laxative from tree bark.

Coffee plant Cascara is known to have elevated quantities of flavonoids, the same ones that you will find in dark chocolate and may help to promote good heart health. Unlike dark chocolate, cascara has no fat, sugar, cholesterol or sodium and is low in calories.

This simple coffee cherry skin is also high in anti-inflammatory and phenolic compounds which aid in the fight with chronic disease and cellular repair.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Cascara Taste Like?

Is Cascara A Tea Or Coffee?

A Cascara at Starbucks is 100 percent coffee. Many coffee lovers get thrown off and confused as it does smell like a herbal tea. It is easy to make: simply steep three tablespoons of cascara in 10 ounces (300 ml) of hot water for approximately 4 minutes. For a tasty cascara cold brew, use 6 tablespoons of cascara and 12 ounces of water (360 ml) of ice cold water and let it steep in an airtight container in your fridge for 12 to 24 hours.

Is There Caffeine In Cascara?

Yes, but not anywhere nearly as half as much as a regular brew. Cascara originates from a coffee plant and has only a quarter to one third of the caffeine levels as regular coffee.

A cascara coffee has approximately 20 mg of caffeine per cup while a regular coffee has 80 milligrams of caffeine per cup of coffee.

Is The Cascara Latte Good?

Yes, and perhaps I am biased as I love a good latte. A Cascara latte is brewed and then finished with steamed milk that is topped with micro foam and a tasty cascara topping. It’s crunchy and sweet and has tastes that are similar to caramel.

It is a latte that delivers a satisfying sweet flavor. I advise trying it.

What Is Cascara Cold Foam Starbucks?

Cascara cold foam at Starbucks is a flavored cold foam topping for your beverage. It’s made with cascara syrup and has notes of maple and brown sugar. It is a great choice as a cold brew topping and goes amazing with vanilla syrup.

Final Thoughts – What Does Cascara Taste Like?

If anyone asks you what does cascara taste like you know the answer! The best way, of course, is to form your own opinion and try it yourself.

For me, I love it! It’s tasty, zesty and very pleasant tasting.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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