• Country: Costa Rica (Central Valley)
  • Processing: Natural Cascara (Coffee cherry tea)
  • Varietal: Catuai, Caturra, Marsellesa, Sarchimor, SL28
  • Altitude: 1200 – 1300 MASL
  • Farmer: Diego Guardia
  • Tasting notes: Rhubarb, rose hip, figs, honey, hibiscus & jasmine
  • Size: 8oz /227 grams

Cascara is the dried outer skin of the coffee cherry and is an often-overlooked delicacy. While Ethiopians have been drying and brewing dried coffee cherry for centuries, cascara has only recently started gaining popularity in the specialty coffee world. Cascara has a low caffeine content around the same as green tea.

This cascara comes from the Natural coffees processed at Hacienda Sonora.

Hacienda Sonora sits at the foot of the Poas Volcano. The farm operates on 100% renewable energy generated by a hydroelectric generator that transforms rushing rivers into energy. The energy fuels the wet and dry mills and provides free electricity for everyone living and working on the farm. On the whole, Hacienda Sonora has shared its success generously, paying fair wages to all workers and bolstering the local community.

The farm and its mill cover approximately 100 hectares. Of those, 45 hectares are devote to shaded coffee lands. Coffee plants are surrounded by exotic trees and other native vegetation. This biodiversity promote soil health and maintains the nutrient-rich soil that helps grow dense, delicious cherry.

The remaining land has wild forest reserve growing on 35 hectares and 20 hectares for sugarcane, which has been grown on Hacienda Sonora’s land for over 150 years.

Harvest & Post-Harvest
Hacienda Sonora has its own micromill, which enables the farm to keep lots separated by variety and create unique microlots. The mill is centrally located, right next to a traditional sugarcane mill that’s been preserved intact for over 150 years.

This cascara comes from the Natural coffees processed at Hacienda Sonora. After selective handpicking, ripe cherry is washed in clean water and then laid to dry on either the farm’s raised beds or its patio where it is turned frequently to promote even drying. Once dry, Natural coffees are stored for 2 months before being hulled at the farm’s dry mill. The dried husks are removed and preserved as cascara.

Hacienda Sonora is a part of the NAMA Café de Costa Rica project, the first of the Costa Rican government’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). They’re actively working towards lower carbon emissions through investments in key technologies and methods. NAMA Café de Costa Rica is the first of its kind to support coffee farmers as they make changes to their coffee production to reduce overall emissions and resource use. Hacienda Sonora has contributed carbon emissions data to NAMA Café de Costa Rica and will receive 10% back on carbon reduction investments.