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Coffee Cherry Tea (Cascara): A New Popular Drink in Vietnam and Around the World


Cascara, also known as coffee cherry tea or caffeine tea, is gaining popularity globally as a unique beverage made from roasted coffee cherries. In recent years, cafes in Vietnam have started introducing Cascara to customers, tapping into rising interest in this novel drink. Let's take a closer look at Cascara and examine its origins, production process, nutritional profile and health benefits.

What is Cascara?

Cascara is produced using the dried skin of ripe coffee cherries after the seeds or beans are removed for regular coffee making. The skins are sun dried or roasted at low heat to caramelize natural sugars. This process preserves the coffee cherry flavor, aroma compounds and caffeine content within the skins. Cascara has a sweet fruity taste reminiscent of berries, rose, cherry or even plum. It contains about 111.4 mg of caffeine per liter, significantly less than a typical coffee beverage.


Origins and Production

The origins of Cascara can be traced to Ethiopia, considered the birthplace of coffee. There, dried coffee cherry skins are brewed as a refreshing beverage called "Geshir" or "Qishr" in Yemen. Vietnam is still a relatively new market for Cascara, with few commercial producers yet. Most Cascara imported comes directly from specialty producers in Latin America that devote great care to maintaining the quality of the cherry skins through low-heat drying and storage methods.

Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits


Compared to normal tea, Cascara packs more antioxidants which may help protect cells from damage. Its antioxidants like chlorogenic acid are thought to aid metabolism and weight management. Some studies link regular Cascara consumption to reducing risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes. It may also benefit liver health when consumed in moderation. Cascara's mixture of caffeine and antioxidants provide stimulating yet soothing effects on both body and mind.

Rising Popularity in Vietnam

While Cascara is a novelty beverage in Vietnam, some forward-thinking coffee importers and cafes have begun stocking this unique drink. Century Coffee in Ho Chi Minh City works with specialty growers in Dalat to locally produce small seasonal batches of Cascara from high quality Typica coffee cherry varieties. Though mainly available online or through direct order at present, Vietnam's young urban population is driving interest in wellness beverages which bodes well for Cascara's future prospects in the market. As production and distribution improve, more cafes are expected to add Cascara to their niche drink selections.



As a bridge between tea and coffee, Cascara offers a novel sensory experience and potential health rewards. Its use of the entire coffee fruit decreases waste from normal processing. Cascara's intricate flavor profile and lower caffeine hit compared to coffee make it appealing to both casual drinkers and health-conscious consumers. With Vietnam gradually establishing itself as a coffee drinking nation, Cascara gives the country's specialty scene a new unique offering to further excite palates. Look for this unique beverage to gain more fans across Vietnam in the coming years.

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