Cascara, meaning "skin" or "peel" in Spanish, is the dried outer fruit layer of the coffee cherry. In most countries, this pulp is considered waste or used as fertilizer. When processed properly, however, it can be steeped in water like tea. The result is surprisingly sweet though we won't be offended if you want to sweeten it a touch more. It really is quite delicious!
Cascara has a long and interesting history. Coffee farmers in Yemen and Ethiopia have been brewing cherry like this for centuries. In these countries, the dried cherry is often steeped along with spices such as ginger, nutmeg or cinnamon to make a drink known as Hashara or Qishr.
HiU El Salvador Cascara, from our friends at Magpie Coffee Roasters, contains a high concentration of natural sugars, oils, vitamins and antioxidants which come from the skin and pulp of the coffee berry. And yes, it contains caffeine.