Austrian-based Caskai Offers A New Take on Coffee

The use of cascara—the dried husk of coffee cherries that gets removed from the beans when they are processed—is now being sold as a value-added ingredient, mostly for use in beverages. It’s being called a superfood, as it’s loaded with antioxidants, essential amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, fiber and even protein.

Recognized for its mild caffeine kick and tart flavor, Austrian company Caskai uses the cascara from arabica beans in Panama and Nicaragua sourced by its sister company Panama Varietals. The coffee cherries are steeped in water to create a tea-like infusion, which is then sweetened with cane sugar and carbonated. The result is a lightly sweet soda with fruity, floral flavors. The company established Caskai North America in October 2017 and is now rolling out Caskai Sparkling Cascara Infusion to U.S. markets.

It comes in 9.3-oz., shelf-stable, glass bottles, with a single bottle containing 40 calories, 11g of sugar and 11g of caffeine. The beverage is best served chilled, alone or as a mixer with a variety of spirits.

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