Cascara

The cascara they produce is quite crisp, crumbling even, and brews up the sweetest, cleanest tasting tea we’ve tried. And yeah, we’re eating it. OK, partly because we were told to by the producer. But after the novelty wears off, you’re left with a really unique dried fruit not all that far from a dried cranberry in flavor, and a crunchy texture that’s more in line with toasted grain than dried fruit. Great on it’s own, also can be used in place of dried fruit on cereal, granola, or in trail mix (though you need to be careful since there’s a fair amount of caffeine too!). A couple people here in the office have made cascara syrup for sodas, as well as oatmeal cookies with cascara, we’ve tried beer brewed with it, sauces…the options are endless!

Sweet Maria’s is so impressed by the initial test batches they’ve tried, and the fully realized operation is quite a sight to behold first-hand. Beyond intention, it’s their attention to detail that distinguishes this from the rest. This cascara has a raisin-prune smell, clean and clearly fruited. It shares many light, and tart smells and flavors with dried hibiscus, the flower used to make Jamaica tea in Mexico. When wet, you’re hit with a scent of tamarind, accompanied by delicate floral to herbal smells. And so many flavors of dried fruits come out in the brewed tea: hibiscus, tamarind, raisin, dried apple, dried passion fruit, and mango.