What is a coffee cherry? What does it taste like?

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My family and I are very fond of coffee cherries, so our family is known as the Coffee Cherry Family among relatives and friends. Tasting fresh coffee cherries during the coffee cherry harvest season and making different coffee bean varieties by self-processing is one of my hobbies. Even though I have some coffee cherry trees in my house, I have to visit coffee farms to fulfill my hobby. Let me share with you some of my experiences with coffee cherries.

When did human romance start with coffee cherry?

There are dark green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and deep red shining beautiful fruits. Anyone did not know; there are multiple treasures of energy hidden inside. We should be thankful to the Ethiopian goat-herder Kaldi, who observed the energized effects when he noticed his goats nibbling on a bush. Their movements are full of energy. He took the cherries to a monk who disapproved of their use and threw the coffee cherries into the fire. From which an enticing aroma swirled. The goat-herder quickly raked the roasted beans from the embers, ground them up, and dissolved them in hot water, yielding the first cup of coffee in the world. The tree later became famous around the world as the Coffee Cherry Tree.

Reality of coffee cherry 

Coffee is known worldwide as a caffeinated black drink that stimulates your brain and limbs, making you feel good, and you can’t sleep. But have you ever tried to figure it out?. What makes a black drink? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you, they make it from coffee cherries.

If we look at the name of coffee beans, it seems like a vegetable’s name. But no, it’s just the name of the cherry fruit seed. The reason for calling them “coffee beans” is, when we extract them from coffee cherries, they resemble beans. Because of their resemblance, we call them coffee beans. Their name confuses some guys, and they consider them a vegetable.

The coffee cherry plant is a fruit tree in the original. Botany experts estimated that there are from 25 to 100 species of coffee plants in the world. The harvest of coffee cherry occurs from September to March in the regions North of the Equator and from April to August in the Equator’s south.

The coffee cherry fruits are similar in appearance to berries. They start dark green, gradually they turn yellow, orange, pink, and light purple, and as they ripe, they turn deep red.

When the cherries have ripened and turn deep red, we pick them and remove the skin and the pulp from over the stones. Then we peel the seeds, and coffee beans come out from the inside. When we roast these coffee beans, their pleasant aroma perfumes our brain. Then we prepare the famous coffee drink by grinding and brewing the roasted beans of the same coffee cherries.

coffee cherry cross section

Coffee cherry products

Nature did not create anything in the world without a purpose. It is a different matter that we do not know the purpose of its creation. Something has more interests than others. The coffee cherry tree is one of the few objects with more benefits in every part of it, comparing it with other items made by Nature in today’s world.

Producers make products from the following parts of the  coffee tree  in today’s world:

  1. Leaves 
  2. Flowers
  3. Coffee pulp
  4. Husks, cascara, dried coffee cherries 
  5. Green unroasted beans
  6. Silver skin
  7. Spent coffee grounds 
  8. Parchment 

Producers are producing many products from different parts of the coffee cherry tree in several world regions. They use:

  • Leaves of the coffee tree for the production of beverages.
  • Coffee tree Flowers for the production of drinks and coffee blossom tea.
  • The coffee cherry pulp for jam, juice, concentrate, jelly, coffee pulp flour for bread, cookies, muffins, squares, brownies, pasta, sauces, beverages, spirits, and ethanol.
  • Husks, cascara, dried coffee cherries for the production of drinks (tea), spirits, qishr (mixture with spices), and dietary fiber source
  • Unroasted green coffee beans for the production of nutritional supplements 
  • Silver skin of coffee beans for the production of dietary fiber source, bakery products (bread, biscuits), beverages (tea), and smoke flavor additive 
  • Spent coffee grounds in producing bakery products, dietary fiber source, defatted Coffea Arabica seed powder (coffee flour) for savory and sweet recipes, bakery, confectionery, snacks, and ready-to-eat products 
  • Parchment of coffee seeds in producing food preservatives and antioxidants 

Relationship with the human  

The question that may come to your mind is, if coffee cherry is a fruit, then why does the world drink a nasty black beverage made from its roasted seeds instead of eating this fruit? Most of my friends ask me this question when I go to the cafe to drink coffee. Don’t worry; I have an answer that has much logic in it.

Because of our human nature, we are eager to eat sweet and delicious things. Among fruits, we also like sweet and delicious fruits like mango, banana, apple, etc. That is why the only fruit that comes to the supermarket to sell is sweet and delicious.

Nature has blessed us with great blessings in the form of fruits, but not all fruits are necessarily sweet and delicious. Grapefruit, olives, crab apples, sand-cherries, etc. some examples of sour and bitter fruits. Though people dislike the taste, their benefits are so great; they must use them not alone but mixed with different things. 

Coffee cherry fruit is also one of those fruits whose upper skin is a bit bitter, and human nature does not incline towards it.

The second reason for not using it as a fruit is that the pulp under the bitter-skin, though sweet, but small. That is why we probably do not like to make our tongue bitter for such a small amount of pulp. However, if you want to taste fresh cherries, you must go to a cherry farm and fulfill your passion.

I am often used to visiting the coffee cherry farms often during the coffee cherry harvesting seasons and taste fresh coffee cherries. I enjoy the taste of coffee cherries so much that it tastes delightful, but I could not continue eating it for long. Maybe my throat was not so familiar with the fresh taste of coffee cherries.

Maybe when you taste fresh cherries, you enjoy it more than I. And maybe you make it your habit to eat fresh coffee cherries, but my advice is to take care of your throat and health before making it your practice to eat fresh coffee cherries. 

Relation with animals

Humans have not been able to make it a habit to eat fresh coffee cherries, but this is normal in animals. You may have heard of the notorious Kopi Luwak, made by picking coffee cherry beans from the Asian Palm Civet waste. Monkey Coffee and Elephant Dung Coffee are also among the ill-famed coffees. And so and now the name of Human Kopi Luwak is even being heard. But let alone, I think we’re getting off track. Let’s get back on the point. 

The coffee cherry is not popular among humans as fruit: Maybe the farmers may not profit from selling it. So they sell its seeds instead of selling it as a fruit in supermarkets. Only by selling its beans, they can earn more profit.

But as we guys tell the benefits and uses of fresh fruit and pulp of coffee cherries, I think very soon coffee cherry sales will be at the top in the supermarket. Then you must be saying to me, “Hey! why didn’t you tell me its benefits before? I remained unaware of it for so long”.

Caffeine is the axis of love  

I think the reason for too much human romance with coffee cherry is not its flavor, pulp, or sweetness, but the stimulating effects inside it in the form of caffeine. Caffeine is the defense system of the plant against insects. What ironic, the same caffeine that has its immune system makes it more attractive to humans?

Coffee cherry taste

When I first bit the coffee cherry, I felt that this fruit consists mostly of skin and stone. Its skin was a little bitter and rough; the pulp was sticking to its seed-cover, like the pulp of plum. I liked the flavor of the fresh coffee cherry fruit. I can’t say that it tasted like ripe apples, pomegranates, berries, or cherries, but it tasted like peaches mixed with sweet and fresh mangoes or both at the same time.

The biggest problem I get when I try to eat coffee cherry is that it has very little pulp. Probably a factor as to why they’re so poorly pulp may decrease my passion for eating it, but I don’t let that happen. Here are some successful recipes I share with my friends to maintain their romance with coffee cherries. I share those ways with you too. These recipes will also benefit you a lot if you also love coffee cherries as much as I do. I think your love for coffee cherry is a little more than mine.

I don’t even let loose the leaves of the coffee cherry trees in my house; I take care of them by drying them. Make coffee cherry leaves tea from the dried leaves of these trees. Some of my friends come to my house very often. A gossip goes on with them. Coffee Leaves tea goes on. Most of my friends visit my home to drink this tea.

When coffee cherry trees bloom, mostly they are white; they wither after a few hours. I don’t let the coffee cherry blossoms go to waste, but I take care of them by drying them and making coffee flower tea from them. This tea is also highly flavorful and energetic. I send this tea as a gift to my friends who live abroad; they gladly accept and never tire of praising.

When a coffee cherry tree bears fruit, it first turns dark green, then gradually it turns yellow, malt, pink and purple. But when it turns deep red, I think it’s fully ripe and ready for picking. I have a basket for picking coffee cherries in my house. I like to pick coffee cherries by wearing the basket around my neck. Then I separate their pulp and seeds with a hand crank machine and dry them both separately.

I store coffee cherry seeds with their shells. These seeds are useful for brewing coffee all year round. When I have to brew coffee, I peel the coffee cherry seeds and roast them. How to roast coffee beans considerably affects the taste of the coffee. It is also essential to roast because I once tried to grind them without roasting. My grinder couldn’t crush them; instead, they broke my grinder’s blades, so I had to repair it. I don’t want you to break your grinder’s knives, so always grind before roasting.

I used to roast them until they turned dark brown. I separate their silver skin by shaking them in a colander, so their silver skin goes down by itself. Then I grind these roasted seeds and brew a tasty cup of coffee with a pleasant flavor.

The dried green seeds of coffee cherries are so hard you can’t chew them. Once I have tried to chew them, but they are going to break my teeth. That’s why I’m telling you not to try to grit your teeth by chewing a coffee bean without roasting them.

In the beginning, when I used to process coffee cherries at home, I used to take out the seeds and throw away the skin and pulp. But now it is not like that. We prepare juices from the fresh pulp, country shakes, and a variety of foods. And the skins and pulp that more than our use, we use to preserve it by drying. We use this dried skin and pulp to make the tea known in the world as “cascara”. Whenever my excellent old friends come to visit me, I offer them this home-made cascara. He who drinks it once asks for it again.

What are the benefits of cascara?

As cascara as an antioxidant food, it has many health benefits; some of them are as follows:

  • Cascara is the world’s fourth antioxidant superfood.
  • People use cascara as an herbal medicine for many ailments. 
  • Cascara, in particular, has been used for centuries as an anti-constipation medicine.
  • Cascara has also been used to treat gallstones, liver diseases, and cancer.
  • According to some researchers, they can use cascara medically to promote brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
  • Cascara helps with brain health, memory, and focus and also helps repair synapses.
  • As cascara tastes a bit bitter, people do not use it in foods, but they use it to enhance recipes’ tastes when they extract its bitterness.

What is the difference between coffee and cascara?

Following are the differences between cascara and coffee: 

  1. People use coffee as a beverage while they use cascara as herbal medicine.
  2. Coffee is a beverage; people drink to enjoy and improve their mood. In contrast, they use cascara to get rid of diseases.
  3. Coffee is a beverage that people treat to their guests. It is also served as a treat in hotels, restaurants, and cafes at various parties, family functions, weddings, and other parties. On the other hand, cascara is an herbal tea that people mostly use in homes. They refrain from serving it to guests.
  4. The physical difference between cascara and coffee is that: They make a coffee drink by extracting the coffee fruit seeds from the inside. Then they go through different stages; on the other hand, they make cascara by drying the pulp and skin separated from the stones. 
  5. Caffeine inside cascara is 75% less than coffee. Coffee is famous worldwide; on the other hand, cascara is less popular and less used than coffee.

Coffee cherry processing in a commercial way

The cup of coffee you are enjoying is a cup of coffee that has taken you several steps to reach you from the seed. I will inform you of all the processes in 17 stages.

Processing steps

  • Planting the coffee cherries 
  • Picking the coffee cherries 
  • Milling the beans of the coffee herries
  • Drying the beans of the coffee cherries 
  • Parchment removal of the coffee cherry beans 
  • Polishing the coffee cherry beans
  • Cleaning and sorting the coffee cherry beans
  • Tasting the coffee cherry beans 
  • Grading the coffee cherry beans
  • Decaffeination of the coffee cherry beans
  • Aging the coffee cherry beans 
  • Storing the coffee cherry beans 
  • Exporting the beans of the coffee cherries 
  • Roasting the coffee cherry beans 
  • Grinding the coffee cherry beans
  • Brewing the coffee

The first process is to plant coffee. This process takes place in coffee gardens. The coffee tree begins to bear fruit 3 to 4 years after its birth. Ordinary coffee cherry trees bear fruit once a year, but some varieties also bear fruit twice a year. When the coffee cherries turn dark red, bright, and shiny, it means that they are ready to pick. In most countries, people pick coffee cherries by hand, but in countries where the ground is flat and wide, they harvest coffee cherries with machines.

After harvesting the coffee cherries, the processing begins. In the process, first of all, the coffee cherries have to be dried to prevent spoilage. There are three ways to dry:

  1. They dry coffee cherries, including skin and pulp.
  2. They remove pulp and skin from the top of the coffee beans by machines and dry them.
  3. They left some pulp with the seeds; then, they dry the seeds. They peeled off the seed parchment, and the coffee cherry beans are dried. After drying, coffee cherry beans are cleaned, polished, tested, and graded.

Some producers extract caffeine from coffee cherry beans. Coffee beans are now ready to be exported. Coffee beans are stored and aged either exporting or importing countries. The process of roasting and grinding coffee beans begins in importing countries. The final step is brewing the coffee, which takes place in coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, and even in your home, then it is served to you in a cup to drink.

Is cascara used to make syrup?

Yes, cascara also brews excellent drinks that taste different depending on the types of coffee cherry fruit and the land in which the coffee cherry trees are grown and brewing.

Is the coffee bean a bean?

Coffee beans are not beans, but they call them beans because they resemble beans. Coffee beans are the seeds that are present inside the coffee cherry fruit. They are extracted from the coffee cherry fruit and then processed to make ready for a coffee beverage.

Is the coffee bean a fruit?

Coffee is not a fruit in itself, but it is part of a digestible fruit that you can eat; its name is coffee cherry. The seeds that come out from the inside of the coffee cherry are coffee beans. The seeds pass through a process to make coffee.

Is coffee fruit?

Coffee is not a fruit but a beverage made by coffee beans available inside the seeds of coffee cherry fruits. After removing the pulp and the skin over the seeds of coffee fruit and passing them through a process, coffee beans become ready for brewing coffee.

What do coffee cherries taste like?

The coffee cherry tree has many species, depending on the region, the land, and the type of fruit. And the taste depends on the kind of coffee tree, the area, and the land. When these coffee trees grow on the ground of different world countries, their fruit tastes different accordingly. That is to say, the taste of coffee cherries depends on the type of coffee trees and the type of soil on which the coffee trees grow. And the taste of coffee beans, which come out from coffee cherries, also depends on the kind of coffee cherry fruit.

As the type of coffee tree, The taste of coffee cherries or coffee beans vary according to the kinds of soils and tree species in different countries of the world

The better the type of coffee cherry tree, the better the taste of the coffee cherry fruit on it, and the better the quality of the coffee cherry fruit, the better the taste of the coffee beans that come out of it 

and do it on the taste of other products that are made by coffee cherry fruits. 

Can you eat coffee cherry fruit?

Coffee is not a fruit in itself, but a beverage made by passing the seeds of fruit through different stages. The name of this fruit is coffee cherry fruit. And of your question, if coffee cherries can be eaten or not, the answer is yes. Why not! Just as we eat other fruits, we can eat coffee cherries, because it is as tasty and digestive as any other fruit.

What is coffee cherry powder?

 When the coffee cherry husk or cascara is well-ground, it is also called coffee cherry powder or coffee cherry flour. This coffee cherry powder is mixed with plain water and used as a tea and mixed with milk. Further, they use it as a flavor in various foods.

What are coffee beans made of?

Coffee beans are the seeds inside the coffee cherry fruit. The coffee producers extract them from inside the coffee cherry fruit and pass them through different stages to make coffee beans. And the skin and pulp on top of the seeds are dried to make coffee cherry tea.

Difference between the taste of coffee cherries, coffee cherry tea, and coffee beans?

One is the taste of coffee cherry tea, and the other is the taste of coffee cherry fruit. These two flavors are different from each other. Just as they are different from each other, they are also different from the coffee bean’s taste. The taste of coffee cherry fruit is exactly like the taste of fruit like mango, guava, or pomegranate. In contrast, coffee cherry tea tastes like you are drinking a decoction of dried fruit, like rich, dark, and somewhat bitter but utterly different from coffee beans’ taste.

What is a coffee cherry tree?

The coffee cherry tree is about the size of a guava, pomegranate, peach, or plum tree. Its leaves are a little smaller than mango leaves in length, and its fruit looks like clusters of grapes on the tree.

What is coffee leaf tea? 

The tea made from the leaves of the coffee tree is called coffee leaf tea. People have long been using the leaves of the coffee tree for making tea in various countries, especially in Java, Ethiopia, Jamaica, South Sudan, and now in Pakistan, India, and more.

What is a coffee cherry tea? 

Producers make coffee cherry tea from the coffee cherry husk. When you take the seeds out of the coffee cherry fruit, some pulp remains with the skin. When the skin and pulp are dried, it is also called coffee cherry tea or cascara.

How is coffee cherry tea (cascara) flavor?

Cascara is another name for coffee cherry tea. And this is a herbal tea that tastes great like cider, hibiscus, or orange zest. It tastes lively, somewhat sweet, and refreshing.

Does coffee fruit contain caffeine?

Yes, different quantity of caffeine is available in the other parts of the coffee cherry tree, which I’ve described below 

  • Coffee cherry tree leaves: 100 grams of coffee tree leaves contain 1 gram of caffeine.
  • Coffee cherry tree flowers: 100 grams of dried coffee cherry tree flowers contain about 1 gram of caffeine. 
  • Coffee cherry fruit: Caffeine available in coffee cherry fruits are 1.3% of the total fruit
  • Coffee beans: 100 grams of dry coffee beans contain about 4 grams of caffeine.
  • Cascara:100 grams of dried cascara contains about one gram of caffeine.

How much caffeine is available in one liter of coffee? 

The standard method’s coffee contains 400 to 800 mg of caffeine per liter. Otherwise, the amount of caffeine in coffee depends on water, milk, cream, and coffee powder in making one liter of coffee. It is crucial to increase the amount of water, milk, and cream will decrease caffeine in one liter of coffee. In contrast, if you increase the amount of coffee powder compared with water, milk, cream, and sugar, the amount of caffeine in one liter will increase.

How much caffeine is available in one liter of cascara? 

One liter of cascara tea, prepared in a standard way, contains 111.4 mg of caffeine. If the method is not standardized, the amount of caffeine in one liter depends on cascara powder. As you increase the amount of cascara powder in a liter of water, so will the amount of caffeine. 

What is the difference between the ratio of caffeine in coffee and cascara?

The amount of caffeine in a liter of standardly prepared cascara is the 25th of the caffeine in a liter of standardly ready coffee. The difference in this ratio depends on the quantity of milk, cream, sugar, water, and coffee or cascara powder? 

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