Cherry beans coffee
When you think of coffee, its roasted form is usually the first image that springs to mind. But coffee begins its life inside a coffee cherry, two pale light green beans surrounded by a round, ripe, red fruit.
This winter, Starbucks is introducing the Cascara Latte with flavors from the fruit of the coffee cherry. Inspired by the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery in Seattle, Starbucks first new beverage of 2017 will be available in stores in the U.S. starting January 10 and through the winter while supplies last. Starbucks Rewards™ members can get a first taste of the beverage beginning Friday, January 6. Starbucks customers will also be able to order returning favorite the Starbucks® Smoked Butterscotch Latte, also inspired by the Roastery, beginning Friday, January 6.
“Cascara is Spanish for ‘husk, ’ and we are taking the fruit of the coffee cherry to give our latte a subtle, lightly sweet flavor, ” said Erin Marinan from Starbucks Beverage Research and Development team.
Starbucks® Cascara Latte combines espresso with steamed milk and cascara syrup, topped with velvety foam. A sprinkle of cascara topping, made with cascara extract and cane sugar, finishes the beverage in a signature straight line, which mirrors the inside of a coffee cherry.
“Cascara Latte has a nice dark brown sugar and maple flavor that is subtly sweet, ” Marinan said. “As you look at the beverage from the top, it looks like a coffee bean, ” she said. “It’s full circle.”
Baristas from the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery in Seattle first paired cascara with coffee at its Barista Innovation Challenge in September, and featured the winning cascara beverage on its menu in the fall.
Anatomy of a Coffee Cherry
Once every year, coffee trees yield coffee cherries. The process begins with the bloom of white jasmine-scented flowers. When the flowers fall from the trees, a small cherry cluster forms and ripens to a red, ripe fruit. The process, from flower to harvest, takes about nine months.
Cascara (Outer Skin and Pulp): The outer skin is thick and slightly bitter in flavor, while the pulp (fruit) directly beneath is sweet and has the texture of a grape.
Mucilage: This layer is slippery and thin, and covers the parchment.
Parchment: The protective layer of the coffee bean and silver skin.