Have you ever wondered what to do with coffee cherries? Well, you should wonder no more because there are many interesting things you can do.
Coffee cherries are coffee fruits that contain coffee beans. When a coffee tree produces fruits, they appear green as they mature. As they ripen, they turn red or dark red.
There are also some coffee cherries that can turn yellow, orange, or even pink when they ripen, depending on the variety.
Unfortunately, not every coffee lover knows that the coffee bean is actually the seed found in a coffee cherry. And if they know, they wonder how it’s transformed from the cherry into a cup of coffee.
To obtain coffee ground for making coffee, you roast coffee beans, also known as a coffee seed, inside the cherry.
But some people confuse green coffee cherries with green coffee beans, which are usually unroasted coffee seeds.
If you want to learn more about coffee cherries and what to do with them, you have landed on the right page.
Here, I’ll provide 10 interesting things you can do with coffee cherries. But before then, let’s learn more about this magical fruit.
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Is Coffee Cherry a Fruit?
Yes, a coffee cherry is actually a fruit that grows on a coffee tree. Coffee trees produce fragrant white flowers that usually smell like jasmine.
These blossoms then turn into green coffee berrylike cherries. The cherries then turn pink, yellow, orange, or red when they ripen, and they are ready to be picked.
Inside the cherry-like fruit are a juicy sweet flesh and two hard, bitter coffee beans. But, around 5 to 10% of coffee fruits contain one bean inside. This bean is known as peaberry.
Peaberries are usually smaller and more spherical than normal flat-sided coffee beans. Some sellers claim that Peaberries have superior quality than regular coffee beans.
Does Coffee Cherry Affect Your Cup of Coffee?
When coffee cherries are picked from the coffee tree, they go through various steps before they are ready for grinding.
The process of coffee cherry preparation involves drying, milling, roasting, then grinding.
Some people prefer to buy ground coffee while others go for roasted coffee beans to grind them at home.
During the processing phase, the pulp surrounding the coffee beans is removed and discarded. So, the cup of coffee you drink every day is based on coffee beans and not the pulp.
If you are wondering if the nature or taste of cherry can affect your cup of coffee, here is what I found;
Coffee Cherry’s Impact on Your Cup of Coffee
Some farmers claim that it’s possible to judge the coffee bean’s quality based on how the cherry tastes. Riper cherries with darker colors have more developed sugars.
Nonetheless, most of the magic happens during the method used to separate the coffee beans from the pulp.
You can separate the pulp from the coffee beans using the natural or washed method. The natural process involves drying the whole coffee cherry and removing the skin and pulp afterward.
For the washed method, you separate them before fermenting the coffee beans in water.
Understanding the method in which cherries are processed makes it easier for you to refine your flavor expectations.
The washed method is used more in the coffee industry as it produces brighter, acid, and smooth coffee.
On the other hand, the natural processing method produces beans fuller in body, sweeter, and more robust.
Can You Eat Coffee Cherries?
You can eat coffee cherries to see what they taste like as they are not poisonous. They do have a rather sweet and fresh flavor.
While not everyone can access a coffee farm, coffee cherries have an acquired taste, and there are people who eat them.
Some say that it tastes like mango, watermelon, or just something sweet as honey. Most coffee cherries have a jasmine, hibiscus, or rosewater aroma and more berrylike notes.
However, I wouldn’t recommend that you eat too many raw coffee cherries.
Let’s now dive into various things you can do with your coffee cherries.
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10 Interesting Things : What to do with Coffee Cherries
1. Use Coffee Cherries for Beauty
Coffee cherries are not only great for making beverages but are also excellent for making beauty products.
Some dermatologists even have skincare recommendations that involve the use of coffee cherries as a raw ingredient.
The natural antioxidants in coffee cherries can help you improve your skin, reduce spots and redness.
Using Arabica coffee cherries is also good for your skin as it prevents wrinkles and other facial skin damages that are mainly caused by sun rays.
2. As a Source of Antioxidants
Coffee has been known for centuries as a great source of antioxidants. In fact, some studies reveal that coffee cherry skins contain eight times the antioxidants of blueberries.
According to the National Institute of Health, the antioxidant levels in coffee cherries are ten times higher than those of pomegranate or green tea.
This is one of the reasons why some skincare companies use coffee cherry to ensure that their products have superior properties and prevent skin aging.
Moreover, a Hawaiian company reveals that coffee cherries have unmatched inflammatory properties. They use the pulp on their coffee for tremendous health benefits and even make cherry juice.
3. To Make Qishr
Another interesting way to use coffee cherries is to make Qishr, which is a traditional Yemen drink.
The husks are then brewed with ginger and cardamom to make a spicy, low caffeine drink. This drink is halfway between coffee and tea.
Today, most people prefer using finely ground coffee beans instead of husks as it’s more readily available. After all, not everyone has access to coffee cherries.
4. Can Be Used as Fertilizer
While most pulp and coffee cherry skin are discarded into waterways, some farmers use it as a fertilizer.
The caffeine in these coffee byproducts can also help in keeping slugs and snails away on your farm.
Along with cherry skin, used coffee grounds also contain nutrients that can improve soil fertility when applied in reasonable quantities.
Once dried and partially fermented, the coffee pulp is a brilliant substrate for growing exotic mushrooms.
5. You Can Eat Coffee Cherries
Although coffee is mainly known when it is beans and ground, it comes from a fruit.
Coffee beans are seeds found in coffee cherry fruit. Coffee cherries, just like any other edible fruits, can be eaten, and they are not poisonous.
Ripe coffee cherries have an enjoyable sweet flavor. It tastes like a mango or a watermelon mixed with apricot.
Before you eat a coffee cherry, ensure it is ripe and remove the seeds.
The seed has a nice smell and taste when in the coffee drink, but not raw in the cherry fruit. If you eat the cherry fruit with the seed, you will not like it at all.
6. Make Cascara with Coffee Cherries
Cascara is made from cherry fruits after the seeds have been removed. The cherry skins are dried carefully to produce the cascara.
Cascara is a common drink in Latin America and has the real taste of eating ripe coffee fruits.
This drink tastes like tea and has caffeine levels, almost the same levels as tea.
Cascara is said to be rich in antioxidants that are beneficial to human health. There is no sufficient research to confirm this, though.
If not stored properly, Cascara allows mold and mycotoxins growth. You can make the cascara by yourself or buy it online.
Coffee fruit parts are very useful and are used to make many delicious things. Another good example of such a thing is Selosoda.
Selosoda is made from dried coffee cherries. It can be mixed with orange or lemon juices to improve its flavor.
This drink is very tasty when drunk and can also be mixed with alcohol.
Selosoda is very common in Germany, but many people from various parts of the world still make it at home.
If you have access to coffee cherries, you can make it at home or just order it from where it’s produced through the online stores.
8. Make Coffee Floor
Leftover coffee cherries are dried and ground to form coffee flour. This floor is beneficial in many ways at home and in industries.
The best thing about making flour from coffee cherries is the roles it plays in conserving the environment.
All the cherries that could otherwise be dumped into the environment are converted into the delicious and mineral-rich floor.
Coffee floor doesn’t only increase taste but also gives wheat flour a lot of fibre and iron.
As it continues to gain popularity, coffee flour has created many employment opportunities for many people who process and sell it.
9. Air freshener
Cherries are not only sweet-tasting but also nice smelling. These fruits can be dried, ground, and used in the house to improve the smell of the air in your home.
Many people place the ground coffee cherries in the fridge to give a refreshing smell to the fridge’s components.
To try it at home, you just have to place a bowl of freshly ground dried coffee cherries in the fridge. Your fridge will always greet you with a fresh and nice aroma whenever you open it.
10. Making Cascara Syrup
Cascara syrup is also a new trend that uses the coffee cherry. It has been made popular by the coffee behemoth Starbucks.
To prepare cascara syrup, you will need an already brewed cascara tisane, then mix with sugar to create a thick syrup.
Cascara syrup can be a great accompaniment to drinks. For instance, you can drink it with Starbucks Cascara Latte. You can also use it as a topping for sweet treats like pancakes and waffles.
If you don’t want to make it yourself, you can buy it from a store as it’s already available in the US.
While coffee fruits are attractive and appear like tasty cherries, only a few people in the coffee universe get to see, touch, smell, or even taste these cherries.
This is because, after harvest, coffee cherries get stripped of their flesh to obtain the two pale coffee beans locked inside.
But if you have the chance to grow coffee or access coffee cherries, there are many things you can do with them.
The things provided in this article are some of the most common uses of coffee cherries. If you want, you can still eat your coffee cherries. Some of them are as sweet as honey!