Coffee Cherry Tea

Not quite dry enough, they should be darker brown and feel dry.
It's harvest time and now is a great time to try drying your coffee cherries for coffee cherry tea.

If you haven't tried it, you're missing out! It's delicious and contains higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) qualities than any fruit. Four times higher than blueberries and three times higher than green tea.

Prior to harvest decide that this harvest will be specifically for coffee cherry tea. This way you can avoid picking cherries that are over-ripe or damaged. Cherries that would otherwise be fine for hulling for coffee beans.

Wash your hands before picking and pick into a clean container. Carefully rinse the cherries prior to pulping. Clean your pulper and your cherry outflow area before pulping. Immediately after pulping wrap the cherries in a clean cloth and wring as much juice as you can from the cherries. This will hasten the drying process. Spread the cherries in a single layer on clean cookie sheets or fruit dehydrating racks. Air drying or drying in the sun will not work. There is so much sugar in the cherry pulp fermentation will begin before they dry and soon mold will form. You have to use some kind of mechanical process. A convection oven on low or food dehydrator with air flow. Drying time varies depending on the type of dryer you use. If they feel like raisins they are not dry enough. If you can crush them to powder in your hands they're just right. This could take 4 to 5 hours to accomplish.
Your dried tea should look like this.

After drying, use a food processor with a blade attachment and pulse until it's not quite completely pulverized. This tea can be sealed and stored in a cool dry place for up to a year.

It takes 100 lbs. of coffee cherries to yield 7 lbs. of coffee cherry tea. 1 Tablespoon of coffee cherry tea added to 6 cups of water, boiled for 40 minutes and then strained will yield a concentrate that will last for a week when refrigerated. Add water to taste and serve over ice. It does contain caffeine, but not as much as coffee brewed from the roasted bean. The caffeine effects though seem different. More of an energy than a jittery feeling.



Note: Hawaii State Health Department regulations and protocols do not exist for coffee cherry tea. But since it is not roasted like coffee, in order to sell this product it has to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. Unless you have a certified commercial kitchen at your disposal you cannot sell this product. 

For a different flavor add allspice leaves, orange peel or cinnamon sticks during your brewing process.