Meet the team
Some people call themselves “foodies,” but we like to think of ourselves as “bevvies.” Simply put, we are beverage-obsessed. Between us, we’ve started a regionally-distributed bottled cascara soda, developed inventive cocktails for award-winning restaurants, owned and operated a local favorite specialty coffee shop, and served thousands of craft beverages from morning till night.
And while this “bevvie” lifestyle got us interested in cascara many years ago, what keeps our proverbial cup running over is the excitement of what else cascara can be and do. Cascara cocktails? Cascara-infused skincare? Cascara snack foods? Whatever shape it takes, cascara is good for you, good for coffee farmers, and good for the planet: a true win-win-win. We’ll cheers to that.
Huskwell is on a mission to bring quality standards and transparency to cascara. Why? Because the cascara market as it stands is like the Wild West, and it’s holding everyone – from farmers and importers to brands and consumers – back from experiencing the full potential of this super sippable superfruit.
Here’s the thing: Coffee beans – just one small part of the coffee fruit itself – undergo scrutiny at every step of the supply chain, from processing to roasting to cupping. There are scoring systems that help differentiate between commodity coffee and specialty coffee, which in turn helps to dictate pricing and set more transparent expectations around what you’re getting. But because the demand for cascara – the coffee cherry husk – hasn’t yet been as ubiquitous, there hasn’t been a focus on creating the same standards as those that exist for coffee beans.
The lack of industry-wide standardization for cascara processing, pricing, quality and flavor presents a major hurdle for farmers. Without any proven best practices, the innovative farmers who want to sell their cascara are tasked with figuring everything out from scratch – a huge investment of both time and money – only to introduce their product into a market rife with unknowns.
On the consumer end of things, it’s difficult to know whether you’re buying premium cascara or something mediocre (AKA, are you getting the “cooking wine” or “fancy champagne” equivalent of cascara). We’ve purchased tiny quantities for $40 and bulk bags for $20, yet our cuppings revealed no major difference in quality or flavor. This lack of clarity around quality, flavor, and pricing often stops people from buying cascara altogether.
As cascara advocates (read: big cascara nerds), we see cascara’s potential to drive innovation in the coffee supply chain. It’s why we’ve developed the industry’s first-ever quality assessment, including a proprietary cupping protocol as well as a detailed score sheet to assess everything from cascara cleanliness to flavor. With these benchmarks and our direct partnerships with farmers and importers, we are excited to drive the industry forward and to share the power of cascara with the world!
If you are interested in submitting a cascara for our quality assessment or partnering in our efforts to push the industry forward, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Post & Courier: Charleston company champions antioxidant-rich coffee cherry tea
Charleston City Paper: Huskwell building, changing the game for cascara
Effin B Radio: Podcast interview with Huskwell founders