It's rarely a difficult choice: people are either coffee or tea drinkers. There may be a cup of the other enjoyed now and then, but your heart belongs to just one.
But you can actually have them both, and be able to look at yourself in the mirror the next morning.
The secret is cascara, a tea made from steeping the dried skins of coffee cherries, which today are normally discarded during processing. This tea is actually an ancient drink known as qishr, and the original way coffee was prepared beginning around the 9th century in Abyssinia (modern-day Ethopia).
Do you understand what this means? Before extra-foam triple half-caf grande soyaccinos, coffee was tea. I'm not being all teaist, either. It's just a fact.
Cascara is simple to make, but a lack of available information or research invited experimentation. Playing around with the dose, water temperature and steeping time, I found 5 grams per 1 cup of just-boiling water, brewed for 8 minutes, to be ideal.
The few other guidelines I turned up recommend a 7-minute maximum brew, but as you can see (photo, below), this produced a much fainter- in color and flavor- cup of tea. It didn't seem that an additional minute would make much of a difference, but it brought out the deep, cherrylike sweetness in way that made the botanical connection suddenly hit on your tongue: Coffee comes from a fruit.
I'm not advocating it as a traditional tea substitute, but for any espresso addicts in search of a transition drink, this could get you off the junk. It's much closer to a fruit or berry tisane than a true (Camellia sinensis) tea, but it's a start.
Plus, it's made from what is usually considered trash. How eco is that?
If you still don't believe me, here's a little video of the whole process from the Square Mile Coffee Roasters, in London, which is where this batch is from.