Half-husk qishr from the Haraaz Cooperative®:
Note: WE HAVE FOUR MORE QISHRS ON THE WAY WITH EXPECTED ARRIVAL IN LATE 2021. WE'VE NEVER HAD THIS MANY. BE EXCITED.
QISHR is the dried husk of coffee cherries, and is used in Yemen to brew a traditional spiced tea. Find that recipe below. Or it can be brewed straight, giving a fruity, slighty sweet tea that has a body and mouthfeel akin to black tea. But that description does it injustice, and really qishr tastes unlike any other tea. Qishr tastes like qishr. (In Latin America it's called cascara.)
If you really want to understand Yemen's coffee, that you have to know and try qishr. Coffee beans start life as a cherry, which is picked and dried in the sun. This leaves a dried fruit with two green coffee seeds in the middle. Once it makes it to the mill, the seeds are removed and the dried fruit remains. With the hardened fruit, you can make a traditional tea. Thus, qishr is a byproduct of naturally processed coffee. (Conversely, coffee is the waste product of qishr, depending on your perspective.)
When brewing the tea at home, it's like loose leaf tea. One serving can brew 1 cup of tea or 4 cups of tea, depending on your strength preference. Brew time can run from 2 minutes to forever, and you can strain or not strain the tea. My preference is 5 minute brew, send it through a coffee filter, add honey and heavy cream. Tastes AMAZING.
Recipes from the coffee mill:
|Tradition Yemeni Recipe:||Straight Qishr|
1 cup water
5 grams qishr (1 tbl sp)
1/2 pod cardamon (crushed, not ground)
1 sliver fresh ginger
1/3 cinnamon stick
Steep in hot water for 6 minutes
1 cup water
3 - 4 grams qishr (1 tbl sp)
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Thank you Al Mokha for introducing me to this lovely, charming little beverage. It's a treat to be able to brew up something that is in a sense coffee (but non-caffeinated) later in the day and not worry about it keeping me up. I personally recommend qishr with milk and honey in the late afternoon - pure joy!
So, as a one-time chai fanatic, I've really embraced this old, but new-to-me treat. I use the traditional recipe the site recomments, but I use honey--a Yemeni specialty by the way--for sweetening and add a little milk, non-traditional....It is a great treat, especially in the evening, and the natural and spices provide real flavor. Try it!!
Served to people who have never heard of it before. Several liked it and were interested in AlMokha story. Found it better to limit steeping to just over 2 minutes. (or reduce amount of dry qishr.) Best wishes for your efforts to help Yemenis.