Aida Batlle grows coffee on her family’s farm in the hills surrounding El Salvador’s Santa Ana Volcano. Like generations before her, she had little use for the skin that encases the beans, so she’d turn it into cheap fertilizer or, more frequently, trash it. Then one day, walking past some husks drying in the sun, a smell hit her, a good smell: hibiscus and other floral aromas. It dawned on her, she says, that some value might be extracted from what she had long considered refuse. So she steeped the husks in hot water and had a taste. “Immediately I started calling customers to try it,” she says.
At a Starbucks in Chicago’s Loop, a medium iced cappuccino with cascara foam goes for $4.75. (In case you’re wondering, that’s essentially a low-fat cappuccino whose foam and syrup have been spiked with an extract made from a blend of sugar and ground-up dried coffee husk.) “Starbucks is great at taking things and introducing it to the masses,” says Michael Schultz, co-founder and chief executive officer of Coffee & Tea Bar Holdings LLC, which operates two Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea locations in Chicago and is preparing to open others in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. “People are becoming more and more. Full Story
Well, isn’t this interesting, the waste and leftovers fetches a higher price than the actual product; such a massive divergence indicates that coffee is close to putting in a very long-term bottom