IT COULD be the latest craze in Canberra's insatiable addiction to caffeine, but the gleaming chrome of an espresso machine is nowhere in sight.
Growing in popularity, cascara is a caffeinated drink brewed from dried coffee cherries that can be served hot or cold and is making a mark on the city's coffee-drinking culture.
Cupping Room owner Sasa Sestic said sales of the drink were starting to increase, although his cafes have been stocking it since 2011.
''We weren't pushing it as much because we had limited supplies, but last week I was in India and I was showing them how to process cascara, and now we will have a steady supply,'' he said. Mr Sestic said it had a lower caffeine content than coffee but it depended on the ratio of water to cascara and how long it was brewed.
''It's about a quarter as strong as coffee and more like a tea,'' he said.
Barista Caity Reynolds said the drink had a sweet cherry flavour.
''People are becoming more aware of it and once they try it they seem to come back for more,'' she said.
The cascara at the Cupping Room in Canberra is brewed for between four to eight minutes, with one teaspoon of ground husks per cup.
''I don't think it will replace coffee, but it's an interesting taste and worth a try.''