I'm a tea drinker; always have been, always will be. The fact that I also get tons extra antioxidants and wrinkle-blocking properties from tea is just a bonus- I'd be drinking it either way!
Needless to say, I was instantly intrigued when I heard about Kishr, a unique infusion of dried coffee cherry (the fruit that surrounds the coffee bean), saigon cinnamon (a sweeter variety of cinnamon), ginger and cardamom that has origins in Yemen and has been around for over 1,000 years. Steep these spices in hot water for 8 minutes and you'll have a spicy, earthy, warming beverage. The ginger and cinnamon are familiar flavors, but overall it's a new experience, much spicier than chai but smoother and less caffeinated. In fact, at 1.2 mg/oz, Kishr has trace amounts of caffeine, less than even white tea (1.9 mg/oz), and much lower than green tea (3.1 mg/oz). It provides a very subtle pick-me-up that's perfect for those who don't tolerate lots of caffeine, or prefer to avoid it.
Kishr's fair trade dried coffee cherry, imported from the Arabian peninsula
Now for the amazing benefits: Kishr improves digestion (ginger and cardamom help with that), its coffee cherry contains 10 times more antioxidant availability than green tea and pomegranate, it boosts metabolism and immunity, and even provides vitamins and minerals like manganese, iron, B6 and potassium. The cinnamon in Kishr keeps blood sugar steady, preventing the glycemic spike that can cause increased sebum and eventually signs of aging in the skin if it happens regularly. Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory root that's great for skin.
We might not have Kishr readily available to buy if it weren't for Rowida Assalimy, the brand's founder who grew up drinking this beverage with her family and wanted to share its benefits. She ensures that Kishr's ingredients are sustainably and ethically sourced, and has made it her mission to spread the word. Right now you can purchase Kishr online at abesmarket.com and at store locations in Illinois and California. At $28 for 16 sachets, it's on the expensive side. However, I was able to steep one sachet three or four times (a little longer each time) and still get a subtle spiced beverage, perhaps with less health and beauty benefits, but increased value. Try it and let me know what you think!
Kishr comes in pretty mesh bags, perfect for checking out the beautiful whole spices inside