“An Apple A Day…”

Posted on September 27, 2011

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Spruce Street Espresso loves to celebrate Fall. You will find the staff in scarves and flannel ready to steam up a fresh apple cider for your enjoyment. Speaking of which, how would you like to know some fun facts about the fruit we call “apple”?

The apple tree first appeared in central Asia. Today, you can still find its wild ancestors in Kazakhstan, Krygystan, Tajikistan and Xinjang, China.

In 1625, colonial Bostonians planted the first apple orchard on American soil which became an important food source for early colonists. Globally, there are over 7,500 known cultivars of apples.

Our idea of the apple resembles most closely the varieties known as the “Desert Apple”. While Desert Apples are generally bred for raw consumption, the “Cider Apple” produces a tart flavor we demand from cider and hard cider.

Norse mythology associates the apple with a goddess named Idun; she symbolizes fertility. Greek mythology uses “apple” as a more general term for all types of foreign fruit, but not as a specific type. A peice of the forbidden fruit a day keeps the doctor away. If you don’t believe me, ask this fine fellow:

I found this research interesting because coffee plants and apple tress are both largely the result of generations of cross breeding and accidental mutations.  They are also both a commodity and a specialty food.  In the case of the Red Delicious and Granny Smith, their long shelf life creatures that they are similar to the large-scale farming of Robusta coffee beans, while the Burbon and Typica varieties of the Arabica plant have the cult status of a Braeburn or Honeycrisp in the hearts of their followers.

With these distinctions in mind, a variety of apples at a variety of prices so one may choose to pick their favorite, or what is on sale, or just blindly grab for the roundest fruit labelled apple…  Coffee can be a little like that, sometimes you just want something hot and dark; but sometimes a coffee will come along that makes all others a bland substitute, that hits your palate in a way that no others can.  I personally had this experience for the first time with a Guatemala Hueheutenango from Finca Vista Hermosa back in Seattle, Washington.  This coffee is grown by the family of Edwin Martinez, who is also the owner of Onyx Coffee Bar in Bellingham, Washington.

In closing, I both this blog makes you do one of two things, or both; One, come in and try our hot apple cider.  The second, as always, is to help illuminate the almost obsessive dedication we have to the varieties of coffees grown around the globe.

Fun fact: baristas Kendra and Amanda’s favorite apple is the Honeycrisp, which was developed by University of Minnesota in the 1930′s.

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