Apple + Coffee

Apple + Coffee
November 27
By liz.clark

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Fall is here and going and to celebrate the season we hosted an apple and coffee pairing. Two simple things, one perfect pairing. Emma, a Barista at State St came up with the idea. She was inspired by tasting how different each coffee was and when she went home her boyfriend would bring home different varieties of apples and violá! The seed was planted. We loved the idea of taking two things that people generally have one taste association with, yeah apples tastes like apples and coffee tastes like coffee, and expand how we perceive their flavors by playing off of one another. Both coffees and apples are simple and complex, we looked at acidity, taste, sweetness and physical sensations, such as a juicy apple made you thirsty for a juicier drink, to mix and match them. Here were our pairings, all apples were late harvest apples from Indian Creek Farm.

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Margil and Guatemala Chajulense Clever. As we were tasting the Margil a very specific flavor description came up, that had also been brought up a couple days before in a lab, fresh pumpkin guts. The timing with Halloween may have swayed us toward this description but once we tasted fresh cut pumpkin in the Margil we had to check our cupping notes to see which coffee summoned the same response. The pumpkin-pear, caramel and popcorn (seriously) finish in the Margil made us want a coffee you would hold in a mug to warm up your hands and the tip of your nose while taking comforting sips with the changing leaves.

Ashmead Kernal and Honduras Linda Vista cold brew. This was the extreme pairing. The syrupy, liquid chocolate-caramel cold brew balanced the grass scented, sour, crunchy sweet-explosion the Ashmead Kernal brought to the pairing. The apple had the top and middle notes, with almost warming qualities while the coffee grounded the pairing with a cooler temperature and syrupy, boozy end.

Northern Spy and Leftist espresso. A perfect pairing, both were balanced and balanced each other. We used this as an example of rhythm between items. One of the elements of pairing we wanted to highlight was the rhythmic pattern between food and drink, when you felt compelled to take a sip or a bite, and how they danced together. We've all experienced this, certain pairings "go down fast," like hot coffee and an apple fritter, while others are savored over long periods. We thought these two bounced perfectly together, the aftertaste of the apple worked seamlessly into a sip of espresso and vice versa.

Spitzenburg and Honduras Las Penitas Chemex. The apple was delicate, sweet and balanced with tastes and fragrances of honeydew, kiwi and banana . It wasn't very juicy, almost like chewing on sugar. We wanted to pair it with something juicier and sweet, but also balanced and delicate. Las Penitas, with rich berries, starfruit, guava and a delicate jasmine finish was perfect as a chemex allowing the fruits and acidity to shine by holding back the most amount of sediment through it's thick paper filter and letting the true syrupy body show itself.  

Roxbury and Guatemala Atitlan Chemex with Kone filter. This was fun, we brewed the Atitlan in a way to mimic the apple. The Roxbury was pillowy soft, with spearmint, lilac and cotton candy. It played with the breath in particular way, where flavors were exposed with a delicate exhale, the phrase, "breathes infinity flowers," came up in the tasting. We took the Atitlan, a clean, crisp coffee with light floral and citrus notes and brewed it through a Kone filter, allowing a small amount of sediment through, to give it a pillowy mouthfeel.

Suntan and Kenya Gatomboya French Press. You weren't expecting that, where you? We thought the suntan had an understated intensity and we wanted to play around with this concept, so we took one of our juiciest tropical fruit filled coffees and mellowed it out. Like a miniature circus under a cotton blanket.