An Hour of Tasting Apples

Last week I organized a casual apple tasting for staff here at the Olympia Roastery. I had some vintage cider apple varieties from a project my partner and I were working on at home and felt compelled to share that with my palate driven co-workers. To add to the fun I included several apples from the Farmer’s Market.

This time of year the Olympia Farmer’s Market has freshly harvested apples from Eastern Washington. The variety is diverse, so picking 7 apples to add to the tasting was easy to do. I did get an odd look from the vendor when I started to mark the tops of each apple with the variety name – I was worried that I would forget which one was which!

We tasted the following dessert/eating apples: Cameo, Braeburn, Golden Supreme, Rome, Jonagold, Star King, and Criterion. The Cider Varieties were Porter’s Perfection, Dabinette, Yarlington Mill and Kingston Black.

We evaluated each apple for acidity, sweetness, balance and flavor. The Kingston Black and Criterion came out on top as favorites.

I encourage you to expand your palate and do a quick and impromptu tasting of the fall fruits in your area. Or anything in the market place for that matter! We all can stand to learn a lot more about the flavors that we experience inside and outside the world of coffee.

3 Responses to “An Hour of Tasting Apples”

  1. Lois says:

    In his great song “In Defense of Empty Orchards”, Al Larsen sings about exploring the varieties of apples on this earth and swiping an apple from a tree. “I’ve stolen the best part of the day!” he sings. And that’s what it felt like at Heather’s apple tasting. We all got to steal away for a few minutes and taste several varieties of eating and cider apples. My biggest discovery was the Kingston Black cider variety. The fruit seemed dry instead of juicy, but you could still detect huge amounts of flavor. I’d describe the flavors as the other kind of dry: champagne dry. I hope Heather brings in some cider when it’s done!

  2. Amy says:

    Oops, posted a comment on the wrong post! So, early next week you guys will be getting a surprise box from one of our local farmers in PA. Happy tasting and we want pictures.

  3. Will Frith says:

    This was a great experience for me, as I’m just beginning to realize how much variety there is in the apple world (and probably every fruit and vegetable). The cider apples were really tough to palate at first, but tasting some of the freshly pressed Yarlington Mill cider helped me to understand the differences, and why a dry, tannic apple is necessary for a good cider.

    As far as eating apples go, the Star King was super sweet, juicy with a smooth molasses finish. The Jonagold apples were also juicy sweet, with a nectar-ish mouthfeel and clean finish. My favorite was the Criterion, with its floral aroma and sugary, lingering finish.

    Thanks, Heather, for broadening my palate’s horizons in my path towards building my tasting and cupping vocabulary!

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