In fact, the biggest culinary signifier of fall no longer comes from the produce department. It’s provided by Starbucks Corp., and it is, of course, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The much-loved/much-maligned drink, flavored with cinnamon and ginger, is enough of a seasonal message that when the release date was moved up to early September, it provoked an outcry.
Now coffee companies are taking the promise of that a step further, not with flavorings or mere marketing—“winter” or “Christmas” blends are nothing new—but with seasonal beans. While most coffee drinkers see the roasting date as the all-important determiner of a coffee’s freshness, there’s an increasingly pervasive school of thought that believes the harvest date merits more attention.