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Seasonal Food Is in Retreat, Unless You’re Talking About Coffee


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.

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