GOOD APPLES: CiderFest organizer Nina Zinn (left) and WNC Green Building Council Executive Director Maggie Leslie at last fall's inaugural festival. Photo courtesy of WNC Green Building Council

CiderFest 2014: Cider industry flourishes in WNC

Nina Zinn, the Western North Carolina Green Building Council’s development and outreach coordinator, is excited about this year’s CiderFest. “Instead of five cider makers, we have 16 this year,” says Zinn, the creative force behind the festival. Last year’s inaugural event, a small-scale benefit that wasn’t expected to sell 100 tickets, wound up attracting 425 […]

ON THE GO: Colleah Habif, owner of Mountain Mojo Coffee Shop, offers a variety of healthful snack and meal options at her drive-thru and dine-in spot in Fairview. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Car-ready and kid-friendly: The search for healthy drive-thru options in Asheville

Every parent has been there: a hungry child in the backseat, a forgotten snack and several errands left to run before heading home. The big-name fast food chains make these moments so effortless to resolve with a quick sprint through the drive-thru. But with dietary restrictions and food allergies becoming more common, fast food is […]

FRESH POUR: Summer imports from international tea harvests mean all teas at Dobra are quite fresh as the season changes to fall. Photo by Tim Robison

What’s in the pot: A peek at Asheville’s fresh and seasonal teas

Western North Carolina’s coffee culture is alive and thriving, with a seemingly ever-expanding array of coffee dispensaries — including shops, roasters, coffee trucks and drive-thru options. If you look closely, though, you’ll notice that another contender — the oldest and most prevalent beverage on earth, apart from plain old H2O — is gradually becoming more […]

TO A TEA: Barista Nathan Lily makes the chai at Tod's Tasties from scratch. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Chai love: Asheville embraces India’s ancient healing drink

When ordering a chai in the Western world, a customer may receive any number of concoctions. A simple black tea with spices is one possibility, but it is significantly more likely that the beverage will be prepared with a powdered mix of sugar and corn syrup solids, with tea nowhere to be seen on the ingredient list. Fortunately for Asheville residents, local businesses are taking the making of chai back to the basics.