AED: Kid-Friendly in WNC

Parenting is hard work, and let’s face it, sometimes at the end of a long day mom and dad just don’t feel like cooking. But despite the wealth of top-notch eateries in Asheville, the simple act of taking kids to a restaurant can present unique, stress-inducing challenges. Thankfully, plenty of local dining destinations warmly embrace […]

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 […]

ROLLING WITH IT:  Thomas Lussier, roast master at Dynamite Roasting Co., rolls Guatemalan coffee beans in a computerized roasting machine. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Coffee journey

Great coffee is no different from any other art form: The quality of the final product depends both on material and process. “We can make really great green coffee taste terrible; we can make really great green coffee taste great. But we can’t make bad green coffee taste good: We can only work with what […]

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.