Establishing an apple orchard is a major financial investment. Growers decide which varieties to grow long before they have fruit ready for sale. While much is known about consumer preferences for varieties of apples for fresh use, this is not the case for hard cider apple varieties. Do consumers want sweet hard ciders? Floral notes? The complex flavors and aromas resulting from high levels of tannins? The goal of the Apples to Apples Project and the Comparing Apples to Apples report was to help hard cider growers—and makers—select apple varieties for a high-quality, artisanal product. To accomplish this, researchers compared the results of laboratory analysis and tastings of single-varietal ciders to identify desirable flavor characteristics.
The profiles document is also included in the full report.