The coffee industry is constantly growing and evolving to keep pace with current market demands. Something we are going to be seeing a lot of is experimentation.
Access to global cuisines and flavors is par for the course for younger generations today. This experimental approach applies to current coffee trends as well. While boomers even today gravitate towards drip coffees, the development of regional coffee cultures has led to younger generations expecting variations in their coffee through flavors such as fruits, spices, and unconventional ingredients.
While exceptional coffee was previously associated with a few select countries, today, there is an improvement in crop quality in various regions. Single-origin coffee from Australia, Latin America, and SE Asia, Eastern Africa is showing incredible promise and is highly regarded by coffee lovers.
Let’s deep dive into current coffee trends!
Coffee consumption trends indicate that consumers today expect brand transparency to continue their engagement. A significant portion revolves around the fairness of working conditions and labor guidelines. For instance, 73% of Fairtrade shoppers were willing to pay more for a product to ensure farmers and producers were paid a fair price.
Beyond being a passing trend, brands being transparent about the sourcing of their coffee beans and indicating they are fair trade certified is rapidly becoming a sociological imperative.
Coffee trends today begin with customers looking for a superior coffee experience, whether at cafes or in their home office.
An excellent coffee begins with freshly roasted beans. Customers today want the pleasure of having their coffee beans roasted fresh, ground, and brewed. The resultant aroma and the flavor is part of the entire experience. Once roasted, the beans need to be ground and brewed immediately, or they lose their freshness.
This has led to several establishments offering roasting on their premises with a promise to not shelve their coffee beans after roasting but brew them immediately. Coffee trends today are leaning toward customers receiving fresh coffee, from beans to brew, in minutes, elevating the entire experience to something more than routine caffeine hit.
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Koji fermented coffee
A strain of Aspergillus oryzae, Koji is typically used for various culinary purposes across Japan. Today, Koji is quite a well-known ingredient and finds its way into various dishes and ingredient pairings to offer an earthy umami taste.
Koji works by breaking down complex proteins, starches, and fats. After Koji is sprinkled over coffee beans, they are fermented for a few days and finally roasted. The resultant dark brew, when compared to regular coffee, has a milder taste, while the light roast has a pronounced reduction in acidity.
The El Vergel Estate in Colombia is working with Higuchi’s lab in Osaka to scale up the production. They also tested the quality of coffee beans after fermentation and found an increase in the cup score of coffee beans by at least one point and, in some cases, between two and two-point-five.
While commercial availability of Koji-fermented coffee may take a little while, coffee market data predicts a glorious future for this coffee trend!
Coffee consumption trends from the National Coffee Association, Americans are drinking more coffee than ever, and the average coffee drinker is fueling up with over three cups daily, according to coffee market data.
Increasing awareness of health and immunity has led to many foods and beverages getting a nutrient boost. Not even coffee is immune to this trend! Purity Coffee, for instance, has jumped on this bandwagon by adding antioxidants and other health-boosting nutrients to its coffee.
Cosmix, an Indian startup, has developed a Shroom Immune Coffee Booster. Simply add a spoon of it to your regular coffee and get a wide range of benefits. With its high antioxidant content, it helps reduce inflammation to naturally strengthen the body against infections. Additionally, it boosts brain function by balancing stress hormones and helps with better nutrient absorption by promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
A few brands are adding other ingredients like matcha to enrich the health benefits. Matcha lattes, for instance, are becoming a huge hit with younger customers. Based on growing coffee consumption trends, we are also anticipating adaptogens becoming a part of this trend in the future.
Also Read: Beverage Research and Development
Typically, single-origin coffee was believed to be of the highest quality. This has been the trend over the last several years across popular cafes and specialty coffee brands. However, these coffee consumption trends are slowly changing.
High-end coffee shops, popular cafes, and hospitality brands embrace the trend of different origins. Bringing together coffee beans from different parts of the world and figuring out the best ratios to roast and grind them is a great way to boost the flavor profile. Additionally, this also goes a long way in reducing the overall cost.
Several internationally-recognized baristas have been using coffee blends with great success over the last several years. With growing concern over coffee production, a trend of coffee blends of multiple origins will definitely endure.
New coffee brewing methods
While tea was typically hot, iced tea changed the game entirely. It’s not surprising that coffee is not immune to the trend of new-age brewing techniques. While the cold brew was initially a novelty, it has now grown into a US$29 million-dollar market in the U.S.
From cold brew and Nitro to at-the-table presses, coffee trends today involve adding a flourish. Cold brew is the silkier, sweet, less bitter sibling of hot coffee. The cold brew begins with new equipment, room temperature water, and a prolonged brewing process. Adding cold brew coffee to the menu requires a thought-out schedule for brewing.
Nitro-brewed coffee is also carving its niche. With the same brewing method as cold brew, Nitro is subject to a process similar to storing and serving beer. Nitro coffee is stored in kegs and is infused with nitrogen for a silky and occasionally bitter taste. When Nitro coffee is served, it is dispensed from a tap similar to a Guinness’s dense and malty flavor.
Nitro cold brew is starting to bring people back to coffee shops. The pandemic led to people experimenting and figuring out how to have their favorite cold brews at home. However, Nitro cold brew is now accessible through a cafe and is fast becoming a popular trend for 2022.
Snapchilled coffee is giving Nitro-brews heavy competition. Snapchilled coffee is brewed faster and alters the brew’s natural sweetness. This method of brewing also leads to less coffee waste. With neither the process nor the ice diluting the coffee flavor, we expect Snapchilled coffee to stick around.
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Coffee market data shows that 25% of consumers cite the coffee quality as the reason for revisiting some of the largest coffee chains. Other factors include the availability of specialty options.
Artisanal coffee counts on quality and supervision throughout the complete supply chain. Artisanal coffees can distinguish themselves from competitors through distinct roasting, brewing, or crafting methods. Recent coffee market data shows that 41% of U.S. adults drink specialty coffee daily.
Research shows specialty coffee shops are the most rapidly growing component in Europe’s food service industry. Collaborating with small or regional/local roasters is increasingly the differential factor determining artisanal success. Artisanal coffee begins with locally sourcing different ingredients to create and sustain a coffee culture in the community.
Based on the coffee consumption trends and coffee market data, the industry is evolving in search of the new, the bold, and as always, the most flavorful coffee!