The government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs reports that coffee drinking around the globe is escalating at a rapid rate and shows no sign of slowing down, so we decided to take a look at whats going on with the coffee shop customer.
The following 15 coffee trends are diverse, sometimes fascinating and often just plain fun, so pour a cup and keep reading, making sure you don’t sip carelessly as you peruse this eclectic list.
Trend #1: Coffee reinvents itself as the nouveau soft drink
Bubbles and fizzes notwithstanding, coffee is fast becoming a universal substitute for soft drinks as iced coffee emerges from the shadows and takes its place as both a summer and winter beverage of choice. Keep an eye out for exotic cold brew coffee soda as this niche is expected to explode in 2020. While Sandows claims to be the first company to introduce this style of coffee beverage, you likely already know that copycats are popping up.
Trend #2: A froth and creamer revolution
Cows are so yesterday. When it comes to coffee infusions, it should come as no surprise that the 2020 market is about to be flooded with myriad plant-based products in addition to those already out there. Reserve judgement on taste until you have opportunities to test these for yourself. Manufacturers are busily adding coconut, oat- and soya-based additives to coffee that are so cleverly formulated, it’s possible to enjoy a creamy foam without an infusion of dairy.
Trend #3: Try a cup of sustainability
We understand your confusion over this trend because all-things-sustainable appear to be saturating every food and beverage market, but here’s the newest member of the club: disposable cups into which you can pour your soy latte, add your quota of foam and not worry that you’re helping to stuff a landfill somewhere on the planet. At recent coffee fests, re-usable cups were the order of the day. Expect to see those cups again in 2020 if you attend because they are going to make an appearance.
Trend #4: Coffee as a remedy for what ails you
Your mum did a brilliant job of folding foods and drinks you hated into those you liked, so think of this as you deliberate the emerging “coffee as remedy” trend. Coffee, it seems, is becoming a flavourful addition to beverages so loaded with nutrients, even your mum would applaud your choices. Coffee and bananas? Gluten-free veggie mocha smoothies? All things are possible when health and wellness gurus applaud the addition of coffee to popular menu items.
Trend #5: Belly up to the bar
Having become familiar with liqueurs that use coffee as an ingredient, you can expect more of this in 2020 when coffee cocktails wind up on drink menus. Does it take time to cultivate a taste for an espresso martini? That question depends upon your adventurous nature as you encounter any number of strange concoctions that run the gamut from coffee lagers to espresso-laced tequila. We can only hope that martini glasses filled with brown-coloured beverages gain acceptance because they are not very pretty.
Trend #6: Don’t check your aesthetic at the door
As Millennial’s, in particular, demand coffee drinks that look as good as they taste, baristas will begin trying new tricks in 2020 to give beverages a flourish of artistry. According to Kathryn Oldershaw of Utopia who insists that there’s an artisan coffee movement afoot, “beautifully-served drinks” will become the order of the day. Traditionalists can kiss the standard biscotti goodbye when their coffee appears; a biscuit won’t cut in in today’s Instagram age where a picture is worth a thousand hits.
Trend #7: The posh brew
Look for an uptick in hot beverages that fuse coffee with chocolate, a move that pairs the comfort of a beloved childhood cocoa drink with today’s adult beverage of choice. But don’t expect baristas to start blending wimpy cocoa powder with coffee. Real chocolate flakes not only improve a coffee drink’s consistency but justify a price increase at establishments looking to up their bottom line. Posh seasonal coffee drinks are already commanding a 20-percent rate hike when the bill arrives, so when you order that pumpkin-spice latte at Christmas in 2020, expect to open your wallet wider.
Trend #8: More attention to execution
Lost in the conversation about trendy flavours, new brew options and additives is the question of whether or not the public will continue to tolerate “poorly executed drinks.” This concern, expressed by Phil Smith, head of UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, gets back to basics. “The public has come to expect each coffee to taste as good as the last, but common errors like badly foamed milk make quality and consistency difficult.” Expect temperature variations to make petulant coffee drinkers sulk, too. Fair warning: Price hikes come with responsibility. Expectations by the coffee-drinking public will heighten in 2020. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Trend #9: Sophisticated home brew machines
Stopping off for a jolt of coffee en-route to the office reflects a trend that’s been around for long, it has become a habit for some. But belt-tightening consumers are going to react to skittish future economic turns, investing in home brewing and commercial coffee-making machines that eliminate the middle man. Features on these sophisticated brew machines are becoming so sophisticated, it’s possible to brew a cup of gourmet coffee in less time than it takes to queue at a shop.
Trend #10: Cold brew versus regular brews
It has become a buzz term on the international coffee scene: since 2011, cold brew coffee requests have escalated by a factor of 580-percent, so consider this the trend that is sticking around rather than just starting. This process involves steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for 24-hours, a slow-soak method that encourages oxidation, sweetens flavour and produces an iced coffee with fewer bitter and acidic overtones. Is this trend for everyone? Not likely. As coffee bean prices increase on the international market, plenty of folks will happily accept a pedestrian cup of joe.
Trend #11: The emergence of ‘shroom brews
Mushrooms have always played a big role in everything from gourmet cooking to psychedelic movements. Now, this tasty fungus is about to impact the coffee world, too. While there are certain types of mushrooms that would never make an appearance on drink menus because they have the potential to poison people, mushroom coffee seems to be following in the footsteps of kale and avocado smoothies: They sound unpalatable, but samplers say they love the fact that ‘shroom brews have the potential to keep them healthier in the year ahead, and who can argue with that?
Trend #12: Age of consent?
In case you haven’t come across statistics measuring the median ages of coffee drinkers of late, you will want to know that the 13- to 18-year-old demographic is the market being targeted in 2020 because it has already proven to be the most robust of late. A study published in the U.S. journal “Annals of Internal Medicine” prove this trend has impacted teens throughout the planet. In fact youngsters in this age group are becoming coffee drinkers at a faster pace than did their parents or grandparents. Will we see the coffee drinking age continue to dip beyond 2020? Ask the pre-teens in your circle to answer this question, let us know what they say and we will report results in 2020.
Trend #13: Forget disco. Meet nitro
Once upon a time, percolators extracted flavourful tastes from ground beans, but today, consumers want more bells and whistles. Enter an infusion of nitrogen gas that ups the texture of a cup of coffee to the consistency of a craft beer—-foam and all. There’s a price to pay for joining the nitro crowd. It can cost over 1000 pounds Sterling to install a pressurised keg that dispenses nitro coffee in amounts sufficient for a busy pub. If you like the trend but don’t want to put the estate on the market to own the technology, there’s a nitro press with your name on it at Hatfield’s London (www.hatfieldslondon.com/nitropress).
Trend #14: Check your coffee’s pedigree
The percentage is projected to grow, but as of 2020, around 78-percent of coffee drinkers say they are willing to pay more money if the beans used to brew their coffee could be proven to be ethically sourced. If this reminds you of the effort made years ago by the diamond industry to call the public’s attention to illegally-sourced blood stones, you’re not mistaken. As the second-most widely traded commodity on the worldwide market (only oil futures outperform coffee beans), it will be interesting to see how the increasing demand for coffee with a sustainability pedigree survives in light of the price increases that are practically guaranteed for farmers and roasters in order to meet this criteria in the future.
Trend #15: Blast from the past
Nitro coffees. Responsibly-sourced coffee beans. Brews that rely upon mushrooms for a unique taste. You likely see the 2020 coffee trend list as being totally futuristic. Au contraire say traditionalists happy to make room for new ideas—as long as good old ideas don’t disappear. Thank Chemex for introducing a glass-curved coffeemaker with paper filter that stands as an homage to the 1940s in 2020. It’s a bit of vintage in a world of weirdness so don’t be surprised if copycats emerge on shop shelves and internet sites as the year progresses.
Does all of this mean that coffee will continue to reign supreme? Not necessarily. Next time you meet mates for a coffee and want to start a conversation, tell them that “during WWII, the British Government bought the world’s entire supply of tea”. One can’t imagine reading that headline about coffee in a 2020 issue of “The Daily Mail,” but stranger things have happened!
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