With a new year comes new trends. What’s happening in the coffee scene? Let’s take a look!
Many of these trends are hold-overs from 2018 which isn’t surprising. But there are a few items towards the end of this post that may surprise you.
In our 2018 trend report
we reported that our youth, ages 13-18, are the fastest growing age group of coffee consumption. This hasn’t changed for 2019. Because of this, expect the shift towards youthful tastes to expand.
With the influx of the younger crowd, coffee drinks are continuing to trend towards the sweet side. Like the Unicorn Frappuccino of 2017, the Crystal Ball Frappuccino of 2018 was super sweet (though also caffeine-free), smothered with whipped cream, and sprinkled with candy. If you haven’t noticed already, coffee shops are adding more coffee shakes, flavored frappuccinos, and other sugary hot and cold coffee-based beverages. And this doesn’t show signs of stopping.
Expect to see more flavor crossovers as the Juniper Latte showed us this winter. Don’t be surprised to see sour/sweet combinations added to coffee drinks as well. This was a flavor trend (think Sour Patch Kids) during the formative years of the post-millennial group. With those kids starting to hit the adult pool, we’ll surely see those taste preferences reflected in the morning jolt.
We also reported that ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee was on the rise as well. This is due to the “always on the go” youngsters. When you go to the convenience store today, there are cans and bottles of cold coffee drinks perfect to grab and enjoy while running around. Consider saving more time and even more money by making your own RTD coffees at home. Make your coffee ahead of time and add your desired sweetener. Hold off on adding any milk or cream until just before consuming. Invest in a few reusable bottles to prepare your home brewed ready-to-drink coffees and you’ll be able to grab and go each morning.
You’re in the right place for this trend! Gourmet coffee was high up in the 2018 trends as well. With restaurants and bars cashing in on the artisanal, craft, and gourmet trends, it’s really a no-brainer for coffee shops and cafes to hop on board. High-quality coffees are immensely enjoyable on their own, with a splash of creamer and a dash of sweetener. Make them into coffee drinks and you’ll never go back to store-bought coffee again!
Under the broader umbrella of gourmet is fair-trade. Consumers are looking for certified fair-trade to ensure the farmers and coffee workers are being paid a fair wage and that the working conditions are ethical.
In addition to coffee workers being treated well, many coffee consumers want the growing conditions to be gentle on the earth. This means organic coffees which are grown without harmful chemicals are important. With sustainability, there is no deforestation, land erosion, or water erosion.
Yep, specialty drinks are still hot! Or cold, depending on how you prefer them. We’ve talked about cold brew
(try it hot, too!) before and in our 2018 trends post we mentioned coffee made with tonic water.
Tonic water coffee is only going to grow. Easy to make at home, this process is simply cold brew with tonic water replacing your tap water. The subtle flavors of the coffee that come about during this process could be further enhanced by using flavored tonic water. Experiment with your favorites to see what works for you!
Bulletproof coffee is still a hot commodity. Keto diets are gaining in popularity and enjoying that morning pick-me-up is extremely important. Butter is a low carb replacement for creamer or milk that gives your coffee a creamy texture. Might we suggest using unsalted butter, though?
For years we’ve been able to get our coffee with soy milk rather than cow’s milk, but today the choices are almost endless! Almond milk has been popular for a bit, but expect to see rice milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, and even hemp seed milk. Pick your favorite for a customized drink that’s all you.
Coffee in cocktails has been a thing since at least the early 1940s and the start of the Irish coffee craze. Fast forward to today when we have espresso martinis, flat white martinis, black coffee lagers, and cold brewed gimlets just to name a few. For a slew of unique coffee-based cocktails, check out this post
All the trends we’ve discussed to this point were basically updates of trends from previous years. But how about something new?
Well, this will have to fall under the “everything old is new again” heading. Chemex coffee makers were created and made popular in the early 1940s. Today, they are making a comeback as the pour-over coffee trend grows. The use of the paper filter and the slow pour process give the coffee a delightful lightness and a slight citrusy note.
This fast-growing trend is less about coffee and more about… coffee. The cherries to be precise. The proper name for coffee cherries is cascara. In a move to be more sustainable, the desire to use the whole plant and not just the seeds is growing. Study of the cascara fruit has shown it can be dried and ground into a flour and it can be steeped into a tea. Cascara is high in fiber and iron as well as protein and antioxidants. It is considered a superfruit with great health benefits. Watch for cascara to start showing up on menus and likely in grocery stores in the near future.
What Did We Miss?
Do you have a favorite trend that we missed in this list? If so tell us in the comments. Enjoy these coffee trends throughout the year as