What’s Brewing in 2021: New Coffee Trends To Look Forward To
The trying year that is 2020 has disrupted the coffee industry in big ways, redefining coffee consumption and coffee demand as customer preferences evolve. This paved the way for new coffee trends that could be instrumental in setting your business up for success.
What’s hot? Cold coffee!
While they still like their hot drinks, coffee drinkers have developed a more discerning and distinctive palate for coffee. Not all people like their coffee piping hot, which is why new coffee trends show that customers continue to warm up to cold brewing. Once a novelty, this slice of the industry has since grown. Cold brew is not the same as iced coffee and requires specialized equipment to be made.
One of the most popular types of cold brew methods is nitro brewing, which produces a uniquely delicious cup that has enhanced sweetness, less acidity, and an amazing frothy layer from the nitrogen with a velvet quality to it — all without having to add sugar or milk. Nitro brewing also takes advantage of the science as a massive spectacle that adds to the experience, while the resulting rich texture creates a perception of premium quality and experience. Nitro coffee is brewed at cold or room temperature for half to a full day before being infused with nitrogen gas using a pressurized valve. Nitro coffee is made with specialized equipment that makes it easy to prepare and store.
New coffee trends are also seeing the rise of snap-chilling, which gives you the perfect way to get your daily coffee fix during the hot weather. This process involves the rapid cooling of freshly brewed coffee, which squeezes out extra flavor and aroma compared to other cold brewing processes. There is no need for added dilution and you won’t have to worry about waste because you get to use every drop of cold-brewed coffee.
More customers are also adding butter to their cups, which offers a way to enhance the taste of the coffee as well as its nutritional value. This is one of the latest coffee trends that is becoming increasingly popular especially with people on the go who want to enjoy a delicious and nutritious cup of coffee.
Pure, healthy ingredients
Many consumers are thinking about their health and wellbeing more than ever. Coffee lovers want no artificial ingredients in their coffee and are adjusting their coffee cravings accordingly. So for most people, non-GMO ingredients have no place in their coffee. They want ingredients that can actually improve their health, which is why we are seeing more flavors feature ingredients that help strengthen the immune system and their overall health while keeping true to the coffee experience.
As a result, we are also seeing plant-based ingredients in more cups. This means the use of non-dairy milk such as oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, and cashew milk. These alternatives could create an alternative taste, so it is up to operators to find a way to achieve the same quality and experience as you would with a dairy milk coffee. Plant-based coffee options can be served as specialty drinks. We are also seeing more blends that incorporate mushrooms and matcha.
In line with this growing coffee trend, people are looking for transparency with regards to the contents of your products and where they came from before even deciding to open their wallets. The more accessible this information is, the better. You can make a list of the complete ingredients through social media, the menu board, or even the actual packaging.
As customers put down their carbonated drinks, they have found a healthy and delicious replacement in ready-to-drink or RTD coffee. This supersized version of instant coffee is a godsend to busy people who want to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a fast-paced life. Ready-to-drink coffee offers a quick caffeine fix that is still both well-crafted and highly caffeinated. RTD coffees span the spectrum of coffee offerings and that includes cold coffee, which has accelerated its growth.
Sustainability and artisan coffee making
Customers are becoming increasingly concerned about what is in their coffee and the environmental implications of their coffee lifestyle. Customers want a more sustainable way to enjoy their coffee. New coffee trends continue to show that more customers are likely to support brands that go out of their way to make their operation more sustainable and actually showing it. Some of the big changes that come from this include greater support for local farmers and roasters as well as eco-friendly, plastic-free packaging. This pairs well with the concept of artisan coffee, whose main selling point is meticulous craftsmanship, superior quality, and not available anywhere else.
Coffee as a full experience
Coffee is a popular breakfast staple that helps you start the day first thing in the morning. But not anymore. A cup is more than just a drink to give you a jolt of energy to face the day ahead. Customers want to be able to fully enjoy their coffee.
Many millennials are looking for a complete and authentic coffee experience, and they are willing to travel miles and miles for it. So it is safe to say that new coffee trends will see “coffee tourism” become bigger. We are also seeing more coffee shops hosting “coffee cupping” classes in the future, providing coffee lovers to further their affinity for caffeinated drinks to deconstruct each cup by evaluating the aroma, texture, flavor, and other important aspects that make good coffee. This process involves sniffing and slurping the product as opposed to just sipping it.
Gen Z customers consider their coffee as a treat so they want a cup that looks and feels like it. Needless to say, the taste and presentation truly matter. These consumers also want coffee that is tailor-made for their taste. This gave way to the rise of personal coffee makers where they enjoy total control of every single cup, which plays well to the next trend we will take about.
Premium, customized coffee at your doorstep
While many also want to travel the world for a heavenly cup, some customers love the luxury of having that experience at home by subscribing to monthly coffee delivery. Subscription service is no longer just for video channels and magazines. This is one of the new coffee trends that is relatively fresh, but it may be poised to stick around the post-COVID world. Customers love the unparalleled level of convenience and customization of being able to pick the exact type of coffee beans they want and have it all shipped to their doorstep. Coffee subscriptions were definitely a godsend in the middle of a pandemic because it gives them the confidence that they have all the coffee they need without having to go to the store.
Humans and machines combined
New coffee trends are also pointing towards the greater collaboration of automated machines and human employees behind the bar. This is a solution meant to save costs and make production more efficient. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also made it a matter of safety. This coffee trend could mean the installation of more kiosks and other advanced automated solutions that can get repetitive tasks done quickly and tirelessly while humans handle the more complex parts of the job such as connecting with customers. The use of technology also has to do with getting the word out on your products, improving your brand, and further making it more convenient for customers to enjoy your favorite caffeinated creations.