Hottest Day Of The Year > Hottest Coffee Trends
We've just passed the hottest day in the year, and ever on record, and so we thought now would be the perfect time to explore the hottest coffee crazes and trends to look out for in the coffee industry. Whether you’re just curious about what’s going on, or you want to appear ‘in the know’, read on for a few pointers from us for your next coffee chat when with others in your favourite cafe.
A return to cafe culture
The pandemic hit the hospitality incredibly hard with many of our favourite local coffee shops closing their doors to the public or pivoting their offerings. In our local area, some of the independent coffee shops adopted some new initiatives, delivering beans and even cups of coffee to their regulars and local community - almost like Deliveroo for Speciality coffee ...Now, that’s an idea!
Needless to say, as entrepreneurial as this may be, we’ve probably all missed spending time in our favourite coffee shops, catching up with friends, people watching or just sitting in with a good book with the smell of freshly brewed coffee lingering in the air - we most certainly have.
We saw a boom in home brewing with many coffee fans investing in brewing equipment, espresso machines and coffee subscription services such as ours to ensure they maintained their coffee intake and this is something we believe will continue. The speciality coffee consumer is now, potentially - we hope -, more educated and appreciative than ever before. We’ve all learnt more about coffee, how to brew it, which coffees we like, what roasters we enjoy. All this leads to a consumer base with a far deeper appreciation for coffee. Couple that keen interest with a real yearning for cafe culture and you’ve got a solid argument for returning to coffee shops where deeper conversations will be had with baristas about all things coffee. This may also lead coffee shops to being more open to explore more variety in their offerings which can only be a good thing.
Non-Dairy offerings are by no means a new thing. The speciality coffee industry has embraced the emergence of milk alternatives such as oat and soy with many consumers now more environmentally and ethically conscious and actively choosing to avoid dairy in their milk-based coffees such as flat whites and lattes. This surge in demand for milk alternatives has really pushed manufacturers to create the best milk alternatives possible. We saw brands such as Minor Figures emerge with oat milk specifically made for baristas with improved texture and taste when steaming for milk based drinks.
Back in April 2021, this soaring demand led to Starbucks declaring a worldwide shortage of Oatly, a popular brand amongst coffee shops and it’s safe to say demand and popularity is only going to grow. We’ve seen evidence of this locally in which some speciality coffee shops are opening now plant-based stores that only serves dairy-free drinks and let us assure you, business is booming for them. We don’t, however, necessarily envisage a huge number of specialised stores such as this one popping up, although it’s not unlikey. Though, we do feel like consumers are more open to trying milk alternatives as the quality of milk alternatives is far better than ever before.
This improved selection of brands offering non-dairy milk is only going to help the cause. And this year there could well be a new front runner emerging onto the scene - anyone fancy a potato milk Flat White? That’s right, according to Waitrose’s annual food and drink report, Potato milk is now considered one of the most sustainable milk alternatives you’ll find. The supermarket chain have decided to stock Potato Milk made by the Swedish brand, Dug. Potato Milk is low in saturated fats and low in sugar making it a very healthy option so don’t be surprised if you see this on the menu at your local coffee shop this year.
Better coffee blends
If you’ve taken a really deep dive into the world of speciality coffee you may be familiar with the debate between single origin coffee and blends. In summary, it is widely regarded that single origin coffees, those being beans originating from a single crop or grower, are far superior to blends. Blends, as the name suggests, are coffees that mix, often two or more of these single origin coffees to create one offering. This debate has raged for a few years now but single origin might just start to lose its grasp in 2022.
As time has gone on, the industry has embraced the possibilities of coffee blends and as a result, the blends being produced today by a number of highly regarded roasters are not only full of great flavour, but also provide a range of flavour complexities, tasting notes and are an example of the creative possibilities of combining different coffees.
We believe for the remainder of 2022 we’re going to see even more interesting blends and that creativity is going to continue on sky rocketting and that the stigma attached to blends is going to evaporate further - there's a pun there, we're sure. This may push single origin producers to further advance their methods and offerings but it will for sure mean that we have a wealth of amazingly interesting and complex coffees to sample and experience.
Further growth in coffee subscriptions
If you’re reading this, we hope you're a fan of GUSTATORY - hey! - and there's probably a high chance you may already have adopted the ease and convenience of coffee subscriptions into your day-to-day life. Our GUSTATORY coffee subscription is designed to do just that, offering an easy, convenient way to experience and enjoy great quality speciality coffee at home.
As mentioned above, the pandemic had seen a boom in at-home coffee brewing and we think this shift has made many coffee enthusiasts realise how accessible great quality coffee is when brewed at home. Our team certainly found making a V60 every morning whilst working from home extremely ritualistic and cathartic and it certainly became a part of our morning routine that we really enjoyed. As such, our homes always smelt of freshly brewed coffee and it also saved each of us some money. Of course we still enjoy visiting coffee shops but nowadays it’s more for the social element as opposed to our only port of call for a great coffee. Such an epiphany - can we call this that? - was probably experienced by many coffee lovers and we think those who invested in a coffee subscription over lockdown will likely continue due to the lifestyle element of brewing speciality coffee at home. Our team certainly know we’ve waxed lyrical to friends and family about how beneficial good coffee is and we know we’ve converted a few people to explore this and so hopefully this will continue to be a trend across the industry.
GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.