We’re almost done with 2016 and what’s happening in the world of coffee? Here are a few trends predicted for what’s likely in the coffee fueled year ahead:

There is an icy undertone. According to certain fundis hot coffee has enjoyed the focus of innovation during the past decade, and with a huge number of flavour innovations. However, in the last couple of years there’s been a notable movement towards chilled coffee drinks. And now is the right time of year to experiment.

And so, the Fourth Wave of coffee may be cold. People are finding new and better ways to brew coffee without heat, and it’s exciting. The cold brew craze of the last couple of years could be just the beginning. Consider a ‘Draft Latte’ – an iced latte with textured milk and cold brewed coffee served from a tap. No heat involved. The response to this innovation to date indicates that there could be a major shift in the industry towards cold coffee drinks.

Another trend noted is the rise in signature sweetened coffees. Not too long ago, it wasn’t uncommon that specialty cafés weren’t carrying even milk and sugar; now signature drinks like the Apple Betty and Espresso Julep are being well received in the coffee community.

Happily finesse in the coffee industry is moving ever upwards. The quality of the beans and blends and the increasing importance of specialty coffee beverages are two trends helping to shape the future. Whether the end user is an experienced coffee drinker, or enjoying their first cup, there is a greater expectation for authentic, handcrafted, high-quality coffee beverages. Additionally, specialty coffee and espresso-based drinks are growing in importance.

Retention programs at the origin, where coffee is grown, are intended to inspire the next generation of coffee farmers to remain in the coffee sector and continue to drive quality. Some typically only see the agricultural side rather than the consumer angle and coffee marketing.

For the full article see Habitat #256 November / December 2016