Customers are no longer satisfied with standard Americanos and milky Lattes and new speciality beverages and concepts are emerging at a constant rate in order to satisfy consumers changing taste preferences.
Industry events such as Caffe Culture and World of Coffee have highlighted the growing trends of latte art, cold brews, sustainability and sourcing, coffee cocktails and even fizzy carbonated coffee.
Stand out trends included the growth of coffee cocktails, the Coffee in Good Spirits Competition being held at both trade shows. Coffee cocktails are not a recent discovery, as the classic Irish coffee dates back to the 1940’s where it was born from a mixture of espresso and Irish whiskey, as a way to warm up and wake up cold airport passengers. In the years since, coffee cocktails have come on leaps and bounds.
The divide between baristas and bartenders has become much smaller and the revival of coffee cocktails has lead to new and exciting innovations. Recipes are not limited to one spirit, operators experimenting by including gins, tequilas, vodkas and all manner of spirits with both cold brew and classic espresso. The Coffee in Good Spirits competition showcased recipe concoctions of espressos with shiraz wine, lemon juices and even custard. This trend offers an opportunity to get creative and experiment with flavour and spirit combinations of all sorts.
The experimental craze continues with fizzy, carbonated coffee. Select coffee shops have been known to serve a shot of sparkling water alongside an espresso shot in order to cleanse the palette. But do the two make a good match when combined? This fizzy coffee innovation is a non-alcoholic take on the coffee cocktail, many baristas mixing cold brew or an espresso shot with tonic water. One thing is for certain, the contrast of refreshing tonic and espresso crema is sure to make waves in the hot summer weather.
Additionally the popularity of latte art has boomed and consumers regularly post pictures of their purchases on social media. Industry events such as WOC have taken this a step further by holding competitions where baristas battle it out to create swans, owls and even dragons from the frothy top of a latte!
With advances in flavour combinations and a more experimental approach to blending highlights the growth of café culture as a whole. The experience of purchasing a speciality beverage has become a trend in itself; a clear indication to operators of how important an overall speciality beverage experience is to consumers