Whether you can’t start the day without an espresso or you enjoy a warming Irish coffee before bed, it seems the coffee has gained an almost universal popularity across the US and UK. And with new coffee shops popping up all the time and baristas constantly pushing the boundaries of what we can expect, there are new ideas being invented and enjoy almost every day. Here are seven coffee trends or 2018.
More coffee drunk than ever before
There’s no doubt that was think of Britain as a tea drinking nation but it might not be as clear cut as we think. In 2016 the UK alone drank more than 2.1 billion cups of coffee, compared to 874 million cups of tea. This is a trend that is set to continue throughout 2018 and beyond as the number of people drinking coffee is rising while the number of people drinking tea is falling. Could we see Britain becoming more famous for its coffee consumption than for its cups of tea?
The rise of cold brew
Another surprising trend in the drinking of hot drinks is that many of us are now drinking them cold! Iced coffee never quite took off in the way that iced tea did, but things look set to change as cold brew coffee is becoming enormously popular. Cold brew takes around 24 hours to create – as beans are left in water at room temperature. It is served chilled as offers flavors quite distinct from espresso.
Coffee and technology
Increasingly we are seeing the involvement of technology in the coffee brewing process. This is moving beyond simply the measuring of the temperature of an espresso to ensure the beans don’t burn – we are talking about apps and devices used within brewing to improve the whole creation of your coffee. Smart coffee makers are becoming a must-have, as are connected roasters, which allow users to record and track their roasting so that it is perfect every time.
Something that the coffee industry has been crying out for is better packaging, and 2018 might be the year that producers start truly embracing modern packaging. Companies like The Bag Broker now produce packaging that not only has must-have features include a zip lock and a valve but also biodegrades. It is no longer necessary to make a choice between a bag that is environmentally friendly and one that stores coffee properly – you can have both at the same time.
More coffee producing countries
In 2018 there will be more countries producing coffee beans than ever before. The beans are can be grown commercially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, and this has meant some of the major countries that have dominated the marketplace have included Brazil, Colombia, India and Ethiopia. But there are some coffee producers that are only just getting started – in fact the USA recently entered the market (although the beans can only be grown in the island state of Hawaii). In 2018 you should expect to see even more countries producing artisan beans.
One of the surprise trends in coffee has been the rise of nitrogen. It doesn’t sound especially appetising, both adding nitrogen to cold brew coffee has been something of a revelation, and this is a trend that looks set to only increase in popularity through 2018. When nitrogen is added to cold brew it gives the coffee a thicker, velvety texture that feels more luxurious. Better still, the nitrogen does not compromise the flavour in any way.
The rise of nitrogen has been something very recent and coffee makers are only just getting started on its potential use within drinks. It will be interesting to see what creative baristas come up with in 2018.
The importance of water quality
As our understanding of what makes great coffee grows, one area that has been singled out for a potential improvement is water. While coffee is often brewed using standard tap water there is a growing school of thought that argues the best way to experience the flavor is with better quality water. Expect to see a rise in the use of mineral waters in coffee production.