Coffee is no longer just a drink that you have with your breakfast every morning. Clearly, even non-baristas and coffee sophisticates have raised their expectations from coffee, with the decline in sales of pods and instant coffee.
The UK, while still being one of the world’s greatest consumers of instant coffee, is also moving towards the premium-isation of coffee. As UK consumers travel more and become exposed to innovations in the food market, coffee culture is becoming more deeply ingrained.
If you find that coffee is gaining more of the attention it deserves lately, here are the movements responsible for it:
1. More viable coffee businesses through the Sharing Economy
The emergence of successful shared economy models in recent years, like travel brand AirBnB, transportation service Uber, and e-commerce hub Alibaba, has benefited not just big businesses, but individuals as well, as it creates more micro-entrepreneurs.
In the coffee industry, the availability of roasters online has helped fuel the growth of artisanal independent coffee shops. Whereas commercial coffee roasters, such as those supplying big chains like Starbucks or Costa, deliver a full range of services, they more often provide products in large volumes and pallets.
Internet coffee roasters are designed to become the middle-man of the coffee supply chain, allowing smaller coffee business, distributors and even consumers to create their own coffee blends and brands.
Here at Newbeans Coffee, we go even further and allow creation of signature blends in accordance with taste and budget. We also provide a range of distribution services from single KG bags to palletized products, becoming a tool to distribute customized and affordable coffee while maintaining quality.
2. Greater Transparency and Choice through the Internet
With the availability of coffee on the internet, the end-user is also becoming a bigger part of the technology of producing coffee beverages. They now have a chance to produce coffee drinks in a specific way, choosing their own beans, roast, grind and size.
What makes Newbeans Coffee unique in this respect is the transparency we offer. It is the only coffee roaster and supplier on the Internet to disclose the exact content of a coffee blend. Through our CTAPS, you will know where the beans are from and their flavour composition even before you purchase them.
3. The Shift from Commoditized to Specialty Coffee
In the same way that coffee lovers want to be involved in the creation of their coffee, they also want their coffee specialized when they do have it served or prepared for them.
While there is not one definition of “specialty” coffee, we’ll define this as the emphasis on coffee being consumed fresh, mixing a unique blend of beans, and roasting it in a way that highlights its origins and processing method — resulting in a cup that is made solely for them, or one that not many people get to enjoy.
For true coffee connoisseurs, however, it’s not just the preparation that separates “specialty” coffee from “regular coffee”. “Specialty” coffee would mean each step of the process is handled with the best possible care and knowledge, from plantation, harvesting, storage, blending, roasting and eventually, to cup.
4. Commitment to Sustainability
Organic and sustainably grown coffees are also getting more support from coffee lovers for reasons other than taste. Coffee companies and consumers alike are now more conscious of whether their choice coffee is good for the planet and its people.
There are several certifications to ensure this.
- Organic standards cover all aspects of organic food certification from farming to production and packaging, and ban unnecessary and harmful food additives in organic processed foods.
- Rainforest standards allow goods to be traced back to well-managed farms or farm groups that protect workers, wildlife and communities.
- Fair Trade certification means farmers work under humane conditions and are paid fairly for their efforts. When growers are paid fairly, they don’t have an incentive to cut down forests to grow more coffee.
Newbeans Coffee is both Soil Association and Rainforest Association certified to ensure the highest quality and sustainability of our coffee.
Sustainable coffee does drive up cost, but it’s a cost that’s well worth it. After all, better grown coffee ensures there is more of it to go around.
5. New Ways to Brew
If 2015 was the year that cold brew and iced coffee took off, this year will see more different ways of brewing coffee. Some methods that will continue to spread in the industry are:
- Nitrogen infused coffee or coffee infused with odourless and flavorless nitrogen gas, for a creamier and richer texture. Just like beer when served on tap.
- Water chemistry. There has been a lot of talk recently on the water that’s being used to brew and how it affects taste.
- Coffee meets beer, juice, tea and salt. Some creative baristas are finding ways to merge popular drinks together, and even add surprising ingredients to the mix.
As people’s fascination for coffee grows, so will the number of ways it is made and prepared.
And with all these developments, it seems the coffee industry will not be slowing down anytime soon.
What other developments in the coffee industry did we miss? Share with us below or get in touch via Facebook.