2017 was a big year for coffee.
What – and where – we drink is changing. Specialty trends moved into the mainstream, from the cold brew craze to the rise of RTD. Today, consumers have unprecedented control to customize their beverage, from unique flavors to nutrition-driven additives (oat milk, anyone?).
To reflect how these changes are reshaping our industry, the NCA even added a new “gourmet” category to our National Coffee Drinking Trends report.
Yet at the same time, the fundamentals of coffee remain as relevant as ever. Whether you’re a brewing beginner or a brilliant barista, understanding the basics of what makes a quality cup is still crucial to developing and refining new brew methods and flavors. For instance: Extraction will always be a factor, and your equipment needs to be clean.
We’re looking forward to what the next year will bring – we’re seeing a lot of exciting new research on coffee and health, opportunities to improve industry best practices, and critical developments in sustainability.
But the New Year is also an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been. Here are the most popular NCA blog posts in 2017, highlighting the importance of both innovation and tradition in the world of coffee.
Out of the $48 billion U.S. retail coffee market, about 55% of spend will go toward specialty coffee next year.
#2: Back to the Grind [Infographic]
As a general rule, brewing methods with longer contact time require a coarser grind (and vice versa – your espresso should be very fine).
#3: A Guide to Roasting Types [Infographic]
Understand the difference between “full city” and “French” roasts.
For the first time in the NCDT’s 67-year history, more than half (59%) of coffee cups consumed daily are now classified as gourmet, versus 46% in 2012.
Since the grounds aren’t subjected to heat, cold brew has a different chemical profile than coffee made with hot water. This results in lower levels of acidity, which means a smoother cup that’s more mellow on the stomach.
What coffee trends were you following in 2017 – and what do you expect to see in the year ahead? Share your thoughts in the comments below.