3 Highlights From the National Coffee Association USA Convention 2019

Specialty coffee cupping session at the NCA Convention in Atlanta
Spencer Turer (Coffee Analysts), Julie O’Brien (The Coffee Trust), and Monica Walker (Walker Coffee Trading) enjoying a cupping session led by Blue Donkey Coffee at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta

Pt. 1: The Crema the Crop


Leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs from across the coffee industry came together for the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The 3-day event was themed “Coffee at the Crossroads” and sponsored by Community Coffee, which is currently celebrating its centennial anniversary as a family-owned company.

From networking events to specialty coffee education, the jam-packed (and highly caffeinated) conference offered something for everyone.

Here, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite moments, with more to come in the weeks ahead.

(If you attended #NCA19 and want to share what you’ve learned, share a comment below or tag @nationalcoffeeusa in your photos!)

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NCA National Coffee Data Trends 2019

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The Behaviors & Perceptions of U.S. Coffee Drinkers

63% of American adults drink coffee daily, according to new market research announced at the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in Atlanta.


The National Coffee Association USA (NCA) offered a first look at the redesigned and rebranded 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) today at the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The NCDT report has tracked consumer behaviors and perceptions shaping coffee trends in the US for almost 70 years.

63% of American adults drink coffee daily, according to the NCDT, steady with 2018 consumption.

“Coffee is America’s most beloved beverage – and for good reason,” said William (Bill) Murray, NCA President & CEO. “New consumer values have changed the game for coffee. But the industry is adapting – and thriving – by embracing innovation and transparency.”

From sustainability to wellness, these realigned priorities mean that consumers are paying more attention to what’s in their cup than ever before.

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The Buzz Is Brewing at Blue Donkey Coffee

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Blue Donkey will  host a specialty coffee cupping session at the 2019 National Coffee Association Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9

Atlanta Coffee Shop is Making Waves with National Coffee Leaders


As Atlanta grows, so does the city’s specialty coffee scene – and one of the hometown favorites is about to make a big splash with coffee executives from around the world.

Despite this excitement, Atlanta’s Blue Donkey Coffee remains true to its commitment to specialty coffee, personalized for coffee lovers.  The latest Blue Donkey café is just their second location, opening last fall in an upcoming area east of downtown on the edge of Grant Park.

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What the Science Says About Common Coffee and Health Myths

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Study after study has found that coffee has a host of potential health benefits. Yet there’s still a lot of confusion among consumers and in the media

Surprisingly, 69% of Americans report that they have not even heard of any studies related to coffee and disease prevention, according to recent NCA market research.

And despite the fact that people already have less than the 3-5 cups daily recommended for optimal physical benefit, limiting caffeine intake was cited as the leading reason to cut coffee consumption.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the most common misconceptions on coffee and health – and what the science really says.

To learn more about coffee, caffeine, and health, join the NCA Science Leadership Council for the Coffee Science Fair at the NCA Convention in Atlanta, March 7-9.

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Video: The Future of Coffee Pods in North America

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Learn more about the maturing coffee pod market at the 2019 National Coffee Association Convention in Atlanta

Peaking at $5.7 billion in sales in 2016, demand for single-serve capsules has leveled off after capturing a significant portion of the US coffee market, according to Euromonitor market research reported by STiR Magazine.

Experts say that the industry will need to undergo some major changes in order to recapture some of the old excitement and increase growth rates in the category.

What lessons can be learned from the mature pod markets of Western Europe that could be applied to the category in North America?

The Future of Coffee Pods in North America | Market Research Blog

Find out at the 2019 National Coffee Association Convention in Atlanta, on March 7-9.

Euromonitor‘s Matthew Barry will lead an in-depth educational session discussing the coffee pods market in North America, including the effect of private labels and off-brand pods as well as environmental sustainability.

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Sustainability Standards: More Complex For Coffee Than Wine

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Leading sustainability standards for coffee are truly international and used worldwide.

By Morten Scholer, former UN advisor and author of the recent book Coffee and Wine: Two Worlds Compared 

 Part I: Sustainability Standards For Coffee – With Hidden Agendas


The coffee sector looks up to the wine sector for several reasons – including the wine sector’s long and prestigious history, the sensory descriptions, the sophisticated branding with use of terms like terroir, and the (sometimes) high prices.

While the coffee sector can no doubt learn a lot from wine, there are also areas where the wine sector has reason to admire coffee – and sustainability standards is one of them.

Sustainability standards are in several ways more complex for coffee than for wine, especially in terms of developing the standards, training, compliance, and monitoring.

This is certainly not to say that it is easy for the wine community, but here are four of the reasons.

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IWCA in Atlanta: Lessons Learned From Sustainability-Focused Initiatives

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Calling all NCA 2019 Convention attendees!

You’re invited to a lively interactive forum, titled Connect. Empower. Advance. Insights & Lessons Learned From Sustainability-Focused Initiatives.

Join the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and moderator Nathalie Gabbay, Representative of RGC Coffee, for the IWCA Annual Luncheon fundraiser at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta, GA.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get high-level insights into leading sustainability initiatives and connect with colleagues from across the coffee industry.

Panelists and discussion topics include:

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What the Research Really Shows on Coffee & Cancer

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Coffee may lower the risk of several types of cancer, according to recent studies reviewed by researchers at the American Cancer Society.

The following excerpt was originally posted at the American Cancer Society

AICR has named February Cancer Month. Learn more

To learn more about science, coffee, and why the research matters, join the experts from the NCA Scientific Leadership Council for “The Coffee Science Fair: A Fun Look at a Serious Topic,” a special educational session at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta, GA on March 8.


Scientists have been investigating the links between coffee and cancer for decades. And while our understanding of coffee’s potential health benefits has improved with advances in research, there’s still more to learn.

In 2016, an expert panel convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — the arm of the World Health Organization that is responsible for assessing whether certain substances cause cancer — could not conclude that drinking coffee is carcinogenic based on the current evidence available.

Yet the coffee-cancer connection has recently reappeared in the news, due to the ongoing Prop 65 legislation in California to put misleading “cancer warning labels” on coffee.

So, what do coffee drinkers need to know?

In following interview written by Elizabeth Mendes, American Cancer Society researchers Susan Gapstur, PhD, and Marjorie McCullough, ScD, explain what the studies really show when it comes to coffee and cancer, and discuss what other research is still needed.

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Coffee and Cigarettes: Misinformation By Algorithm

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Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, popular myths on coffee and health continue to persist.

By Kyra Auffermann, NCA Digital Content & Communications Manager


Coffee plays an important role in the lives (or at least mornings) of most people — in the United States, nearly 80% of all adults drink coffee, typically at the start of their day.

Yet most coffee drinkers don’t have a good understanding of coffee: the plant, the way it is processed, or the precision of a “perfect” roast.

In fact, more coffee drinkers may have a good misunderstanding of coffee. And despite overwhelming evidence, myths persist — particularly when it comes to coffee and health.

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