The data geeks over at Square and the SCA recently released some interesting statistics about how and when Americans are getting their caffeine fix.
From the iced coffee vs. cold-brew debate to the new alt milk, here’s a breakdown of what Americans are ordering at their local coffee shops each day:
New! NCA Workshop for Coffee Professionals:
The Business & Safety of Cold Brew | Nov. 6 | Sponsored by: Toddy, LLC
What is cold brew coffee?
“At its core, cold brew is a brewing method, not a serving method,” explains Mark Corey, Ph.D., NCA Director of Scientific & Government Affairs.
Dr. Corey led a team of specialized experts to develop the NCA Cold Brew Toolkit, now available to the entire coffee industry. (Read more background about the report and related food safety considerations.)
The Toolkit offers science-based technical guidance and recommended best practices – visit the NCA website for more details.
While working on the report, we received a lot of questions – from consumers and companies alike – about the beverage market’s hottest trend.
Here are some expert-approved answers to common questions about what “cold brew coffee” really means:
The drones could read social cues and biometrics to dispatch caffeine when you need it
Because this doesn’t at all sound like the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopia where sentient technology withholds caffeine to control the human population, your coffee may one day be delivered by drone — before you even ask.
IBM has secured a patent for a coffee-delivering drone that reads social and biological cues to know when people will need their next caffeine pick-me-ups, reports USA Today.
“Coffee is both delicious and healthy.”
California’s Misguided Labeling Decision Impacts Coffee Growers & Drinkers
This post was originally published on the Global Farmer Network
By Luiz Roberto Saldanha Rodrigues
When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month finalized a ruling that coffee sold in California must carry cancer warning labels, many California residents may not have paid much attention to yet another labeling requirement.
Ever since voters passed Proposition 65 more than 30 years ago, after all, Californians have watched the steady proliferation of vague statements about chemicals, cancer, and birth defects. They appear almost everywhere, from the windows of hardware stores to signs at Disneyland. They’re so abundant that Amazon even sells them as stickers in rolls of 500.
Many people have begun to ignore these labels because they’re so common and because the information they convey is almost useless.
So why am I concerned if they now also show up on coffee?
The NCA Cold Brew Toolkit draft will be open for coffee industry comment through the end of May
An edited version of the following article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Cold brew has taken off – and it’s changing the way we drink coffee.
Total retail sales of refrigerated cold brew grew by about 460 percent from 2015 to 2017, reaching an estimated $38.1 million in sales this year, according to research from Mintel.
And, unlike avocado lattes, cold brew is more than a passing trend. About 10% of coffee drinkers reported having cold brew daily in 2017, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report – up from only 1% in 2015. Experts predict that this category will continue to drive coffee market growth.
But despite of – or perhaps due to – this sudden popularity, there are still a lot of questions and misconceptions around cold brew. This is especially true for coffee companies that are considering making, serving, or selling cold brew.
The Growing Desire for Functional Coffee
By Vanessa Facenda, Editor, Tea and Coffee Trade Trade Journal
The following post originally appeared on the Tea & Coffee Editor’s Blog
As spring rolls in, consumers start thinking about “form and function.” While this usually means getting “winter bodies” into shape, functionality is playing a greater role in beverages.
Earlier this year, NCA held a webinar entitled, “US Coffee Outlook 2018: Latest Market Trends and Future Market Growth.” Eric Penicka, senior research analyst with global market intelligence firm, Euromonitor International, who was the webinar presenter, noted that the key ingredients for the future are convenience and function. Both will lead to value growth.
Photo: @tanitotoro via @peoplebrewcoffee
[Editor’s note: The NCA Next Generation Council is leading an NCA Instagram photo contest! Follow the National Coffee Association at @nationalcoffeeusa and tag us in your coffee photos with #NCAUSA for a chance to win agreat prize donated by Bunn. Deadline: March 15]
Instagram is a powerful platform for coffee businesses of sizes: the platform has a community of 800 million, with 500 users million using it every day (second only to Facebook, via Hootsuite). And with 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one business, it’s a great way to engage consumers.
There are a lot of great ways to use Instagram to showcase your brand, from promoting new products to sharing a glimpse into your company culture. And fortunately for our industry, coffee is particularly photogenic. But getting that perfect shot (espresso or otherwise) requires more effort behind the scenes than you think.
Over on the MistoBox blog, Melissa Hall reached out to some of the most talented coffee photographers for their top insta-tips on bringing out your coffee’s best side. (Be sure to check out their feeds for even more caffeinated inspiration – and follow the NCA at @nationalcoffeeusa.)
Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
By Phil Pienkos, NREL
When it comes to sustainability in the coffee supply chain, industry members have been finding creative ways to conserve on every level, from the farm to the coffee shop. But what happens to the grounds after the coffee’s brewed?
Many coffee shops already have composting programs, but what if there were a way, not only to divert used grounds from the landfill, but to use those grounds to produce energy? Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is exploring this question — and is starting to see some exciting developments with help from the coffee industry.
Coffee sales are making a big difference in the otherwise sluggish restaurant industry, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.
Chain coffee shop locations increased by 6% from 2016 to 2017, reflecting increasing interest in high-quality and specialty coffee across the country. The U.S. has almost 3,000 more coffee shops than it did five years ago.
So what makes coffee special?
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.