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.
By Eric Penicka, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International
In recent years, RTD coffee has been dramatically redefined by beverage manufacturers through the advent of cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is coffee brewed without heat, with coffee grounds steeped for several hours to extract flavor and caffeine. The end coffee is one which is naturally sweeter, less acidic, more caffeinated and ultimately more artisanal. This kind of coffee is different from traditional iced coffee, which is hot brewed coffee, iced or chilled, and in most cases sweetened and mixed with dairy.
While currently cold brew coffee is typically offered in on-trade establishments (which Euromonitor International would capture under fresh coffee beans consumed in the on-trade), coffee beverage manufacturers have been quick to identify the trend and produce cold brew coffee for RTD consumption. While still nascent, the dust surrounding RTD cold brew’s explosion has slowly begun to settle, with brands such as Stumptown, Califia, and High Brew emerging to define this new niche.
The following post is adapted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News
Science shows coffee can have major health perks at any temperature.
Summer’s hottest drink is also a healthy way to beat the heat.
Cold brew coffee — made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or longer — is just as healthy as regular coffee, according to Frank Hu, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a recent Health.com article.
The following article was originally published by Bloomberg Markets
By Marvin G. Perez
For roasters and producers, cold brew can lead to more bean sales at a time of year when demand traditionally slackens. The need to soak up extra supply is especially important with the price of arabica coffee futures in New York dropping as much as 21% in the past year, and the pace of demand growth in the U.S. forecast to slow.
The benefit of cold brew is twofold: it uses more than twice the amount of ground beans, and it does battle against the efficient single-serve pods that have whittled coffee use and waste.
In the 12 months ended in February, sales of cold brew in the U.S. were up about 80% over the prior year, according to estimates from Cedarhurst, New York-based researcher StudyLogic. Sales of hot coffee fell 3% over the same period. Americans drank 105 billion cups in the 12 months ended in May, StudyLogic Chief Operating Officer Samuel Nahmias said.
…. And apparently man buns are, too.
Cold brew continues to be one of the hottest trends in the coffee market: About 10% of daily coffee consumers reported drinking it past-day in 2017, via the latest National Coffee Drinking Trends report – up from only 1% in 2015.
And it’s not just for the coffee geeks and hipsters anymore: the popular beverage is now officially accepted into mainstream culture.
Bonding with co-workers over bad office coffee may soon become another obsolete workplace ritual (like voicemail).
Today, more companies are looking to get into the $2.6 billion office coffee service industry by promising many of the same trends percolating in third-wave cafes — think single origin beans and specialty espresso beverages.
By Tyler Hubbell
This post originally appeared on the Repsly blog
In one form or another, chances are almost everyone you know starts their day with coffee – be it home-brewed, bottled, or purchased hot or iced from a coffee shop. As longstanding as its popularity may be, the coffee industry is in the midst of a rapid change.
As millennials’ fast-paced lifestyle becomes ubiquitous, consumers are preferring to get their caffeine on the go. In turn, retailers are experimenting with novel ways to speed up ordering and get busy shoppers back in their stores.
Here are the five coffee industry trends that will dominate 2017: Continue reading
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil – so you can say it’s kind of a big deal. As a result, there’s a lot of interesting research available about who’s drinking what (including our annual National Drinking Trends report).
Here are some facts and stats about America’s favorite beverage: Continue reading
By Kyra Auffermann, NCA
There are a lot of reasons to love cold brew. Unlike iced coffee, you can control the concentration so that you don’t end up with a diluted drink.
And 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.
Cold brew is popping up everywhere from local cafes to national chains, but it’s also easy (and cheap) to make at home. Just follow these simple steps, adapted from the food blog Food 52: