While it might be surprising to learn that the fastest growing group of coffee drinkers are those between the ages of 13-16 (Generation Y), you probably already knew that millennials make up the largest group of coffee consumers, consuming 44% of coffee in the US.
With these two groups shifting the way people cultivate and consume coffee, new trends will surely arise to suit their tastes. Here are the five biggest coffee trends for summer 2018.
1. Direct Trade
This is when a coffee roaster buys directly from the source, the coffee cultivator, essentially cutting out the middle man and enhancing the ability to purchase better quality coffee that relies on sustainable harvesting methods. Due to the fact that this is still an up and coming trend, direct trade coffee will likely be sold at premium price until it becomes the norm and prices subside a bit.
2. Customer Experience
Customer service continues to garner more and more importance as the two aforementioned generations become the main buyers in a world that hinges on experience. 2018 has already seen a growth in the types of experiences roasters and coffee shops have made, so expect that to continue strong throughout the summer.
The best customer experience in regards to coffee is one that tells the consumer about their coffee, where it came from, who made it, and how it got to their table. After all, third wave coffee is all about educating consumers about where their coffee came from in order to foster a deeper relationship between consumer and producer (Roasted Tales does a great job of combining the two, by the way).
3. More Cold Brews
If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll know the difference between iced coffee and a cold brew. The latter is becoming more and more popular, and due to the summer heat wave headed for us, expect to see more cold brew options. Cold brews are great for summer as the brewing method makes the coffee less acidic, making it the perfect summer drink to cool off while staying caffeinated.
4. Nitro Coffee
What, you haven’t heard of nitro coffee, yet? If your local coffee shop isn’t offering up this delicacy on the menu yet, expect it to come around during the summer months. What is it? Basically it’s a cold brew that’s been infused with nitrogen gas and then stored in a keg, like beer. Due to the way it’s stored and dispensed, it’s got a smooth, frothy foam and a strong kick of caffeine.
5. Coffee Cocktails
Infusing coffee and alcohol can be a great way to add energy to your happy hour outing, but it’s also a great way to stay cool and refreshed during the summer months. In fact, according to The Future Laboratory, coffee cocktails will enjoy a resurgence in 2018, mostly due to millennials’ growing desire to socialize and increase their palette with new flavors. From a Hot Flat White Russian to an Espresso Martini, get ready to have a little fun with your coffee this summer.