The ever-evolving world of coffee is continually innovating, helping people find new and exciting ways to enjoy their favorite drinks and new experiences. I had a look at some of the biggest and most interesting coffee trends to see what will be filling up people’s cups in the coming months.
From Bourbon Barrel Aged coffees to the latest barista trends and innovations in making coffee at home, there’s always a new way to find new flavors in the world’s favorite bean.
Bourbon barrel aged coffee
No surprises that we’re starting here! Aging green beans in the spent barrels of whiskey, malt, rye, and rum has been a developing trend in the world of coffee for a while now, and with good reason.
Four to eight weeks soaking up the aromas from bourbon barrels before they are roasted gives these bourbon coffee beans a unique richness and fullness of flavor that makes a massive impact. It’s a versatile approach to creating something new – taking the time to pair the tasting notes of the spirits with single origin beans means that barrel aged coffee beans can run the gamut from a delicate floral ideal for a filter cup to a big, bold, and boozy bean for espresso roasts.
Single origin coffee
Speaking of single origin beans; increasingly baristas and home brewers are favoring the complexities and variety of coffee from a single geographical origin over the more common and consistent blends.
The country, climate and soil that the coffee cherry is grown in all impart their own character on the bean in the cup and it’s great to see those differences being afforded the same kind of respect as wine grapes or single malts.
From the delicate tea-like strains of Central Africa, the spicy tobacco notes of Sumatra and the rich chocolate and caramel of South America, there is a single origin coffee for every occasion.
Cold brew coffee
Sometimes a steaming hot cup just isn’t what you need in the moment. Cold brew has made massive strides in recent years from a trendy obscurity to being on sale in the fridges of most shops.
Unlike an iced coffee—which is brewed hot and chilled down—a cold brew is ground coarsely and brewed cold over a longer period—12 to 24 hours depending on the brew. The long contact time in the cold water creates a flavorful cup with a very low acidity meaning it can be a refreshing long drink.
Cold brew is an ideal way to showcase the complexities of a really subtle single origin bean and the natural sugars of bourbon coffee beans will make for a delicious, caffeine-rich summer drink.
Espresso & tonic/kaffe & tonic
I can understand a bit of skepticism on this one—I was a reluctant convert to this too. A big coffee trend that originated in Scandinavia is adding tonic water to espresso.
Yes, the same stuff that people put in their gin.
It takes a little bit of convincing but is a genuinely delicious and unique way to experience espresso, adding a lift and zest to what can be a heavy drink. Some people compare it to a more adult cola or root beer, a surprising and enjoyable experience.
Of course, it helps to start with good quality espresso—a fruity Rwandan or Kenyan coffee is ideal here. Roughly two parts tonic to one part espresso is what I’d aim for, serve it in a fancy glass with ice like you would an Old-Fashioned or a good whiskey.
These have taken a while to get off the ground as for a time they were dominated by the big coffee companies but as more ways to access them are opening up the quality of the coffee available in K-Cups has massively improved in the last few years.
K-Cups are a great way to ensure the freshness of your coffee without sacrificing quality if you’re not a half-pound bag a week kind of person.
Sometimes, the new trends are just a rediscovery of what the old folks have been saying all along. Stovetop or Moka Pots have been around since the 1930’s and their iconic design is almost a shorthand for coffee around the world, with millions of people making their morning brew on them every day.
While they can be a little tricky to get a consistent cup out of, with a little patience they can produce some amazing results, as grandmothers the world over have been telling us for years.
Let’s find your perfect bean!
However you like to drink it, there’s coffee for every occasion. Whether you’re curious about bourbon coffee beans or our single-origin coffees, listen to the experts, don’t be afraid to experiment, trust your own palate and keep exploring!