The words Cold Brew and Bulletproof are still on the tip of our tongues as we enter a new year, but Millennials are turning to coffee in increasing numbers and that changes everything. What fresh brewed coffee trends should we expect in 2019?
First, it is important to note that access to information, and the very volume of information on any given topic out there, is widely responsible for coffee’s growing popularity, especially among the aforementioned Millennials. Being informed truly impacts our choices. The National Coffee Association identified a remarkable uptick of coffee sales attributed to the generations born between 1980 and 2000 or so immediately following the publication of a 2017 study that confirmed coffee’s direct connection with increased life expectancy, among numerous other benefits. The results were reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, an academic medical journal published by the American College of Physicians, and soon overflowed into mainstream media.
In the US alone, it is now estimated that over 40% of daily coffee drinkers are Millennials. We know that young adults prefer stronger, creamier coffee. Lattés and shakes have been fashionable in coffee shops for the past several years, both here in the US and over in Europe. But now, it is a sort of exclusive “je ne sais quoi” experience that coffee drinkers are looking for. And as the young entrepreneurs and dreamers among us set this tone, those of us who have come before follow suit, naturally.
What does this mean for coffee trends? Here’s an overview of the top 3 coffee trends you may observe, or perhaps adopt, in 2019.
1) Nitro Coffee – We’re tempted to say, “Folks, do not try this at home!” Or the first thing that may come to mind, after a good cuppa java puts you in a playful mood, is to imagine someone talking in a tiny cartoon voice after a few sips of a nitrogen infused brew. That would be hilarious, of course, but it’s not quite what this is about. Infusing coffee with nitrogen gas adds carbonation that has been compared to a good stout or porter. It also produces a delightfully creamy brew.
2) Chemex it Please! – Not all trends are about what’s in the coffee. Pods are out, Chemex is in for 2019. Some believe this is purely a matter of aesthetics, as the clear hourglass shaped coffee pot adds a touch of elegance to the process. However, Millennials will tell you that it is a matter of environmental awareness, voluntary simplicity, economy and good health. There is nothing new to this coffee brewing method. It was originally marketed in the 1940’s. What is new is how we relate to it. Millennials aspire to a certain dignity of style all their own, and who could blame them. The Chemex is clean, elegant and produces a clear, gently filtered coffee that retains its distinguishing flavor attributes.
3) Coffee Cocktails – First of all, “Gourmet” and “Specialty” are the words du jour. Coffee lovers may still purchase their brews from the supermarket shelves for convenience but are far more likely to opt for specialty small-batch roasters and specialty coffee drinks. Irish coffee is a given. In 2019, expect Millennials to set the tone with black coffee lagers and espresso martinis.
Have you noticed your own coffee preferences change in recent years? Perhaps a friend introduced you to a new trend, or you created your own. It would be interesting to study how the experience of drinking coffee changes from generation to generation within a single family. You may be part of a microcosm of coffee evolution!