Top Trends in Coffee to Look for in 2017

The new year is off to a bang, and with everyone running out to cultivate new years resolutions and try new things, you may be wondering what will they be looking for in their coffees? The new year is an excellent reason to try new things in your café or in your brewing process to keep on the cutting edge of coffee processes. There are a few trends that are happily carrying over from 2016, but a few break through coffee needs that we are all excited to see develop. In this article, we will walk you through our top five trends and help you design and plan for consumers needs for 2017.

First, what is our favorite trend that is carrying over into 2017? Luckily for all of us cold brew coffee is here to stay as is dominating in fan favorite drinks. Last year cold brew raised a lot of eyebrows, a more expensive coffee that seemed almost identical to ice coffee. Due to proper advertisement and coffee aficionados enthusiasm, cold brew has been exposed for the strongly caffeinated smooth beverage that distinguishes it from iced coffee. Consumer trends show that more and more people are ordering cold brew over iced coffee, and enjoying that extra caffeine punch outside of the warm sunny months. Even in chilly seasons have a cold brew ready to go to please your customer’s demands. If you were hesitant the last few years to invest the time in a cold brew, this would be the year to put those concerns aside as it is a trend that has a lot of traction that shows no slowing down in 2017.

So, what is new this year? You may have seen this developing in consumer trends over the last year, but more and more we see consumer become increasingly conscious about their purchases. Getting your roast certified organic and certified fair trade will help generate customer interest. It’s no longer just about the delicious brew, it is also about how the coffee ended up in their cup. Creating an ethically sourced product will not only increase customers but will help shape a narrative around your coffee store. Many young customers will notice the brand and if they enjoy your coffee it will create loyalty to you and your café shop. These brands also create a sense of specialty, so while you should charge more for organically and ethically sourced beans, you will be placed in a highly profitable section of the coffee industry: the specialty coffee market. This will give you both a unique advertisement ability and generate specialty customers who are opting out of large coffee chains.

When you are looking at specialty you should also consider looking into upping your baristas skills and giving them freedom to design their own drinks. When you have a loyal customer program you can add in having specialty drinks made by dedicated baristas. Naming them after the barista or advertising in a way that highlights the individual will give you the person to person connection that will draw in customers. The coffee made should focus on the skill required to create a delicious coffee instead of attempting to just make a sugary or artificial blend. Up-skilling your employees is not only good for business but it helps create dedicated workers who believe in their products. That being said, do not expect this to be a speedy solution. Time will go into training the baristas, and then it will also take time to make specialty brews for your customers. Perhaps start slow and build on the natural talents you find amongst your baristas.

You don’t often associate climate change with top trends, especially in a product that requires the careful growing and production of a fragile plant. But because terrain is changing so significantly due to climate change and access to fertile soil, we are going to see a trend that is bringing back blends and strains that have gone off the market. As farmers are resorting to more traditional ways of growing, they will be using traditional plants, meaning you should be looking into advertising these as traditional or authentic coffees. The rediscovery of these beans are creating a lot of traction and will flood the market, so get in while resurfacing beans are still considered boutique.

Finally, specifically in the U.S., you will be wanting to consider single origin coffees, especially in your espresso varieties. Single origin espresso essentially means that you are drinking coffee that comes from one single farm, or even more specifically one single lot on the farm. Your customers are no longer looking for the exact same taste, they are looking for all the complex textures and tastes that come with a properly prepared espresso. While single origins are a bit more volatile to work with, especially in the creation of an espresso, with the proper machine and barista they will pack a richer and fuller flavor. Your customers can enjoy the different notes of flavor that are region specific and can open up your café to cupping events and different taste profiles. Both you and your customers will be excited to have new flavors of coffees without having to rely on blends or milk.

Our top five trends can give you a glimpse into what your customers are going to want in 2017 and how you and your café can better serve them. Focus on the human connection and specialty roasts in the new year. More customers than ever are interested in small boutique shops and specialty drinks to kick off their morning. Investing in your customer’s interests, and investing in your baristas will help improve your business. The trends that are cropping up are dependent on highly skilled labor, and ethically sourcing your coffees. Advertise your unique looks and new flavors to draw in new customers, and give your baristas a chance to really shine and show off their unique talents in in the new year!


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