What coffee trends will we see throughout the rest of 2021?
Trends in the food and beverage industry are constantly shifting. We crave new flavors and taste experiences. This pattern holds true for coffee, as evidenced by the fact that unique blends, brews, and preparation methods pop up. What does 2021 hold for coffee enthusiasts? Keep reading to find out what developments experts say you can expect to see in the coming months.
Sean Yew is a specialty coffee barista and latte artist who got sucked into the depths of the world of coffee. He is the Founder of TheHeartyBrew.com and his mission is to share what he learned with home brewers on how they can improve their brew, and enjoy the true taste of fine coffee.
Top 3 Coffee Trends for 2021
1. Lighter Roasts
Medium roasted coffee beans have always been the most popular, by far. A 2020 study by Statista.com put it at a 51% lead, but as farmers produce better and better coffee and the quality of coffee climbs, I predict that this lead will finally swing in favor of light roasts.
Specialty coffee isn’t just confined to the big cities and cafés anymore. It’s making its way into everyday homes. Lighter roasts are floral, fruity, vibrant, and acidic – all desirable flavor characteristics that people are starting to lean towards. It’s opening up a whole new world of flavor profiles and taste notes that were once impossible to find. As such, I see extra-dark roasts such as European roast, Viennese roast, French roast, and New Orleans roast being [overtaken] by this new, third-wave specialty coffee, in which coffee enthusiasts appreciate the original flavor of coffee beans much more.
2. Single-origin Coffee Beans
Single-origin coffee beans are the new kid on the block, as opposed to blends. Blends are stable, well-known, cheaper, and taste-wise, more accessible to a larger portion of consumers. Single-origin coffee beans are harder to control and trickier to properly extract flavor from. There’s nowhere to hide as the flavors stand alone, but this is what has made it appealing. What was once considered annoying and “too much effort” to bother working with is now considered attractive. It’s a fun test of your skills as you play around with various roast levels, brew methods, and recipes to get the best flavor possible.
Homebrewers also have more time on their hands now due to many new work-from-home policies. Instead of having to gulp down whatever coffee was available and rushing out to catch the subway, they have the freedom to spend time and attention on refining their craft. Single-origin coffee beans allow this much more than blends. Indeed, some cafés are already pioneering this change by choosing not to offer a house blend anymore, but rather offering a rotating single-origin so their customers can experience a variety of coffee flavors from all over the world.
3. Specialty Coffee Bars
The last trend I predict for 2021 is the rise of specialty coffee bars – both espresso and soft brew. I see a shift away from full-blown cafés and bistro-style establishments. Instead, we’re likely going to see more simple, no-fluff coffee bars that really drill in on specialty coffee. Specialty, in the sense that they offer a selection of top-grade coffee beans, both blends and single-origins alike for customers to pick and choose [from]. These bars will also offer a variety of brew methods. The barista may recommend a particular bean for a particular brew method or let the customer mix and match with endless possibilities. In this way, the customer is invited into the conversation about coffee. Thus, an appreciation for good, quality coffee grows, which in turn helps these specialty coffee bars grow.
Focus on Water for Coffee
In 2021, we’ll see a lot of focus on water for coffee. More home baristas will start experimenting with formulating their own brew water with the correct hardness and mineral composition.
By now, many coffee drinkers have figured out that beans and equipment such as grinders are essential. Now, they will turn their attention to the water, which is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to coffee.
We already see more brands popping up in this niche, such as Third Wave Water, a producer of sachets with specific coffee minerals. The brand has several mineral blends on the market aimed at different brewing styles, such as espresso and filter coffee.
Some home baristas will even buy pharmaceutical-grade minerals and experiment with their own water recipes.
Tom Bolland has had a passion for coffee for around 4 years now, which grew when he started travelling and visiting countries with different coffee cultures. Now he helps people brew the best coffee possible from the comfort of their own home, on his blog HappyBarista.com.
The biggest trend in 2021 is going to be people becoming at-home baristas, crafting coffee from their home instead of going out to cafés.
Obviously, over the last year or so, we have been spending a lot more time at home, but we still want to get our caffeine fix. Most people get specialty coffee when they’re out and about at work or shopping in town. Well, that’s not been possible as much this year. So, I think there will be a lot more people wanting to brew amazing coffee from home.
It is much easier [to do] than you think. You just need to know a couple of tips and tricks to get started. You don’t need to drink instant coffee or use coffee capsules to brew coffee for yourself. You can make a latté or cappuccino, which will be pretty much as nice as what you would get from a café. You just need to know how.
Keeping it Original and Real
It is a well-known fact that almost all foods that we buy from the market have additives, artificial flavors, and preservatives in them. Coffee consumers and sellers are now moving towards making coffee without all the artificial flavors and additives. I, and other coffee enthusiasts, want to feel the aroma and original flavor of coffee, and this is going to be a trend in 2021, which I believe will continue in the years to come.
The best cup of coffee at home
Making coffee at home will come back into its own this year. For many years, we have seen people obsess about takeout coffee. Even TikTok stars have their own drinks named after them. [During] the pandemic, people have had to rely on their own coffee, which could be nicer than you may think.
With the right tools at home, you can make the best cup of coffee you have ever drunk, but not without practice and time. I think that many of us have picked up new skills during this year, so why not make ourselves amateur baristas and carry this trend into 2021?
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