Top coffee trends for 2021 and beyond revealed

According to Bewley's, the introduction of exotic coffee flavours, molecular coffee labs and coffee fermentations are predicted as the top trends for the Irish coffee industry



4 May 2021

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Traditionally known for its love of tea, in recent years Ireland has evolved as a nation of coffee enthusiasts, with coffee culture growing every year. With an increase in demand for speciality coffees and a rise in more refined tastes in the market, Bewley’s has revealed its coffee trend predictions for 2021.

The trends highlight some of the fascinating global coffee crazes we can expect to see over the coming months. Curated by Sheila Dowling, sales director and coffee expert at Bewley’s, the list of predictions showcases what Irish coffee connoisseurs can look forward to from the industry over the coming months and beyond.

1. Health and herbology

Coffee producers are seeking to make coffee more attractive to today’s health-conscious drinkers. Coffee brands will aim to support the physical and mental needs of consumers by using ingredients such as probiotics and CBD in their coffee roasts. As well as this the love of almond and oat milk is here to stay, as plant-based milk alternatives continue to grow in popularity. According to the Bewley’s Coffee Consumption Report 2020, dairy alternatives prove to be popular amongst younger coffee drinkers with 68% of 18-24-year-olds using plant-based milk alternatives. Plant-based milk alternatives will also become more accessible across the country with the launch of new initiatives like Bewley’s plant-based coffee docking stations, a partnership with Alpro, that offers plant-based menu solutions to Bewley’s C-store operators nationwide.

2. Exotic coffee flavours

Younger coffee drinkers are also experimenting with tastes as they seek out innovative and exotic coffee flavours. Research compiled by Mintel in 2019 found that 66% of coffee drinkers aged 16-44 are interested in trying coffee inspired by different countries. Coffee makers will look to tap into the authentic and interesting coffee styles across the world, with bold, exotic flavours such as Turkish coffee with cinnamon or Vietnamese iced coffee.

3. Ethical coffee consumerism

Conscious of our environmental footprint and where our coffee is sourced, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the important role they play when it comes to global ethical consumerism. According to the recently compiled Mintel report ‘A Year of Innovation in Coffee 2020’, in the last year, 59% of all coffee launches featured ethical or environmentally friendly claims, specifically targeting eco-conscious consumers who seek transparency on the bean to cup process. Coffee brands are expected to prioritise two aspects of ethical consumerism, namely sustainability (both in packaging and coffee farming practices) and ethical trading with farmers.

Bewley’s has been at the forefront of sustainability and Fairtrade, in 1996 Bewley’s was the first brand to introduce Fairtrade products to Ireland and achieved 100% Fairtrade in 2017. A company that understands the importance of being ethical and responsible, Bewley’s work in Fairtrade is supported by its deep values in sustainability, conducting business in a way that improves the health of the planet and the lives of all those involved in the coffee production process.

4. Coffee fermentation labs

Lab fermented coffees have started to emerge with pioneers of the new method using fermentation to create tastier, more flavoursome beans. For newbie coffee drinkers, bitterness is the main barrier to trying new brews, but fermentation labs will look to solve this issue by creating a smoother bean within a lab-controlled environment. This innovation will deliver a natural solution to coffee’s inherent bitterness, while being a more palatable and environmentally friendly alternative, suited to the tastes of all consumers.

5. Molecular coffee

The future is now! The world’s first molecular coffee lab, Atomo Coffee, opened in 2020, signalling a new era for coffee creation that will make an exciting global impact. Atomo Coffee lab founders have identified the individual compounds which make up coffee, allowing them to enhance aroma and flavour and deliver a more consistent-tasting, superior brew. Using a process that uses no coffee beans whatsoever, molecular coffee labs are predicted to pop up across the globe in the coming years in order to meet rising global coffee demands and help offset the effects of climate change, which threatens the future of Arabica beans.






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