If you’re anything like me, coffee plays a VERY important role in your life. You can’t function without your morning cup of Joe, and work is just “counting hours” between your next sip of java.

2016 is going to be an excellent year for coffee, thanks to a few interesting trends in the industry:

2016 coffee trends

Coffee+ drinks — Ever heard of a Dirty Chai? It’s a divine combination of chai tea and espresso coffee! How about Yuen Yueng, the Chinese/Hong Kong mix of coffee and milky black tea? Throughout 2016, baristas will continue to experiment with a wide variety of drinks blending coffee with other drinks for hot beverage magic.

Flavored coffee — Yes, we’ve all tried Pumpkin Spice Latte come the autumn, but I’m excited to find out what new and unusual flavors will be blended with coffee. Coffee mixology is becoming as advanced and complex as creating cocktails and alcoholic drinks. Who knows what fruits, roots, herbs, and spices will be mixed in with our java this year?

2016 coffee trends
Nitro coffee at Sacramento’s Chocolate Fish Roastery.

Nitro coffee — Never heard of it? Wait until you try it: cold-brew coffee that has been infused with flavorless, odorless nitrogen gas. It’s stored in a keg (like your favorite beers) and served straight from the tap. It’s a unique experience that no Frappucino could ever match, thanks to its silky taste and ice-cold chill.

2016 coffee trends

Latte art — The art of brewing coffee has been constantly improved by artists who “draw” in your drink. Latte art is constantly changing and improving, and your baristas are only going to become better artists with practice. Say goodbye to the basic “leaf” or “heart shape”, and say hello to “scorpions”, “swans”, and more!

2016 coffee trends

More than just a coffee shop — How many people drink coffee after dark? Not too many. How many people drink wine and cocktails and eat cookies, brownies, cake, and sandwiches in the evening? Everyone! More and more coffee shops are branching out by adding alcoholic beverages and food to their offerings. This helps to attract crowds even after it’s too late for a shot of caffeine.

2016 coffee trends

Better water — You know that coffee is like 98% water and 2% coffee ground, right? The “taste” of the water used affects the quality of the coffee brewed. The coffee industry overall will examine water quality more closely in 2016, ensuring that only top-quality, premium-fresh water is used.

2016 coffee trends

Specialty eco-conscious coffees — Think Free-Trade Beans hand-picked by equity partner workers, or Organic Fairly Traded Coffee Beans grown by indigenous experts. Not only do these specialty coffees offer better quality beans, but they improve both the environment and the working conditions of those handling the java.

Blending the old and new — There is only so many varieties of coffee available on the planet, so 2016 will be the year of rediscovering the old and making it into the new. By blending the genes of various coffee plants, unique blends will be created around the world.

Yes, 2016 promises to be the “year of coffee”. Definitely a good time to be a java drinker!

Written By:  Andy Peloquin


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