The love of innovative coffee continues to grow. From specially grown mico-lot coffee perfect for black coffee and espresso shots to the fizziest, sugar concoctions you can imagine, 2019 is sure to be full of exciting coffee.
I’m sure there will be no slow down in baristas’ creativity or in amazing production methods – elephant poop coffee anyone? Here are the coffee trends that you may see fall into your cup this year.
1 – Cold Brew Coffee
Yes, I write about cold brew coffee often because it is so delicious, especially here in hot hot Thailand, and I think my dreams are coming true with the cold brew trend continuing into 2019!
I expect to see cold brew offered on shelves not just in specialty coffee shops. The cold brew market in the United States is out of control (leaping by hundreds of percent per year!) with entire grocery store sections dedicated to countless variations on the smooth brew. I’m not so naive to think that my local 7-11 will be carrying cans of Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew but a local brand or at least the Starbucks Cold Brew would be great.
2 – Creamy and Sweet
The creamy and sweet trend in Thailand is most likely not going anywhere for a long time. You will surely continue to see cans of Carnation sweetened and condensed milk tipped upside down to make the instant coffee palatable. I must be old school because Thai’s aren’t the only ones with a desire for sweet coffee, apparently around the world as coffee consumers who grew up knowing what a frappuccino is are looking for the most ridiculous sweet drink you can get. Think coffee freakshakes! I can see lines people snaking through malls throughout the capital waiting for these monstrosities.
3 – Cascara
Cascara means “husk” in Spanish and is the cherry part of the coffee plant that is usually thrown away. But the cascara has caffeine and antioxidants like the bean it protects which can be brewed and extracted. In fact in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, there is a drink called Geshar or Hashara, and its darkly roasted until almost black, and infused in water for a longer period to create an intensely fruity brew.
Coffee shops around the world are rediscovering this commonly thrown away part of the coffee producing process to make their own cascara drinks. Good old Starbucks is jumping into the game with Cascara infused foams and syrups. Finding a full on cascara coffee (tea) is definitely going to be a rare offering found only here in Bangkok and maybe Chiang Mai.
4 – Pour Overs (drip coffee)
The trend of freshly grinding the coffee, carefully preparing the scale, the temperature of the water, blooming the coffee with a gooseneck kettle, calculated brew times, will certainly continue to be more common. I recently saw a masterful display at a food court coffee shop in Seacon Bang Khae. Needless to say, I was a little surprised to see such a quality cup of coffee prepared among some over-priced fried rice and zounds of bubble tea (why is that making a comeback?). But more specifically we may start to see these baristas mixing it up with Chemex pour overs rather than the Hario v60s that are more common. Chemex filters are thicker and will remove more of the oils from the brew producing a different flavor and mouthfeel than the Hario v60.
5 – Carbonated
Fizz might begin to show up in your coffee. With the rise of nitro coffee the idea of adding a little bubble to your coffee drink is well underway. “Coffee soda” has tried to be a thing for a long time, maybe since 1895, and has been tried by some of the major players like Starbucks’ Mazagran Sparkling Coffee, and Coke Blak, but has never taken off. But these big failures have not deterred coffee innovators like Nathanael Mehrens from Nashville USA who founded Matchless Coffee Soda. Matchless coffee soda is an iced tea color commonly served with a sliver of an orange peel and can be described as tasting “like an orange Tootsie Pop,” with coffee’s richness and citrus. According to the company website the coffee soda is a hit, spreading quickly throughout Southeastern United States and poised to start distributing across the US early this year.
6 – Mushrooms
Mushrooms? Yup, you read correctly, mushrooms are finding their way into your coffee. You can get mushroom powder sprinkled on your latte or you can have it mixed in with your ground coffee. I have not tried this yet, but according to some reviews there is no mushroom flavor. People who have tried this mushroom coffee report better sleep, superior cognitive abilities, increased productivity, and more.
Cordyceps for energy, chaga for antioxidants, and lion’s mane for brain health, are the three main types of fungus being used in the coffee. These fungi have some scientific data behind their purported benefits as well as centuries of traditional use. These mushroom coffees are certain to only grow in popularity and should be making their way to Bangkok any day now.
We will see what coffee trends truly take off here in Thailand in 2019.