Once a morning ritual for those heading off to work, coffee has become an all-day beverage of choice for consumers. What started as a work break indulgence and a way to recharge has turned into a lifestyle complete with special kitchen equipment and utensils as enthusiast’s experiment with home brewing techniques. Top brands such as Starbucks are leading the market in establishing convenience, innovation, and education within this specialty beverage industry that fuels us. Coffee enthusiasts have become curious about the story behind single origin coffees, eager for a deeper connection to their cup of joe.
This growth sparks the need for innovation in product, flavor enhancement, and quality. The influx of connected devices and appliances is allowing consumers to experiment more freely with exotic preparation methods and globally-influenced recipes. Convenience is the driving force for complex brewing equipment. For example, the Xiaomi Scishare Capsule Coffee maker can accommodate many types of coffee pods known for providing a more complex flavor in a proportioned and milled serving. Other companies such as Breville, are leveraging technology to showcase things such as a touch screen operated automatic espresso machine. Breville’s Oracle Touch model was featured at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo and is just part of the equipment causing a literal stir.
Services that showcase the coffee experience are taking things to the next level, with educational tours and flavor labs, tap rooms that mimic bar-like atmospheres and tours from artisanal roasters. These services are now connecting consumers to the creativity and innovation that goes into the beverage process. Occasion-based consumption is on the rise as aficionados gather for bean-inspired after dinner drinks that can be personalized, while small companies like Fire Department Coffee offer bean blends infused with spirits such as Bourbon, Rum, and Tequila, further highlighting complex flavor profiles to be enjoyed any time of day. The coffee industry is influenced by individual need, whether it’s the eco-conscious shopper concerned with label transparency or direct trade certification, or a busy family who doesn’t want to sacrifice precious minutes in their morning routine, convenience is now part of a solution–along with flavor and value–that fits all of our individual desires for coffee.