What’s brewing across the coffee market

What’s brewing across the coffee market

Industry professionals update us on the latest developments on the coffee landscape, from new tech trends focused on automation and multi-functional systems to cold brews that provide a perfect alternative in sunny climes and even hot chili infused espressos.

Favorite products and methods
My favorite products are always quality coffee beans and quality water since these are the basic ingredients and the base for any coffee drink from which you can build other drinks. To optimize the quality of a drink, I pay special attention to the tools we use in coffee preparation. These include the pots we use to prepare our traditional style coffee, distribution and tamping tools, scales and timers. I use special pots handmade from copper and lined with silver since they offer better control over heat and the temperature inside the pot, while also reducing the risk of burning the coffee slurry. We use scales and timers to carefully dose our coffee and ensure consistency in the preparation of each cup.

What’s causing a stir in 2023
I’ve noticed an increasing number of customers leaning toward products that promote health and wellbeing recently and a rise in demand for gluten-free and plant-based milk. Other trends evident include the growing popularity of crafted mocktails that are coffee focused and feature a creative mix of flavors. We’re also seeing a greater use of capsules and drip bags, largely because they’re more convenient and easy to use.

New techniques
Automation and advanced technology are becoming big in the coffee industry and helping to advance both preparation and quality of service. Vistoria Arduino recently launched its Mavrick machine which can produce espresso, espresso-based drinks, filtered coffee and tea in one machine. Its advanced technology allows baristas to control different parameters of the espresso machine to produce high quality drinks and explore a range of possibilities, while focusing on the service. Other companies have also worked on compact machines that can produce drinks with the press of a button, with customers controlling different parameters from a tablet and creating a wide range of drinks from one faucet.

AST trainer, WBC & WBrC sensory judge,
founder of THAT boutique cafe

What’s causing a stir in 2023
When it comes to on-trend coffee options, cold brew coffee is proving
to be particularly popular, having established itself as an in-demand item on menu boards and a major draw for attracting customers through the door. Characterized by a smooth, low-acid coffee concentrate, cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for several hours. Nitro coffee, meanwhile, is a variation of cold brew infused with nitrogen gas, which has become another top talking point due to its creamy texture and frothy head.
With social media having made it impossible to ignore the visual value of what we eat and drink, it’s unsurprising that latte art, which involves creating intricate designs on the surface of the drink, has also become a popular trend in coffee shops. Many outlets now offer latte art classes, with some baristas even garnering fame for their skills in this field.

Prioritizing sustainability
Although coffee is produced in over 50 countries, the majority of its farmers are smallholders. The coffee industry faces several sustainability challenges, including environmental degradation, poverty
and the impact of climate change. To help tackle these issues, many coffee shops and roasters have moved to make sustainable sourcing practices a priority. This involves working with farmers who use sustainable farming methods that are environmentally friendly and help to maintain soil fertility. These farmers also often receive higher premiums for their coffee, which can help to improve their livelihoods. In addition, coffee shops are working to minimize waste and reduce their carbon footprint through practices such as using eco-friendly packaging – think compostable cups and biodegradable straws, for example – while also recycling coffee grounds and even, in some instances, installing solar panels to help power their operations.

A final thought
Quality is a crucial aspect of the industry and coffee shops must ensure that their products meet the highest standards. Against this backdrop, quality checks are essential to maintain the integrity of the coffee and give customers confidence that they are receiving the best possible experience. Coffee shops and roasters typically use a process called cupping to assess the quality of their coffee. This involves tasting and evaluating the coffee’s aroma, flavor, acidity, body and aftertaste. Experienced cuppers can identify defects and inconsistencies
in the coffee and adjust the roasting process accordingly to ensure that the coffee meets the desired flavor profile. Conducting regular quality checks on equipment, such as espresso machines and grinders, to ascertain that they are functioning correctly is another essential measure.

Roaster Project

Favorite products and methods
I prefer the coffee dripping methods like pour over and cold brew in preparation, using devices by Kalita, Hario (V60), Origami and Yama. I’m more drawn to gravity methods because they allow better control of the different parameters in relation to the coffee. The filter media, in particular, can be made from different materials, like metal or specific kinds of paper and fabric. The various materials of the cone, with different thermal conductivity, also help better control the brew. The size of the cone itself can be set, based on the coffee or the number of people to be served. I view cold brew as a personal choice and, because it can get really hot in our region, with high temperatures, cold brew represents a way of preserving the coffee notes while still enjoying a refreshing beverage.

What’s causing a stir in 2023
Two ongoing trends at the antipodes are increasing in popularity, namely instant coffee-based beverages like “Dalgona” and the “healthy” coffee-based ones, combining proteins with other active substances. Named after a popular Korean candy, “Dalgona” is made by whipping equal parts of instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until the mix becomes creamy. It’s then added to cold or hot milk. The healthy beverages are part of a general wellness trend, proving particularly popular for supporting improved sports performances. We’re also seeing more specialty coffee shops offering their Coffee of the Day (COD) as a Ready to Drink (RTD) cup to grab and go rather than have at the table.

New techniques
The xBloom Specialty coffee machine is certainly one to watch. Its technology combines grinding and brewing with the convenience of a capsule espresso machine, meaning it can help coffee lovers who aren’t experts or don’t have the time to brew obtain consistent results every day. Its key innovation is that the machine focuses on the brewed coffee itself rather than the espresso. Significantly, some known specialty coffee roasters are actively participating in the xBloom development to automate its parameters, based on how they’d like a barista to brew their coffee, with a focus on the grinding. Another noteworthy feature of the machine is the brewing method, designed to be as close as possible to the human moves when it comes to blooming. It also makes the processes tidy, saving cleaning time and using a compostable material for the cups, which is definitely a plus.

A final thought
Sustainably remains a topical issue. We are still a long way off from reaching real sustainability in the coffee industry, largely because this is a highly complex matter affecting every sector in the chain, from the plantation stage to the final component, which is the consumer’s cup. There are many aspects requiring study in terms of environmental, social and economic costs and benefits, meaning it’s crucial to continue debating subjects and thinking outside of the box, with the aim of finding innovative solutions that will address all the relevant issues.

Founder and CEO
Brewever Consulting Company

Favorite products and methods
The most important factors when preparing a good cup of coffee are the water, the beans and the equipment being used. There are many methods to choose from, but I always prefer to work on the standard barista base traditional espresso coffee machine.

What’s causing a stir in 2023
Today it’s all about specialty coffee, which is defined as a crafted quality coffee-based beverage, judged by the consumer to have a unique quality, a distinct taste and personality different from, and superior to, the common coffee beverages offered. The beverage is based on beans that have been grown in an accurately defined area and meets the highest standards. There are separate single origins and different methods of roasting which make the coffee special. I’m a fan of Panama Geisha and Ethiopia varieties personally, but again, it depends on the origin and the roasting profile.

New techniques
Cold brew coffee has become increasingly popular as a novel brewing method. It has a smooth and mild flavor profile which is completely different, as a result of the low-energy process, prolonged water-grind contact and lengthy preparation time. Cold brew coffee is relatively easy to make. Simply coarsely grind some coffee, add cold or room temperature water, let it steep for between 12 and 24 hours, then separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.

Golden Goose FZ LLC

Favorite products and methods
Favorite products to work with when preparing a coffee drink are the ones that can give me data and precision in every cup. For example, coffee grinders that have scales mean that I get the same amount of ground coffee I need every time. Secondly, I’ve seen espresso machines that have scales for measuring the extracted coffee which interest me, since I like to weigh my coffee out in an espresso machine.

What’s causing a stir in 2023
I think one of the key coffee trends we’ll see over the next five years is the development of super-automatic espresso machines. These new machines can give the consistency we are looking for when preparing coffee to serve in a coffee shop. However, the barista remains a necessity in the process to adjust the recipe in these machines because coffee is alive and requires our care and attention throughout the day. Other trends that have caught my eye include coffee tamper needles, which are proving useful for providing consistency and equal coffee packing before distributing and tamping.

A final thought
I’m really looking forward to seeing and hearing about the changes taking place in the industry at the World of Coffee event, which takes place in Athens, Greece in June.

Wisecup Coffee Roasters

Favorite products and methods
Choosing a single favorite product is difficult since it depends on what type of coffee I’m brewing and preparing. If we’re talking about espresso and cappuccino,
I immediately think of four elements: our house blend of coffee beans; the on-demand grinder machine Mahlkonig e65s; Monin coffee syrups flavors; and the Faema E71 GTI coffee machine. I am a loyal fan of Faema, especially this model, due to its high consistency, durability and endless brewing options. When we’re talking about latte drinks, I usually go for regular cow’s milk and would never use non-dairy options. For Arabic coffee, I would always choose our house blend, without cardamom, brewed on hot sand with copper Syrian Cezve.

What’s causing a stir in 2023
There are three coffee trends standing out for me in 2023 which are:
Buttered coffee, where a tablespoon of butter is usually added to a cup of black coffee to make the caffeine stronger and bring out the natural nutrients in the brew.
Koji fermented coffee, where a type of ancient Japanese mold spore is added to the green beans prior to roasting. The mix is usually left to sit for several days to allow the mold to ferment.
Hot chili infused espresso, which combines the bold and rich flavors of espresso with the spicy kick of hot chili peppers.

New techniques
There are several new techniques in coffee preparation that have emerged in recent years. My favorites include:

  • Infused espressos, which involves adding different ingredients to the espresso, either during the brewing process or afterward, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a unique taste.
  • Nitro cold brew, when cold brew coffee is infused with nitrogen gas, resulting in a creamy and smooth texture.
  • Pour over, which involves adding hot water over coffee grounds in a filter, allowing the coffee to slowly drip into a cup.
  • Cold drip coffee, which is made by slowly dripping cold water over coffee grounds for a lengthy period of time – usually between eight and 12 hours – to create a smooth and rich coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk.

Operations manager,
Izhiman Coffee Ltd

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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