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February 23, 2021 3 min read

While by no means a comprehensive list, the following trends blew up this year and marked some important signs to where the market is heading and what we can expect to see going forward. 


1.Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona link 

No surprise there. This fluffy, whipped South Korean sensation went viral early this year among quarantine-ers itching for something to do at home. Equal parts water, instant coffee and sugar, the ease of this trend added to its popularity, often resulting in many interesting variations. The jury is still out on whether or not Dalgona is here to stay.


2.Specialty Coffee 

Specialty Coffee link 

Specialty coffee itself is not new. The SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) defines Specialty Coffee as coffee that is “...grown under special geographical microclimates to produce beans with unique flavour profiles.” They also have to meet certain regulatory standards based on ethical, environmental and sustainable processes, and score at least 80 on a 100 point scale. 

What is new however is the increase in social awareness. More people are wanting to know where their coffee came from? are they sustainably sourced? and how to best draw out the flavours. Small independent roasters to big brands like Starbucks have brought their premium products to market, with the biggest proof being Nescafé buying over independent specialty coffee chain Blue Bottle Coffee (source)


3.Coffee Spritzers + Crazy Flavours + Espresso Cocktails 

Coffee Spritzers  link

Nitro coffee blew up in 2019 and is projected to be a mainstay. 2020 on the other hand, saw the rise of coffee spritzers. “Coffee baristas are adding a splash of seltzer wateror other carbonators to smooth cold brew coffees [to] create a new drink for 2020.(source) Not to mention the rise ofcrazy coffee flavours.It’s an age of bold experimentation, think - mushroom, strawberry cheesecake, taco flavoured brews. 


Crazy Flavours link 


Espresso Cocktailslink

To be fair, mixing coffee and cocktails are nothing new. White Russians and Espresso Martinis are cocktail bar mainstays, but how about a cold brew gimlet? A black coffee lager or a flat white martini? Cocktail Hour 2020 looks a whole lot more interesting with this flex Source


4.Coldbrew + Snap-Chilled Coffee 

Coldbrew link 

Snap-Chilled link 

Coldbrew is still super hot, but the trend is moving towards Snap-chilled coffee. Take coffee that was brewed hot, then rapidly cooled in minutes to extract all the additional flavours and aromas. Snap-chilled coffee takes less time, but still results in a more flavourful brew. It also reaches flavour profiles not normally extracted with a regular cold brew method.  

Many consider this to be a better alternative to iced coffee since it uses NO ice cubes. The beverage stays undiluted. As of now, only a few companies have started selling their bottled snap-chilled coffee, but the trend is expected to rise as the process becomes more widespread. 


5.Non-Dairy Milk 

Almond, Oat, Rice, Soy link 


As dietary and health concerns rise, oat sales has increased 425%  since June 2017 (Café Pulse report). People are increasingly opting for non-dairy options not because they need them, or are necessarily vegan, but simply because they want to have them (source)


Soy link 


6.Cashless Cafes 

Even before CoVid-19, going cashless or contactless had already started to trend. As coffee shops reopen, social distancing under the new normal will see a phasing out of cash transactions and an altogether more seamless coffee experience.


Cashless link
7.Coffee Subscriptions 

Many coffee shops and roasters are now offering weekly or monthly bean subscription packages. Unsurprisingly while the majority of people are still under lockdown, people are making their daily coffees at home, and we think this will continue to be a popular option as this allows people to expand not only their preference but palette.  


Coffee link 
8.Quality Decaf 

“Ew, why?!” Decaf used to be the necessary evil if you were trying to cut down on caffeine. But since then, very little effort has gone into making tasty decaf. That is soon about to change. As people are increasingly aware of what they put into their bodies, cutting out caffeine, luxury brands and high-end roasters have taken the hint, making robust brews with more interesting flavours, making this trend one to watch (source)


Coffee Decaf link 

9.New Coffee Accessories 


Barista Championships have unearthed some interesting innovations. From the award-winningOrigami dripper to theApril Pour-Over, not to mention new developments in filter paper likeNo brand paper


Origami Dripper link 
Dripper link 
10.New processing methods 

Experimental processing methods often release wild, unexpected and incredibly complex flavours. Think anaerobic fermentation (=oxygen-free), Giling Basah, Carbonic Maceration (et cetera) and you get some indescribable cups of coffee. Processing is now a trending topic as we start seeing newer, improved methods Source