Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Top Australian coffee trends in 2018

Coffee is as essential as the day is long. It powers tens of millions of Australians every day. We’re a nation obsessed with coffee. Espresso, cold brew, pour over, French press, milky or just straight, long and black, we love it!

As we curve into 2018, we thought it was time to ask: what’s next for the Australian coffee industry? Read on for our coffee predictions for 2018.

Measurement gets sharper
As technology improves, coffee making is now more precise. Measurements are becoming more available, along with acceptance of what those measurements mean. That is, improved flavour and greater consistency from cup to cup. This inspires greater attention to detail from baristas and exposes machine limitations that have gone unnoticed in years gone by. Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power!

Sanremo’s Café Racer is a perfect example. Released onto the Australian market in 2017, it’s the finest espresso machine available. From temperature to pressure, three elements in each group and unrivalled brew ratio consistency, it gives an exceptional level of control, accuracy and above all - flavour! Authentic specialty coffee and a skilled barista will remain key to creating coffee that booms with flavour.

Weighing espresso the new norm 
Even two years ago it was inconceivable that baristas in cafes would weigh every shot. It’s now becoming the rule in specialty coffee. Baristas are understanding more and more the value of scales in dosing each shot. They are better able to recognise the limitations of old grinders and machines. Only top end equipment will be able to deliver the technology and precision required to create the consistency that discerning consumers expect.

It’ll still be another three years - at least - before we have grinders designed and fitted with scales delivering dialled-in weight consistently. We’re seeing some baristas retro fitting scales so they can accurately dose into the basket and grind into the cup. It’s an inefficient method so we are waiting for scales that will drop the right weight into the basket, accurately and remove one step in the espresso making process. Easier said than designed though. The best grinder manufactures in the world have been issued the challenge. It’s coming, but who will be first?

Blending is an imperfect science. So how about a vertical blade grinder with virtually ‘zero retention’ that weighs the origins prior to grinding for the perfect ratio every time? It is in development now and will be on the market soon.

Education that raises the bar
2018 heralds the beginning of a new era in barista education – where the bar is raised again and again. Ever smarter, better equipped baristas will hit our cafes, lifting the standard of entry level staff. It will be key for our current generation of baristas to remain relevant as standards continue to rise.

As coffee technology improves and digital knowledge flows faster, customers become more discerning. The impact is that we will see higher standards of education in a self-perpetuating cycle that will only improve the coffee industry.

Coffee vocabulary evolves
In 2018, Australian consumers and baristas will increasingly realise that coffee is about flavour. As a result, coffee terminology, literacy and enjoyment, will naturally expand. We are leading the way, with the creation of the Danes Flavour Pentagon and our ‘three tribe’ flavour profiles – Chocolates & Caramels, Fruits & Berries and Nuts & Spices. Which tribe is yours?

Specialty coffee is characterised by a clarity and balance of flavour that you don’t get with the cheap or poorly roasted coffee that still makes up 95% of the market. The greater the quality, the clearer, more distinct the flavours and the need for a vast vocab to define each coffee. The lower the quality, the less there is to define. As a barista, if you can’t define it, you can’t produce it!

Helping our customers better understand what they are drinking and how it’s made enables them to define the flavour they like best. The inclusion of brew ratios and tasting notes for all of ours beans makes our coffee vocabulary the most comprehensive of any coffee company in the world. What’s your flavour?

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