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Top Coffee Trends for 2021

6 January 2021
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The pandemic has impacted the way we drink coffee. The more we stayed home, the bigger our thirst for new coffee experiences grew. Here are some major coffee trends that will give your daily caffeine fix a boost in 2021.

Coffee Subscription Services

3 packets of coffee grounds from Perk
Never run out of coffee again with a coffee subscription service. Photo from Perk Coffee.

Having a coffee subscription service means you’ll always have a fresh supply of coffee every month – or every two weeks, for some subscription models.

With everyone stuck at home in 2020, coffee subscriptions provided a convenient way for people to get their regular supply and sample new, exclusive, or special and seasonal roasts they wouldn’t have had the chance to try otherwise. It also allowed them to recreate café-quality coffee in the comfort of their home.

This trend will only gain more momentum in the coming year as more coffee enthusiasts discover the convenience and joy of having coffee delivered to your doorstep.

Ready to jump on the bandwagon? Check out our picks of subscription services here.

Specialty Coffee

a person pouring a scoop of coffee beans into a bag
Single-origin coffee is specialty coffee that comes from a single producer, crop, region or farm. Photo from cottonbro.

As people become more receptive to new things, they are moving away from commercial or instant coffee that gives the same predictable taste (unless you’re just out of beans which probably means you need a coffee subscription service—see above). These days, people are looking for an elevated experience with coffee that offers more complex flavours and meaningful origins.

Specialty coffee” is generally described as beans produced in special microclimates, often in small batches, that result in unique flavour profiles. It’s also a full-cycle comprising the origin of the bean, how it’s processed and roasted, all the way to how it’s packed.

There has been a rising demand for these higher quality coffees as people look for more unique tastes and deeper connection with their daily cuppa and we see this picking up more steam in 2021.

Sustainably-grown and Ethically-sourced Beans

coffee cherries in palms
Be more environmentally aware by knowing the story behind every coffee bean. Photo from Livier Garcia.

The growing awareness about sustainability and ethical origins is driving this trend forward as environmentally conscious coffee lovers look for coffee that has stronger eco-friendly roots.

A report by the US National Coffee Association showed that 54% of coffee drinkers in the US want to buy coffee that is good for the environment, the coffee farmers and their communities. Globally, people are becoming more discerning about where the beans come from, how it’s harvested, processed and packed, and whether or not they are Fair Trade Certified.

And that’s good news for us—the growing demand for transparency is influencing the way the coffee is produced for consumption, encouraging more sustainable and ethical practices that will not only make our coffees better but our environment as well.

Here’s how you can support coffee farmers by drinking good coffee.

Local Coffee Beans

baristas making coffee
This café/bistro at the heart of KL roast their own beans. Photo from Ra-Ft Cafe-Bistro.

Café hopping has always been in trend — who hasn’t posted a photo of their latte on social media? For 2021, we expect to see people taking this a step further by building stronger and more genuine bonds with local roasters that go beyond the Instagram grid.

What’s encouraging this renewed interest in local products? Perhaps it comes from how citizens came together for each other during testing times, or how people started to look for new discoveries in their own backyards when travel elsewhere was restricted.

Supporting local comes with its own perks, too. Not only do you get specialty coffee, but you’re also supporting an entire ecosystem with every cup of coffee or bag of beans you order.

You may not be aware of it, but that one small act can make a big difference in supporting coffee farmers. Next time you’re out and about, hit one of these local specialty coffee roasters and we promise you won’t regret it.

Smart Coffee Machines

a smart coffee machine
The De’Longhi Dinamica Silver is a low maintenance machine designed to ease cleaning. Photo from De’Longhi.

Coffee machines have come a long way from the percolator pot of the 1800s. These days, coffee machines can prepare complex recipes with just the touch of a button. You can even control your coffee machine from an app on your phone.

Advances in technology mean our coffee machines are getting “smarter” and this trend is not showing any signs of slowing down as more manufacturers incorporate innovative functions to their coffee machines.

When looking for your next smart coffee machine, resist the urge to get whatever is ‘new’, instead, take your time and look for one that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you’re always on the go, consider getting one that is low maintenance and has self-cleaning functions.

Or if you’re a budding home barista, perhaps a fully automatic machine that allows you to customise and save your own recipes will inspire you to create more of your own coffee creations.

Here’s wishing you heaps of happy coffee brewing in the year ahead!