If you take a look at the “specialty menus” and “substitutions available” popping up at coffee shops, you can probably predict some of the trends for this addictive beverage for 2015. Here are our predictions for 10 trends to expect in coffee shops in 2015.
Slowly but surely, you’re finding more coffee shops that keep coconut or almond milk on hand for their dairy-free customers. Many are learning that soy milk not only isn’t enough — it’s looked down upon by some! Those who are living a vegan lifestyle have learned by now that there is controversy around consuming soy every day, and they’re unimpressed when soy milk is the only dairy-free alternative a coffee shop carries.
Chains are catching on to the fact that their regular customers—and they have many—don’t want to park their car, stand in line, wait on the side to pick up their order and get back in their car every single day. Major chains are adding drive thrus to more locations, and some are opening up locations that are exclusively drive thru.
When a coffee shop chain moves into a place with a small-town vibe, they can get some scorn. But one way to fight that off is by supporting local businesses. You’ll find more franchises carrying pastries from local bakeries to accompany your coffee.
Every business is feeling the pressure to cut back on water and ice usage because of the nationwide drought in the U.S. Expect coffee shops to begin offering more “chilled” options rather than “iced” ones.
We love to see how chocolate is made, how cheese is made, and coffee is no exception. Some coffee shops are picking up large followings by creating a factory-like environment with the baristas working in large kitchen areas in the center of the shops so customers can watch them work their magic.
If you watch enough cooking shows you know there are no rules any more when it comes to mixing savory and sweet, spicy and creamy—you name it. And many chefs have discovered that coffee can add a great smoky flavor to a meat marinade. Expect to see jarred marinade varieties in your market with coffee as an ingredient.
What’s a coffee lover to do when it’s time to wind down but you’re craving the taste of java? Have bedtime coffee! Expect more coffee on the market whose makers claim it will help you fall asleep. We’re not sure how we feel about it either.
Frequent travelers are no longer impressed with the dinky little one-cup coffee makers in their hotel rooms. They’ve gotten a taste for in-room Nespresso machine in some of the forward-thinking hotels and now they want them everywhere. And they’ll probably find them soon enough.
We’ve long known that French and Columbian blends are delicious, but the truly trendy coffee shops are now carrying blends from all over the world—some even including the names of tiny towns you can’t find on a map.
We’re a nation always looking to cut calories and one way is to cut back on the foot-tall cups loaded with coffee that we then need to load with sugar (or artificial sweeteners, which some say only stimulate hunger anyways). Coffee lovers are turning more to European recipe favorites, which tend to be any combination of a small-but-potent dose of coffee or espresso, with real, sugary sweetener like syrup or chocolate—you only need a little since your coffee is little.