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At home barista experience was one of the key coffee culture trends of 2021

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NEWCASTLE, UK – As we reach the end of the year 2021 many are taking a look back to identify the key coffee trends of the year. Inevitably, the coronavirus pandemic has had a major influence on everyone’s lives to some degree. The main effect the Covid-19 precautions have had on the coffee industry is an increase in consumers looking to recreate their favourite coffee shop drinks at home.

“It seemed like everyone and their mother-in-law brought a coffee machine last year,” laughs Josh Freeman, founder and coffee writer of My Virtual Coffee House. “At first, the pod systems were the most popular, things like the Tassimo and Nespresso machine. They soon fell out of favour as consumers looked to have more control over the brewing process. Instead, buyers started looking for coffee machines that gave them control over things such as brewing strength, grind coarseness and brew time.”

Before the pandemic hit, figures provided by Statista showed nearly 29 million Brits visited a coffee shop. The UK quickly embraced the coffee shop culture and swiftly became experts on the difference between a cappuccino and a flat white. With Covid-19 limiting our access to barista crafted drinks, it was logical that we would begin attempting to recreate our favourite drinks at home. Due to this, bean to cup coffee machines have shown the biggest increase in popularity.

Hand-in-hand with the increase in purchasing coffee machines, another growing trend in 2021 was buying small batch roasted coffee. Just as consumers wanted more control over the brewing process, they also wanted more control over where their beans were coming from. Coffee drinkers have become more discerning about the source of their coffee and also care more about the human rights of the people growing their coffee beans.

The hipster community has also been investigating some interesting new coffee trends during 2021. “Cold brew is no longer the coolest drink in town with the advent of flash brewed coffee,” Josh tells us. “It’s simple to make. Filter coffee is made with less water than normal and then dripped onto a bed of ice, creating a drink with more acidity than cold brew that brings out the delicate aromatics and complex flavours of light roasted coffee.”

Those looking for an even more unusual coffee trend might want to check out koji-fermented coffee. The brainchild of Japanese bio-scientist Koichi Higuchi, it involves mixing koji spores with green coffee beans and leaving them to ferment for a couple of days. Aficionados claim that the ancient mould transforms the coffee beans giving them a sweeter and softer taste.


The final notable trend in coffee during 2021 is the influence of social media, in particular TikTok. Younger coffee drinkers have been eager to experiment and try out coffee variants they have seen online. The biggest internet coffee trend was Dalgona coffee, also known as whipped coffee, closely followed by making coffee into mini ice cubes and then letting them dissolve into a glass of milk.

Looking forward to 2022, the world is hoping that the pandemic will be brought under control and life can get back to some kind of normality. While things are still uncertain, predicting what trends will be influencing our coffee drinking habits during 2022 is difficult.

Presuming things get back to normal, the British will probably continue their love affair with coffee shops. However, having spent the past year perfecting their barista skills, consumers will be expecting something a bit more special than a latte to tempt them to spend their money. Specialty drinks will be seen more often as chains look to offer something unique.

Cold brew coffee could be taken to another level with nitro cold brew becoming more mainstream. Available in cans and some branches of Starbucks it is not a drink you can make at home as it’s made by infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen. This means you get a coffee that tastes like cold brew but has a thick, velvet texture and 30% more caffeine. A fun extra is that nitro cold brew pours like a glass of Guinness because nitrogen doesn’t mix well in water.

It is impossible to forecast what is going to be popular on social media but it will be fun finding out what catches on with Generation Z.


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