Monthly Archives: June 2016


A new hipster coffee trend has hit Melbourne

efe8eaaf0309fa20546164f00aac96f3MELBOURNE is known as the coffee capital of Australia, but it’s just been getting a bit weird lately.

The city is getting pretty experimental when it comes to our caffeine comforts and now rainbow coffee is becoming a thing.

Last week we saw “deconstructed coffee” creep into cafes and it caused outrage among many frequent sippers.

And now, rainbow coffee has again been confusing people who just want a traditional latte.

The new drink certainly takes coffee art to another level, with reds, blues and greens swirling around the coffee mug, but it might be an acquired taste, as it’s not exactly coffee you’re getting.

The rainbow coffee is a healthy alternative, created by Too Many Chiefs, a cafe in Brighton in Melbourne’s south east, and owners claim the drink gives you your vitamin C fix, fights the flu, boosts your immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

“Coffee gone mad,” a coffee lover wrote on Twitter.

The rainbow coffees are free from caffeine and are made out of turmeric, beetroot and matcha, a green tea plant.

You can also buy the beverages in separate flavours and the turmeric latte, also known at the “golden” latte, has proven to be pretty popular.

While some would be loving the healthy alternative, caffeine addicts seem slightly disappointed with the idea and some even say it is again taking the hipster coffee scene a bit too far.

“Just make coffee, like real coffee,” one wrote on Facebook.

Another questioned “why can’t coffee just be coffee?”

Others were quick to jump to the rainbow coffee’s defence and said it was better than the “deconstructed coffee” and thought it looked pretty appealing.

“It hasn’t gone too far! Plenty of places you can still get a normal coffee. Some people just enjoy there’s with a little dose of weirdness. What’s the big deal? This looks wicked,” a woman said.

Melbourne wasn’t the first to think of this new coffee hipster trend, with cafes in Las Vegas already brightening people’s mornings.

However, baristas in the US are simply tinting steamed milk with food colouring and not creating the healthy alternatives.

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Cold Coffee Is Booming in the U.S.

The coffee industry is getting ready for its very own big chill.

Coffee makers from global giants JAB and Illy to smaller upstarts such as High Brew, La Colombe and Chameleon Cold-Brew are putting their brews on ice. They’re introducing high-end ready-made chilled bottled and canned coffee, betting U.S. grocery shoppers will embrace yet one more way to get their caffeine jolt. Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper and other beverage makers are jumping in. And a Starbucks-PepsiCo partnership, which has long dominated packaged cold coffee, is also introducing new chilled brews.

While sugary iced-coffee concoctions, like Starbucks’ Frappucinos, have been popular for years, baristas and coffee bars are seeing an increasing demand for more sophisticated iced espressos and lattes. Many now say they serve more cold coffee than hot — even during winter. For the fourth quarter of 2015, Starbucks reported a 20 percent increase in iced drink sales nationwide following its introduction of a new cold brew coffee in its retail stores. Now, coffee makers are making a push for getting more of those high-end, lower-calorie and less-sugary cold brews and lattes on the shelves of stores like Wal-Mart, Kroger and Costco.

“When given a choice, people tend to make the healthier, better-for-you choice as long as it’s within a reasonable cost premium,” said Chris Campbell, the founder ofChameleon Cold-Brew, an Austin-based company with sales growing at triple-digit rates.

Canned or bottled ready-to-drink coffee is a natural evolution flowing from a consumer landscape awash with premium coffee at ubiquitous Starbucks and countless independent coffee bistros. The U.S. ready-to-drink coffee market has been growing by double digits annually since 2011, and Euromonitor International expects the market to reach nearly $3.6 billion by 2020. The global market stood at $18 billion in 2015, according to Euromonitor.

Michael Butterworth, co-creator of the Coffee Compass blog, says the cold coffees on U.S. grocery shelves now “have a long way to go” in terms of quality and taste. “But there’s a proven market for these products and you’re going to see more and more of them.”

When the beverage industry looks to the future, it sees U.S. consumers craving ready-to-drink coffee at levels approaching those in Japan. That country boasts the largest such market in the world, according to Andrea Illy, chairman and chief executive officer of Illycaffè SpA. Coca-Cola Co., which partners with Illy in the U.S. and other countries, sells more bottles and cans of coffee than anyone else globally, largely due to sales in Japan.

Foamed Latte

There’s been a recent burst of ready-to-drink-coffee deal making and product launches. Starbucks, which teams with PepsiCo for its grocery store coffee drink offerings, is introducing new sweetened and unsweetened bottled black coffee and cold brews this summer. The Starbucks-PepsiCo partnership, which makes up about 75 percent of the ready-to-drink U.S. coffee market, “can do more consumer education in a week than we’ll have in a year,” said Campbell, the Chameleon Cold-Brew chief executive officer.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea, owned by JAB Holdings, now sells cold brew canned coffee since agreeing to acquire Stumptown Coffee in October 2015. La Colombe, backed with funding from Chobani yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya, will be releasing its canned latte later this year in grocery stores around the country. The drink, which foams like a hot latte when poured, sold briskly — 10,000 cans in its first hour — when offered online in March.

Last month, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, entered into a distribution deal with High Brew Coffee, an independent beverage company started by David Smith. For Smith, who’s counting on Dr Pepper for its “merchandising muscle,” coffee is a second act. He co-founded Sweet Leaf Tea Co., which was sold to Nestle Waters North America in 2011.  Smith discovered the virtues of cold-brew coffee while on a seven month sailing trip with his wife and two young children a few years ago.

Caribbean Crossing

Crossing from island to island in the Caribbean, often at night, Smith found standard coffee wasn’t giving him the jolt he needed to stay alert. So he bought a cold-brew kit on Amazon. Though it takes 12 hours to make cold brew, it delivers twice the caffeine punch of traditional brewing, and Smith could brew enough in his boat’s galley to last four or five days.

“A lightbulb went off,” said Smith. “If somebody came up with a ready-to-drink, shelf-stable, cold-brew coffee that was conveniently packaged, it would really be a great addition to what is available to consumers out there today.”

The resulting product, High Brew Coffee, hit grocery store shelves in 2014. Sales grew 270 percent in 2015, said Smith, though he declined to provide dollar sales.

One of the promises of canned and bottled coffee is that it’s portable and durable and opens up the universe of high-end coffee to folks who may not live around the corner from a hipster coffee bar, said Chermelle Edwards, creator of a blog calledCoffeetographer.

“Maybe you want to have a six-pack for your picnic,” said Edwards. “You don’t go to a coffee shop and buy 10 coffees for your party, but you’ll buy cold brew. It’s like beer, like craft beer.”

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How the Coffee Industry cut through jargon with colour

The Specialty Coffee Association of America uses its new flavour wheel to get everybody in the supply chain speaking the same language.

Every industry has its own lingo—terms that are unique to the mechanics of the business. Which is fine, so long as the conversation is limited to a small group of insiders. It’s not so fine for communicating with a lot of different constituencies.

That concern sparked the revamp of the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, a colorful circular representation of the flavor sources for all those coffee terms that can sometimes make you feel like your barista is putting you on: papery, ashy, nutty, raw.

The wheel visualizes “the largest and most collaborative piece of research on coffee flavor.”


The formation of the wheel has plenty of research and rigor behind it. As SCAA Communications Manager Lily Kubota explained in a blog post, the flavor wheel poster is rooted in theWorld Coffee Research Sensory Lexicon, a book by coffee experts and researchers, produced by SCAA and the nonprofit World Coffee Research that establishes a common language of descriptors for flavors. That book is “the largest and most collaborative piece of research on coffee flavor ever completed,” Kubota wrote.

But at 50 pages, the Lexicon isn’t much to look at. To visualize it, SCAA revisited a 21-year-old color wheel and applied its new definitions of flavors to it. Plenty of lingo and science behind flavor had changed since the ’90s, SCAA’s research showed, so it was worth the update. And when SCAA hired a London design firm, One Darnley Road, to draft the wheel, it made sure the colors were as organically true as possible to what’s being described. “They studied all the colors that oranges [i.e., the fruits] can take, and they found the average orange [i.e., the color],” SCAA Senior Director Peter Giuliano told Wired.

That clarity of representation is important, because the wheel is meant to be easily grasped by everybody in the coffee supply chain, from farmers to roasters to baristas—to even the hard-core coffee achiever. And once everybody agrees on the terms, that frees producers to do more focused experiments with flavors: As the coffee-culture website Sprudge reported last week, “it opens the doors for controlled tests to determine whether the chemistry inside certain varietals is responsible for specific flavors, or if environmental conditions have a more substantial impact.”

And if you just think it looks pretty, SCAA sells posters of the wheel.

Article written by – MARK ATHITAKIS