New wave coffee

The coffee connoisseurship trend is growing. According to the National Coffee Association, 59% of the coffee consumed in the US is classified as specialty. The National Coffee Association reports that the number of people who drink gourmet coffee daily has quadrupled in 20 years. From only 9% in 1999, it grew to 41% by 2017. This growing trend has been embraced by local cafes as well as national suppliers. They offer education, in-depth information on bean sourcing, specialized brewing techniques like pour-overs, nitro cold brew, and even unexpected flavors such as turmeric and lavender lattes.

Cafes have been elevating the classic coffee drink into a cocktail-like concoction, thanks to the growing coffee culture and the demand for unique beverages.

Felix Roasting Co in New York City, which opened its doors in September 2018, treats coffee with the mixologist’s eye. The cafe offers a deconstructed espresso-tonic and hickory smoked s’mores latté, both presented in the style of a cocktail. The latte is made with graham cracker-infused milk and a salted caramel marshmallow that’s been made in-house. It is then smoked using hickory chips under a glass bell jar to release a sweet woodsmoke. Ken Fulk, the designer of the cafe’s interior, said that customers are meant to experience an “a-ha” moment when they enjoy Felix Roasting Co.’s creations. Even if you just come to get your coffee, you will have an experience unlike any other.

Starbucks Reserve is a new line of upscale cafes that focus on coffee quality, flavor, and technique. Starbucks Reserve, the fourth and latest location, opened in New York City in December 2018. It features an “experience bar,” which offers drinks such as whiskey barrel-aged, cold brews, sparkling citrus espressos, nitro hopped, apricot, cold brews, and nitro cold with beef jerky and peppercorn foam. Starbucks’ new venture aims to “weave bartenders and baristas into one art,” exploring “coffee art–brewing it, aging it, infusing, and blending into creative and often surprising creations.”

Starbucks Reserve Milan, which opened its doors in September 2018, reinterprets classic cocktails with cold brew instead of alcohol. Cold brew can be seasoned with cherry and bitters for a spiritless take on Manhattan. It can also be shaken with maple and fresh lemon to make a non-alcoholic cocktail sour.

Liz Muller is the chief design officer at Starbucks. She said, “Opening up a bar that offers beautiful wines and drinks was one thing. But we are using what we do best, which is coffee and tea, to elevate all of our products.” The unique drinks and the glassware will open up your palate and your mind to different tastes and combinations.

These new formats offer a refreshing alternative to the old-fashioned caffeine workhorse. They invite customers to enjoy their morning coffee like an evening cocktail.

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