Having looked back at 2007 I am going to go out on a limb and have a go at a few predications for coffee in 2008, though try and keep them fairly general.
The spread of the Clover
I am hoping this year sees people less obsessed with it as new technology and start to treat as a standard brewing device moving emphasis away from the machine back to the coffee. I could be really brave and predict that Starbucks will start using them, but I think the guys at Clover would curse me for jinxing them! I also predict I’ll buy a couple this year, but I am fairly sure that will come true…..
World Barista Championships
I am not going to be as bold/stupid as to try and pick a winner but I think the shift away from a Scandinavian-heavy final will continue. I am not saying that none of the Scandinavian countries will be there, or that a Scandinavian won’t win, just that the rest of the world has caught up (in competition terms) and that it really is incredible open. I can’t wait to see the performances in Copenhagen!
Coffee prices continue to rise
Whilst I am aware that Speciality pricing doesn’t have an absolute relationship to C-market pricing, but I think a lot of factors will help drive up pricing. Those of you who keep an eye on the coffee news feeds will see a lot of stories about reduced production in a lot of countries, plus the increasing demand for high quality coffees is (I’d guess) rising slightly faster than production is which will also push up pricing. I suppose, as someone about to start buying green, I ought to wish prices would stay low but I love the idea of what increasing spends could do for quality of the ripe cherries picked and the greens produced.
Pressure profiling in espresso
I know this isn’t a new idea, but I think 2008 and could be the year people are willing to experiment more with it and equipment mods/hacks get easier to implement. The open source nature of the internet could help contribute to a faster “dialling in” of profiles as people share their experimentation. I think that improvements could well be made outside of a flat line profile and if anyone wants to point me in the direction of how to install some sort of pressure profiling device onto my GS3 I’d be very grateful, or tell me if I should just do it on a one group Cyncra.
The continued rise of the micro-lot
Hopefully the term and the concept will spread further and further. I love the idea of one or two dozen bags of something special, something fleeting and interesting for consumers and another way to inject more money into farm level. Highlighting both seasonality as well as varietal, terroir and processing I think they are a great bridge to customer interaction.
Plus I need something different and tasty to drink from my growing range of mugs (which I hope become as collectible as espresso cups!)
So – what are everyone else’s coffee predictions? Leave a comment, post a reply on your own blog – what do you see changing? What do you want to change? New products? New ideas?