5 Predictions for 2010

I don’t know why I keep coming back for this, having not done so well last time but they are kind of fun to do.  So without further ado here are my predictions:

1.  Widespread measurement of brewed coffee

The spread of the Extract Mojo will help, and I think anyone who uses one will see their value and they’ll continue to spread.  Projects like the Gold Cup Research Group – more info on the project here – will help reinforce the value of measurement.  I am not saying we should stop tasting – the whole point of the research group is to make sure the alignment between measurement and taste is correct.  A bigger concern for the US market – with good measurement tools the brewed coffee at major chains can easily be improved, and don’t think they haven’t started using them because they already have.

2.  Another very bad year for the UK Branded Chains

I sometimes worry I default to just picking on them, but I genuinely think this is going to be another hard year for them.  You could argue that it is only really Starbucks who are suffering, Costa are growing, Nero are growing – but they fear the independents (they’ve said as much in public) – and there are less and less reasons to frequent them as more and more viable alternatives appear.

3.  Increasingly explicit seasonality

To some extent seasonality has always existed in coffee.  What I think has changed in the last few years is that it has gone from being obscured through blending and the sale of old and past crop coffees to being celebrated a little more.  Intelligentsia’s “In Season” mark, seasonal espresso blends, shops celebrating fresh crops – all this will continue to gain momentum in the coming year.

4.  Baskets for Espresso machines

We’ve always known baskets have had an effect on extraction.  Some people prefer certain baskets, not just because they allow a certain dose/headroom with their machine.  However, recent evidence shows that there are many issues in espresso baskets beyond the placement of the holes across the base.  Expect to see people getting excited about baskets in the next 12 months.

5.  The WBC Prediction

I won’t predict a winner, because that is foolish.  I will say that I think the inclusion of a 12 person semi-final, on the same day as the final, will be a good thing for both the competition and the spectators.  I will predict that at least 4 of the 12 will be from coffee producing countries.

I look forward to seeing lots of people at the WBC – should be a lot of fun!

Your predictions?

10 Comments

  1. My predictions

    1. The appearance of a brew bar in most top indie cafes (and about time too)

    2. A major advancement in grinders or grinding methods (more of a wish than a fact?)

    3. The rise of Coffee tourism (I have a few ideas…)

  2. A rather splendid device for measuring the strength of coffee, so you can diagnose faults/improve the brewing process.

  3. I’m starting to recognize that the Third Wave has become a formula for creating a unique, specialty coffee business so, w/ that in mind, the pessimist in me predicts the chains (large & regional) will co-opt the following quality, “indie” practices as marketing tactics, not necessarily for reasons related to quality:

    1. Roast dating/Freshness

    2. Brew bars/Manual brewing

    3. Catering to local tastes/Local partnerships

    For people of the quality coffee mindset, I think that advances in harvesting and processing green coffee will shine in 2010 so I am excitedly looking forward to and predicting:

    1. Another stellar year of coffees from Kenya.

    2. “Cleaner” coffees coming from Indonesia.

    3. Increased focus on getting green coffee to roasters faster.

    4. Hyper-competitiveness (friendly, of course) between producers in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, & Panama to innovate and produce unique coffees from Central America.

    5. Barista competitors focusing on varietals in competitions.

  4. I think Shawn has a good prediction in his last few points. I also think that the deepfreezing of greens will become more experimented with (not only by George Howell).

  5. I need a less formal 2010 prediction list on our blog and one of ours matched… I think you are correct on all of yours.

  6. Wow, I just ran in to this site and am intrigued – I’ve never heard such analytical conversation about coffee as I’ve seen around your blog. Keep up your good work,
    Nick

  7. I really enjoy your blog… keep up the good work.

    I have a couple of questions ….. which 4 producing countries do you think will make the top 12? is a semifinal for 12 already a reality? or just a suggestion?

    I have tasted Honduran coffees and I think they have some outstanding ones….why are they never mentioned at all?

    Also, can you give me an example of baristas in competition focusing on varietals?

    As you can tell I am an amateur at this…. aspiring WBC competitors like us would love it if you devoted more time to commenting on WBC / competition related stuff. Best of luck for 2010!

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