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. Â So without further ado here are my predictions:
1. Â 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. Â Projects like the Gold Cup Research Group – more info on the project here – will help reinforce the value of measurement. Â 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. Â 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. Â Another very bad year for the UK Branded Chains
I sometimes worry I default to just picking on them, but IÂ genuinelyÂ think this is going to be another hard year for them. Â 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. Â Increasingly explicit seasonality
To some extent seasonality has always existed in coffee. Â 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. Â Intelligentsia’s “In Season” mark, seasonal espresso blends, shops celebrating fresh crops – all this will continue to gain momentum in the coming year.
4. Â Baskets for Espresso machines
We’ve always known baskets have had an effect on extraction. Â Some people prefer certain baskets, not just because they allow a certain dose/headroom with their machine. Â However, recent evidence shows that there are many issues in espresso baskets beyond the placement of the holes across the base. Â Expect to see people getting excited about baskets in the next 12 months.
5. Â The WBC Prediction
I won’t predict a winner, because that is foolish. Â 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. Â 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!