Specialty Coffee: A New Generation of Caffeine

Image courtesy of: Silvia Marin

By Silvia Marin

Specialty Coffee is in and millenials are loving it. In the past year, neighborhoods have seen an increase in coffee shops and people are becoming more interested in gourmet brews.

The primary consumer influencing this trend is millennials. In their 2017 trend report, the National Coffee Association (NCA) reported that people 65 years and older were more likely to drink coffee made at home while those who are 35 and younger were often buying on the go.

“I feel like I have a pretty busy life so I find myself stopping at drive-thrus to pick up coffee,” says Kayla O’Connell, BOCES faculty. “I, almost without fail, have a cup every day.”

The NCA found that 41 percent of people were drinking specialty coffee daily in comparison to 9 percent in 1999. The regular coffee drinker has an average of 1.6 cups of coffee per day and the specialty coffee drinker will have an average of 2.9 cups a day.

The Perfect Daily Grind coined this the “Third Wave Coffee.” Having gourmet coffee more readily available has played a role in the increase of its purchase; coffee shops are everywhere. According to The NPD Group, there are now 33,129 gourmet coffee shops in the United States – a 2 percent increase from 2016.

The term “specialty coffee” was first used in 1974 by Erna Knutsen in an issue of the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal. Although there are many disagreements about what a specialty drink is made from, the consensus is that the top 10 percent come from Arabian beans.

“When you study people you learn that they’ll try something new because they want to be the first to do so,” stated Paul Derkaj, co-owner of Noble Coffee Roasters.

What does this mean for the coffee industry? People are spending more money to purchase better quality coffee.

“My goal is to have people leave my café feeling like they spent their money’s worth in the quality and value ,” says Derkaj.

Image courtesy of: Silvia Marin