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New York Coffee Trends: What's Hot Now

25 September 2017

By Rachel Northrop, ally coffee


New York City is an infinite maze of the familiar and the bizarre, with food, beverage, clothing, and other chain retail establishments opening flagship stores next-door to eccentric businesses owned by individuals drawn to the city’s ability to embrace the never-before seen.

Across this variety of shapes, sizes, and vibes of coffee businesses, a few trends emerge:

Ready to Drink

Bottled, boxed, blended and canned: cold coffee—on its own or with added ingredients—is already stocked in a cold case near you. While national retailers compete for distribution of new ready to drink coffee products, New York’s local roasters are rolling out their own lines of grab and go cold coffee beverages.

Try Cafe Grumpy's coffee only Cold Brew - Seasonally Sourced Relationship Coffee, Toby’s Estate’s Hint of Mint cold brew with farm-fresh milk, mint, and lavender, or Upruit’s sparkling cold brew mixed with natural juices.

Blends on Trend

Single origin coffees are great ways for cafes to showcase farm connections and get consumers excited about the terroir and variable agriculture roots of coffee, but specialty coffee is finally fully embracing blends as a tool to harmonize many beautiful flavors by upping the quality of blend components.

Try Dallis Bros Ellis Island blend of light and dark roasted Fair Trade Organic coffees and Counter Culture’s TKO blend of obsessively sorted Ethiopia, Kenya, and Guatemala coffees.

Local Chains

Roaster-retailer cafes born as one-off locations loved by the neighborhoods where they began are growing up and moving their coffee know-how into new areas of the city, quickly growing from one shop to three or six or ten. New York, while vast, is often sectioned into neighborhoods that become quick magnets for a particular crowd. Visiting a destination coffee shop is a great way to get out and explore a new corner of the city.

To follow inter-borough coffee expansions, follow Variety Coffee roasters to Chelsea or Birch Coffee to the Financial District.

Matcha-rama

Powdered green tea is all the rage, from cafes in Korea Town to restaurants on the Lower East Side, matcha makers and shakers are serving traditional drinks and developing new recipes for integrating the tea product into hot and cold beverage menus, as well as using it as ingredient in food items.
Try organic matcha powders from Matchaful, and ceremonial and culinary grades from Matchaeologist.

As New York has elevated its coffee game beyond the (still much-beloved) scalding street cart “it’s our pleasure to serve you” paper cup, the city of hustle has fallen in love with drinks and flavors it never knew might pair well with—or even replace—a cup of joe, from oat milk to kombucha to cascara coffee cherry tea.

Find all that’s new at the third annual New York Coffee Festival. Get your tickets here

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