This is a seasonal coffee drink, one that comes and goes, but it’s not the most notable trend. The National Coffee Association (NCA) found that more Americans are turning to gourmet coffee, cold brew and other specialized beverages compared to non-gourmet coffee, according to the NCA’s annual report titled National Coffee Data Trends.
Nationwide, for the first time in the NCA report’s 69-year history, gourmet coffee reached a 60/40 advantage over traditional non-gourmet coffee drinkers. The survey included interviewing 2,815 people who reported drinking a beverage other than water within the past day.
“Over the 20 or so years The Laundry has been in business, coffee has changed a lot. Mainly for the better,” said Mark Hamel, co-owner of The Laundry, CRUST and El Topo in downtown Fenton. “Gourmet coffee has definitely increased but that has been true for years, really since the inception of Starbucks.”
What coffee shops are seeing now are alternatives to the lattes with double flavored syrup and whipped cream, which Hamel said contain around 2,000 calories. Cold brew, which is easier on your stomach due to the lower acidity, is becoming more popular, along with traditional hot brewed coffee and coffee drinks that are lower in calories “but still provide great flavor,” he said.
Linda Stouffer, owner of Battle Alley Coffee in Holly, has also seen a trend toward healthier drinks.
“Some people just like a plain cup of coffee. They’re always going to be that way and they don’t want any syrup in it,” she said. “But I have seen a trend more toward the sugar-free diets. Maybe they get skim milk instead of whole milk if they get a latte.”
Stouffer gets customers who ask for a particular type of coffee. She roasts her own coffee beans and grinds them right before making a pot of coffee.
“Sometimes people are asking for certain beans, but I wouldn’t say it’s a vast majority,” she said. “Coffee is a very personal thing and people want it like they want it. I’m here to give it to them the way they want it.”
“I have to thank the Starbucks of the world for getting people used to paying $5 for a cup of coffee,” she said.
Data from the National
The number of people who reported drinking coffee within the past day was 63 percent, a modest 1 point down from last year, and a 6-percent increase from the 57-percent mark in 2016.
Older people (60-plus) reported the strongest past-day consumption (72 percent), while younger people reported the least (47 percent for 18- to 24-year-olds).