The era of a simple black coffee in a paper cup is coming to a close, as more people than ever are seeking out new ways to reap the benefits of a cup of joe. They want to tap into caffeine’s brain-boosting, disease-preventing, performance-enhancing properties, and they want to do it on their own terms.
Timothy Hill, a buyer at popular boutique roaster Counter Culture Coffee, said in a recent email to mindbodygreen: “More than anything, consumers are looking for more and more interesting coffees. Coffees from unique places, unique varieties that have unique stories.” They're responding by sourcing their beans from some of the most remote, untouched corners of the world and telling the stories of the people who grew it.
Trendy specialty shops like La Colombe and Stumptown are using new technologies to make their café brews more unique. Their nitrogen-infused, foamy coffee concoctions promise a richer, smoother flavor that’s extra decadent.
To keep up with the ever-evolving face of coffee, even the devices that carry the brew are transforming before our eyes. An eco-conscious consumer can use a Presse by Bobble, a zero-waste brewing and thermos hybrid, and the finicky drinker can control the temperature of his or her Ember mug to keep a brew piping hot, ice cold, or anywhere in between.
Clearly, a standard cup of coffee isn't exactly standard anymore. And start-ups are beginning to capitalize on this idea with products that reimagine coffee as something else entirely.
“We’re in a time right now where a lot more people are open to almost anything," says Chris Pettazzoni, founder of STEEM caffeinated peanut butter. "If you can portray your product to be practical and worthwhile, now more than ever people are willing to give it a shot."