Coffee continues its global march, says Henry Wilson, the founder of coffee website The Perfect Daily Grind, which links coffee drinkers with the coffee supply chain.
Fresh from a trip to Colombia, he says that coffee is now a truly global drink. Having moved out of its American and European strongholds, with Asian consumption growing rapidly, including in China, where there is increasing interest in the drink and its provenance.
“There is no market in the world where specialty coffee consumption is falling. In more mature markets such as North America and Europe there is greater interest in specialty coffees with distinct flavors, or from certain growers or roasted in special ways.
“The large coffee chains continue to grow, but there is also a thriving independent coffee shop scene, supported by passionate consumers. This is leading to the growth of specialist roasters, many of whom work exclusively with specific growers or demand beans from a designated area.”
Meanwhile, the global interest in coffee means that some people are choosing to be baristas as a career. Schools across the world are teaching their students how to identify different coffees and ensure they are being served to their maximum effect.
But the interest in coffee goes beyond the drink in the cup to how the beans are grown and processed, says Henry.
“There is a concern for the sustainability of coffee growing and how the crop will cope with a changing climate. Warmer conditions could be difficult for a plant that does not thrive in very hot conditions and needs a good mix of wet and dry weather throughout the year. Therefore, it is very important how coffee plantations are managed, and consumers are demanding more traceability and assurance of quality.”
The demand for specialty coffee is strong in South America but also in beans from Africa, including ‘heirloom beans’ from the home of coffee Ethiopia.
“There is no sign of a decline in interest in coffee,” says Henry. “As countries become wealthier the demand for better- and better-quality coffee increases, which creates challenges for growers to deliver that quality, but also plenty of opportunities too.”
The Perfect Daily Grind website can be found here. @PerfectDailyG