Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The future of coffee cocktails: which tribe are you part of?

First it was the Cosmo, then the Pornstar Martini, and now, well, who doesn’t love an Espresso Martini?

Research from The Future Laboratory, a futures consultancy, says the trend for coffee cocktails is just going to keep growing and growing.

Once again, it’s down to us millennials, but it’s not the worst thing we’ve been blamed for in recent times.

In the UK, coffee shop sales rose 37% between 2011 and 2016, from £2.4bn to £3.4bn. By 2022, that’s expected to rise by a further 29% to hit £4.3bn. So, we know coffee is pretty popular… but how about cocktails. Well, the 2016 Mixed Drinks Report shows 78% of British bars now sell cocktails. It makes sense that the two would join forces.

The Espresso Martini is now the 15th most popular cocktail in the world, up 12 places since 2016. The cocktail first came about in the 1980s, and since then, there’s been all sorts of coffee cocktails gracing drinks menus.

In 1983 at the Soho Brasserie in London, bartender Dick Bradsell was asked by a customer for a drink that would, ‘wake her up, and f**k her up’. Vodka was super popular at the time, and the coffee machine was to hand. Dick mixed vodka, sugar syrup, Tia Maria and Kahlua, and freshly made espresso. Voila, the Espresso Martini (or Vodka Espresso as it was first known) was born.

The Future Laboratory has created its new report in conjunction with coffee liqueur Tia Maria. The report has identified four new tribes of cocktail drinkers. So, which one are you?!

The Sensorialists

Oh yes, it’s the Instagram effect… this groups is for those looking for ‘visually appealing drinks’ and drinks that work in ‘an era of advanced social media sharing’. Cocktails have to look good, and create a sense of buzz and excitement. Augmented and virtual reality technology will also come into play here.

The Optimisers
This group are looking for the balance between work and play, and opting for ‘healthonism’… the report says The Optimsers will be after coffee as a cocktail ingredient, as it gives you an energising boost. However, they’ll want to keep things light, so something like a Tia + Tonic will be for them.

The Experimental Connoisseurs
Tribe number three like to push the boundaries of taste, and are constantly hunting for new cocktail flavours and combinations. They’re likely to order a cocktail containing contrasting flavour profiles.

The Truth Seekers

The fourth tribe will be ordering drinks that let the quality and origin of the ingredients to shine through. So if they’re ordering a coffee cocktail, they’ll want to know the specific blend of espresso used for the drink…

The report concludes, “Coffee and cocktail culture will explode over the next decade, bringing with it a new wave of multisensory experiences, as well as innovative recipes and techniques, enabled by major technological breakthroughs.”

Do you think coffee cocktails will continue to be as popular as they have been, or have you already got your eye on something else?

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