Cool Trends in Gourmet Coffee

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Thanks for tuning in to the Augustino Brewing Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about cool trends in gourmet coffee. This is a podcast that focuses on craft coffee, craft beer, and craft food. Also we talk about the different concerns and trials and tribulations and occasionally the fun of opening up a brewpub and craft coffee house which is exactly what we’re doing in Wichita, Kansas. Again, getting back to the subject for this podcast, we’re going to talk a little bit here about cool trends in gourmet coffee.

We talk a lot about beer and craft beer, but one of the things I get as a question from a lot of people is, how does coffee and beer fit together under the same roof? Well, it’s almost a question that’s hard for me to answer, because in my mind, the idea that coffee and beer would be under one roof, gourmet coffee, house made beer for me is a no brainer. But I figured I need to sit down, I need to think this through, I need to look at our trends, and when I did it became even more obvious than it ever was before. I’m going to go through just a few of the trends that are going on right now that are really just bringing the world of beer and the world of coffee together under one roof in a wonderful harmony if done well in your brewpub.

The first and probably the one that many people think of first when they’re considering coffee trends is the recent spike in nitro coffee. This would be coffee that is cold brewed and then nitrogen or a beer gas mix is applied to it and then it is served off of a stout tap. It really kind of equipment wise blends the coffee world and the beer world together and it creates a product that kind of reminds or is reminiscent of a stout, it has a similar creaminess to a stout. These days some are even adding hops and in the case of Augustino Brewing we are working on a nitro coffee which we may do in partnership with another business, but we’re doing a coffee product that is going to come as close as anything out there has come to to being a completely alcohol free beverage that has caffeine in it and tastes almost identical to a stout.

The reason why I wanted us to do that is because I love, I love my beer, I love my coffee, but you know what, I can’t just put a bunch of beer taps at my day job office and expect that that’s going to be received very well. It’s probably not. But if I can put something that is very much like a beer but has no alcohol in, in fact it even has a kick that’s going to help you stay more focused and diligent to your tasks, that’s a great thing. That’s one of the things we’ve been working real hard behind the scenes on.

Another thing is water quality. There has a been a much greater focus, especially in the last year or two in terms of coffee shop water. Now this is something that we’ve looked at for a long time on the beer side of things because water is extremely important to beer in terms of what minerals are in the water, the overall water quality plays a very big impact, especially on more delicate styles that we brew. But now it’s starting to be considered a lot more in coffee, and matching a certain water chemistry to a certain coffee bean to help accentuate the positive attributes of that particular coffee.

The great thing about again being a brewery and coffee house is that we already have the equipment in place as a brewery to be able to manipulate the water quality for our coffee side of things. It’s one thing that we’re looking forward to it at Augustino Brewing and it is a rapidly increasing trend in order to stay out ahead of the competition. If you have a coffee house or a brewery it’s definitely something to consider if you do not have an RO system and the ability to manipulate your water compensation I would highly recommend doing some research and finding out how to do that. There are many resources out there. We might get into that in a later episode, but water quality is a big, big deal and it’s becoming an even bigger deal as we go forward.

Another area, and this has been huge, and it’s, again it’s a trend on both the beer side of things and the coffee side things, is the idea of infusing different types of beverages together. Like coffee and beer, we’ve seen many coffee stouts importers and everything like that out there, but there’s also blends that are starting to happen between tea and coffee and kind of mix strengths that way. We have the rise of kombucha. Kombucha is no doubt going to be blended and already is in some cases with other ingredients, other drinks. We also have spirits which have long actually been utilized in coffees and teas but look for that to become even more of a big deal, especially integrating both spirits with coffees and teas with other ingredients that we may not have thought of in the past as possibilities. So that’s a real key thing.

Another thing to think about in this area is, and this is a trend that is very very good, for all that some people may say about the millennials the one thing that the millennials like more than anything about life is having experiences, having that interaction with a place. One of the things that we commonly especially people older like myself will knock millennials on is that they’re always in front of their smart devices, on their tablets and everything like that. The fact is yes, they are on tablets, they are on devices all the time, way more than most of us. Although I will say I’ve been to blame for being on tablets before too, but the thing is they also get out and about a lot. They are going out and they are going to restaurants and to coffee houses at a rate that is much higher than the rate that their predecessors went out to these places for.

Now it’s kind of ironic because you would think it’d be the opposite since they’re all, all talk about not having money, but the fact is they want the experience. What we need to do as brewery owners, brewpub owners, coffee house owners is to seek ways in which to appeal to these younger drinkers, and we appeal by creating an experience, a sense of place for these individuals. It needs to be kind of laid back. It also needs to be something that provides certainly high end offerings but they need to be high end offerings that have price points that are flexible and can adapt to a demographic that maybe wants to throw their money around but doesn’t have a lot of money to throw around.

Those are some things to really think about when we’re talking about the trends in craft coffee and craft beer. I see these two worlds continuing to come together. I think we’ll … It’s been looked at in terms of many people that I’ve spoken to about Augustino Brewing, as we’ve been working toward opening our doors, who just don’t get the idea of having a brewery in the same place as a coffee house and how is that going to work out. The fact is it’s going to work out very, very well because the processes, the people are very similar between craft coffee and craft beer. The environment may be different at times but we are going to strike that balance and our craft beer and our craft coffee under one roof is going to be fantastic. We look forward to you keeping track of our progress as we get closer to opening. Thanks a lot for listening and have a fantastic day.

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