Between freak desserts and pimped-up hotdogs, when it comes to food — it’s an exciting time to be alive. While not everyone likes gorging on Nutella-filled donuts, it’s safe to say that most of us can get behind a good coffee. Alongside serving up that crucial cappuccino first thing in the morning, cafés near you are craftily inventing new ways to get you through the daily grind. In honour of our favourite brunch spots, here are our predictions on the latest café trends that will hit local coffee houses in 2018 before you can say ‘pumpkin spice latte’.
1. Just the Vegan-ning
Vegetarians have had a few good years in the spotlight, and it’s not about to change anytime soon. But this year vegans will also get more of a look-in, with the selection of plant-based eats and non-dairy milk options to increase in cafés. In previous years, the challenge for baristas came in making non-dairy milks and coffee play well together. Thanks to new producers and technologies, the ingredients have come a long way. While soy and almond milk are already contenders at many cafés; coconut, rice, hazelnut, macadamia and hemp milk look to be entering the scene in 2018.
They say imitation is a form of flattery, and none is mimicked more so than meat at the moment. With chefs embracing herbivore diets, be on the lookout for ‘faux food’ — clever veggie imitations of meat dishes — which will keep brunchers on their toes next year. Herbivores will also revel in the rise of completely vegan outlets, a café trend set to soar in the year ahead.
2. All Things Fermented
While the fermented fare is already having its day in the sun at fancy restaurants, by the time the new year rolls around, cafés will be well on board with this health trend too. Chefs have been looking to unusual flavours to add a bold new statement to the standards eggs on toast; kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, tempeh, yoghurt, naturally fermented sourdough and even fermented mango is being made on-site and will become regular staples in health-conscious cafés. Expect to be offered kombucha on tap in 2018.
3. Waste Not, Want Not
Reusable coffee cups have been bouncing around for awhile now, but with one-third of the world’s food being thrown out or lost, cafés are finding creative new ways of minimising food and drink waste as well. In 2018 expect root-to-leaf menus, artisan cheeses made from baristas’ leftover milk, and more collaboration between cafés and food rescue organisations.
4. Pop-Up Cafés
Often used as a testing board by new business owners, as a location trial, or a branding exercise; pop-up everything has been all the rage and is looking to stick around in 2018. Cafe pop-ups rely on a strategic cafe marketing plan to get their name out there and create buzz — pop-ups are also prime spots to host after-hours events, so make sure to keep an eye on social media for delicious food pictures and updates.
5. Best Served Cold [Brew]
Forget iced coffee, there’s a new cool drink taking the café scene by storm. Made from coffee beans soaked in water for 12 hours, cold brew is on the up and up, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. We’re told it’ll be all about coconut cold brews in 2018. If you haven’t already, pick yourself up a chilled one and wait to be converted.
6. Even More App-y
The arrival of app delivery services such as UberEats and Deliveroo has made us lazier than ever, and we’re okay with that. While meals from restaurants are the go-to orders on these apps now, 2018 will see coffee delivery break into the mainstream. A tip for all the savvy orderers: coupon codes and discount vouchers on first orders can usually be found with a quick Google search.
7. Dog Cafés (no, seriously)
We don’t take kindly to people who snub our better half, so the coming of dog-friendly cafés that have a whole ’nother menu just for our pups have us cheering. Whether you’ve got your own furry friend or just like a good pet of someone else’s, this café trend is the gift that keeps on giving. Bon Appétit!