There's more to coffee!

There's more to coffee!

With the ever-expanding culture of coffee and the changing ways in which people are looking at the drink, coffee seems to be the in-thing now. While different people perceive the drink differently, the trends in the coffee world are many. The recently-concluded ‘India International Coffee Festival’ was all about the changing face of the beverage.

As coffee is available in various flavours nowadays, the palate of the consumer has changed. But one thing that remains the same is his or her love for coffee, says Anil Kumar Bhandari, president of the India Coffee Trust. “There was a time when cafe culture was considered as an ‘aspirational lifestyle’. But now, things have changed. Cafe culture is booming today and the internet revolution has a big role to play in this regard,” he adds. Anil says that unlike many other places, it is perfectly fine to hang out at a cafe. “It’s a guilt-free trip,” he comments. Anil is quick to add that despite all the changing trends, filter coffee will always remain evergreen.

Sunalini Menon, a coffee expert, is of the same view and encourages her daughter to hang out at cafes. “It’s perfectly fine to be spotted at a cafe. It’s a safe place and coffee is good for one’s health too,” she says. Sunalini recalls how as a youngster, she would wake up to the smell of coffee at home and would be given milk with just two drops of coffee in it! “But coffee has grown a lot now. There is also more education and research about the type of food that can be paired with coffee,” says Sunalini.
So what’s trending in the coffee market? K Ramakrishnan, president (marketing) of Cafe Coffee Day, says that the brand wants its customers to take their experience back home. “We also sell different machines at our outlets so that the customers can prepare their favourite coffee at home. Today, the customers are more willing to go beyond a latte and experiment with different types of coffee be it flavoured coffee, cold coffee or other coffee-based mixed drinks,” elaborates Ramakrishnan.

Vivek Gaur, country manager with ECom Gill Coffee Trading Private Limited, agrees that coffee is a very popular concept among the youth now. He says, “With a number of different chains in the market, there is a niche crowd for each of the brands. The customers are now educated and clearly know their preferences.”

In fact, one might even see coffee being used an ingredient in cooking! Paul Neukirch, a chef from Malaysia, who did a workshop on cooking with coffee at the coffee festival, says that across the world, the concept of coffee has changed widely. “Earlier, I didn’t see coffee as an ingredient that could be used in cooking. But I researched over the last few days to dish out various items with a tinge of coffee,” says Paul. He even prepared meat items with coffee and wants to add these dishes to the menu of the hotel he works at. “Coffee has been used to make desserts and I had never thought of it beyond that. But this trend might be a major one,” he adds.

Textile dyeing with coffee could be another new trend. Malaa Treon, a textile designer, held a workshop on dyeing silk with coffee.

   “I’ve always loved natural colours, and it’s a great feeling to be able to carry your favourite drink on yourself. And each blend gives a different colour too,” says Malaa. She wraps up, “Silk is my forte and working with coffee was an extension of
this passion.”

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