The specialty coffee sector is known for being progressive and forward-thinking, while consistently generating exciting trends.
The dalgona coffee trend is a prime example. During the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, it experienced a monumental surge in popularity. Almost overnight, dalgona coffee became the most-searched coffee drink in the world.
The latest trend capturing the imagination of coffee enthusiasts is flash brew coffee. Originating in Japan, it is a type of iced coffee that offers a fast alternative to traditional cold brew methods.
Observing and acting on trends can be beneficial for roasters and coffee shop owners. In particular, they can inspire new offerings and open up additional revenue streams while demand is high.
Read on to find out more about flash brew coffee and whether roasters should include it in their range.
What is flash brew coffee?
Flash brew coffee is similar to cold brew in many ways. While cold brew is made by soaking coffee grounds in water for up to 24 hours, flash brew coffee can be made in a matter of minutes.
Flash brew coffee is made by filling a Chemex with ice and brewing the desired coffee as normal with hot water. It is important to adapt the ratios of coffee and water to account for the ice. Then, the hot coffee is simply poured into the Chemex and over the ice.
This process rapidly cools the coffee while keeping it fresh, making flash brew a major rival to cold brew coffee.
Additionally, any coffee can be used to make flash brew coffee, allowing the bean’s unique profile and subtle flavour notes to shine.
That being said, the most popular choice are complex varieties with high acidity and bright floral or fruity flavours.
Another key benefit is that flash brew often has higher aroma and flavour intensity than cold brews. This is because brewing the coffee in hot water helps increase extraction, resulting in an intense, chilled coffee that showcases all the subtle notes and characteristics of the beans.
Another rival to flash brew is the incredibly popular nitro brew coffee. Nitro brew is made by pumping nitrogen into coffee using a specialist pumping system.
While the process itself is quick, nitro brew requires considerable investment in equipment. They will need to buy the pumping system, as well as a tap to serve the brew.
In comparison, flash brew coffee only requires a Chemex, ice, and great coffee beans.
What is driving the popularity of flash brew coffee?
Flash brew coffee has been popular in Japan since the 1960s, but only recently reached Western specialty coffee markets.
This may be because it was only in the last few years that the global cold brew market experienced remarkable growth. Studies by Grand View Research predicts the market will reach a value of $1.63 billion by 2025.
Millennials have been a main contributor to this growth. A 2020 survey found 79% of respondents aged 18 to 24 years classed cold brew coffee as “good” and “excellent”. This is compared to the 45% of respondents aged 60 years and above.
As with many trends, social media has played a role in the growing popularity of flash brew coffee. With more people using TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, there is a greater chance that drink trends will go viral.
What’s more, these channels can amplify coffee trends far beyond immediate specialty coffee customers and into the global market.
Better yet, social media does not limit trends to homebrew recipe ideas. A 2021 survey shows that over a third of TikTok users purchased food from a restaurant after seeing the location on the app.
This further demonstrates how coffee businesses can access a variety of new customers by tapping into a trend and creating marketing content around it.
Should coffee shops and roasters offer flash brew?
As with any viral trend, the question on everyone’s minds is whether flash brew coffee is here to stay.
The beauty of this particular trend is that it is a simple process to learn and establish. Plus, roasters do not have to invest in new equipment, meaning they can add it to their menu whenever they like.
Even if the flash brew trend is temporary, it is an ideal opportunity for roasters to reach new corners of the market by diversifying their offerings.
Additionally, as any beans can be used, the flash brew method provides roasters with the opportunity to be innovative and experiment with flavours and roast profiles.
It allows roasters to use their personal coffee preferences as a starting point and then trial different options. In doing so, they can create unique and personal additions to their menus.
Important to realise is that flash brew coffee can only be made in small batches. So, it may be difficult to introduce this as a permanent option on a menu.
One way round this is for roasters to make a number of batches in the morning, or commit to preparing the coffee to order. However, during a busy service this could be time-consuming, which may cause delays to orders.
Regardless, flash brew coffee is growing in popularity in the specialty sector. Despite its small-scale approach, it’s an amazing opportunity for roasters to quickly add an exciting brewing style to their range.
For roasters and coffee shop owners, it’s important to stay on top of trends and cater to the demands of their customers. As such, adding a flash brew option could help capture new corners of the market.
At MTPak Coffee, we offer a selection of recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable materials that can be fully customised to your needs.
We can help shape your brand identity while showcasing a strong commitment to the environment by providing you with FSC-certified branded unbleached or bleached kraft paper packaging, complete with eco-friendly liners for added barrier protection.
Furthermore, our range of packaging services include the design and manufacture of labels for your coffee offerings. We use sustainable water-based inks and UV printing technology to reduce energy emissions, providing you with a low carbon footprint product.