How do you like your caffeine fix? Straight up Americano? Silky-smooth flat white brewed with mathematical precision? Or in search of the holy grail that is the perfect espresso?
Every time you sip a cup of coffee in London, you are participating in a solemn ceremony that dates back nearly 365 years to a muddy churchyard in the heart of the City. London’s first coffeehouse (or rather, coffee stall) was opened by an eccentric Greek named Pasqua Roseé in 1652.
While a servant for a British Levant merchant in Smyrna, Turkey, Roseé acquired a taste for the exotic Turkish drink and decided to import it to London. Roseé initiated a coffeehouse boom and his ‘bitter Mohammedan gruel’ would transform London forever.
Early coffeehouses were not clones of each other; many had their own unique character. The walls of Don Saltero’s Chelsea Coffeehouse were adorned with exotic taxidermy, an intellectual hub for local gentlemen scientists; at Lunt’s in Clerkenwell Green, patrons could sip coffee, have a haircut and enjoy a fiery discourse on the abolition of slavery given by its barber-proprietor.
At Moll King’s in Covent Garden, libertines could sober up after a long night of drinking and browse a directory of prostitutes, before being led to the requisite brothel on nearby Bow Street. There was even a floating coffeehouse, the Folly of the Thames, moored outside Somerset House, where jittery dancers performing waltzes and jigs late into the night.
Nowadays whether you like to brew your coffee at home, or you frequent many of London’s independent cafés or numerous cloned coffee shop chains, coffee drinkers are habitual in their drinking habits.
New research published by Costa Coffee reveals three out of ten have one first thing in the morning, two thirds (64%) drink one late morning and over half (51%) have a cup in the afternoon.
When it comes to trying out new coffees, London coffee drinkers are the most adventurous (74%), in contrast to Yorkshire (37%), Northern Ireland (37%) and the South West (39%) who are the least adventurous.
Consumers are becoming increasingly well-travelled, developing palates that are able to appreciate flavour combinations that were often once alien. For a new generation of coffee drinkers, this has meant a new sense of adventure around previously unpopular tastes and combinations such as bitterness and sweetness in the same mix.
Baristas these days are experimenting with coffee to create new coffee trends and their own ‘signature drink’. Some of the recent coffee trends across the globe include Egg Cappuccino’s from Korea, Nitro Cold Brew from the United States and Charcoal Lattes from the UK.
Driven by millennial consumers around the world who have been raised in a culture that increasingly values discernment and a sense of connoisseurship combined with the new and the ‘next big thing’, the future of coffee is bringing together baristas, bar tenders, cocktail mixologists, chefs and technologists who are experimenting with fresh serves that cater for a new breed of gastronomically attuned consumers.
Think you know your beans? Check out some of these weird and some wonderful trends, that’ll be sure to give you a brewed awakening!
Spicy Taco Coffee
Spicy Taco flavored coffee is a unique and surprisingly pleasant mix of taco spices and a hearty meaty flavor.
A milk shortage in the 1940s led an enterprising barman to cast around for alternatives – and so cà phê trúng, Vietnamese egg coffee, was born
The Coffee Cup Doughnut
A bakery is taking hipster coffees to the next level – by serving them in a “doughnut cup”.
Weasel Puke Coffee
These coffee beans gain their unique flavor after the outer cherry of the bean has been digested, and the remaining bean extruded back out of the weasels mouth.
Avolatte = Latte + Avocado
Lattes served in the hollowed-out skin of an avocado are the latest trend to shock and appall the internet.
Death Wish Coffee
Dubbed ‘The world’s strongest coffee’, allegedly has 200% more caffeine that the average dark roast. Not one for the faint-hearted.
Vanilla Flavoured Monkey Spit Coffee
Brewed from beans that have been chewed up and spat out by Rhesus monkeys in the distant jungles of India.
Elephant Dung Coffee
Beans are gathered by hand from Thai elephants that have defecated part digetsed coffee beans. The result is a “delicate but complex” taste without the bitterness of a traditional brew.
Yes, the coffee is consumed through your rectum via a large funnel inserted into…well you get the point. Lukewarm or hot coffee is then flushed into your bowels and intestine system.
Research suggests that it has a “detoxifying” element and help prevent cancer and improve metabolism. Try it at your peril!