Predictions About Coffee for 2019 and Trends to Watch Out For


As we move ever closer to 2019, it’s worth considering what coffee trends might be upon us when the new year hits. There are tons of opinions on this topic and it remains to be seen who has the right idea. Regardless, predicting potential changes in coffee culture can be a fun way to think about how far we’ve come from 2017 and what 2019 might bring out of the woodwork. So today, we’re going to come up with some predictions of our own and comment on those of other people out there.

For the year of 2019, it is expected that the coffee production for the world is going to be as high as 171 million bags, which is over 11 million more bags produced in a year than ever in history. Most of this coffee is being produced in Brazil, but plenty of other countries are also making a dent in the number. Some of the other big hitters are Mexico, Vietnam, Columbia, and Indonesia.

We’ll go over what this means for the availability and price of coffee going into the new year, but we’ll also take some time to look at what types of coffee may gain in popularity, what brewing methods are likely to rise and fall, and what trends should be on your radar as things change into and through the year nearly upon us. First, let’s take a quick look at the prediction estimates for coffee production and consumption.

Forecast for Coffee Production

We mentioned that this year is expected to bring about 171 million bags of coffee production, which is a substantial number. What we didn’t get to was that the forecast for coffee consumption, based on the USDA’s Coffee: World Markets and Trade report, is expected to be at around 163 million bags. This is a huge amount of demand and experts are of the opinion that exports are going to go up because of it. This would be a major change since the last few years have had a decline when it comes to stocks.

Brazil is one of the largest producers of coffee and in 2018 put out 44 million bags of Arabica coffee. This is supposed to jump up by around six million bags, many of which are the result of output from regions with on-year trees on a biennial cycle of production. Assuming the weather stays the course, Brazil is going to be a substantial year in terms of coffee exports, which every coffee farmer is going to be excited to be a part of.

Another country that matters here is Vietnam. This country is expected to produce a record-breaking number of coffee bags at almost 30 million. This will be over half a million more than the next most productive year for Vietnam. The reason for this relates to off-season rains and cooler weather patterns which have helped stimulate coffee trees. While only a small percentage of total coffee comes from Vietnam, every bit helps and will have an impact on how the year turns out.

Moving to Central America, specifically Mexico, the forecast is largely unchanged about just over 20 million bags. However, there are some countries nearby that are struggling with coffee rust that became an issue more than six years ago. Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama have recovered from the problem, but El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua haven’t been so lucky thus far.

Colombia is another country where the forecast is largely unchanging at around 14 million bags. However, there are favored growing conditions available so that is subject to change. It’s possible that Columbia will end up going above and beyond expert forecasts, leading to an even larger amount of excess coffee on the market for 2019.

Another country that will likely be producing more is Indonesia with a forecast expected to gain around half a million bags. In terms of Robusta coffee, the output is also expected to rise and come close to 10 million bags due to better growing conditions in areas where it is traditionally grown. While Robusta makes up a small amount of coffee consumed when compared to Arabica, it’s still the second most popular species of coffee in the world.

Checking in on Coffee Consumption in the U.S. and E.U.

When it comes to the import of coffee, the United States brings in the second largest amount of coffee among all countries around the globe. In 2019, the forecast for imports shows that nearly 2.5 million more bags may be imported to the U.S.A. alone. This would leave us at about 27 million bags of import for the year. Most of that coffee will be coming from Brazil, but Columbia, Honduras, and Vietnam are also in the top four.

As for the European Union, the forecast is also larger than normal for the coming year. Imports of an additional one million bags are expected, which makes up around 40% of the coffee beans imported in the world each year. The main suppliers for the EU include Brazil, Columbia, Vietnam, and Honduras. As you can see, that’s the same as the major countries for the United States so good news or bad, both locations will bear it together.

Predictions About Coffee Pricing Going Forward

As the years go on, the price of coffee has been going down and many people believe that will be the case for 2019, as well. With Brazil set to have what may be a record harvest, it makes sense that prices would continue to drop or, at worst, level off. However, other experts believe that 2019 will be the year when coffee prices go up, so it’s hard to tell which of these professionals have it right.

The price for Arabica coffee has been going lower based on the idea that Brazil and other locations will have larger than usual crops available. Brazil alone would bring in more than 40% of the global harvest for the entire world, depending on which estimates you believe in terms of 2019 production.

Because harvest forecasts are high, there are speculators and hedge funds who are making it a habit to bet against coffee prices in the futures market. This has only been exacerbated by the fact that the Brazilian real has been in a weakening state. Weakening of the currency can be a positive for coffee producers, who make more money in dollars when converting money back, which leads to a higher incentive to produce and sell large amounts.

Based on this information, you may be wondering why some believe prices will soar. It seems like everything is in place to keep prices low, so you can enjoy your favorite beverage without paying more. The problem is that there was a less than fantastic harvest last year and lower interest rates in Brazil. This has given farmers a buffer financially as well as extra capacity, which allows them to hold some of the harvest instead of selling. If that happens, it will lead to a coffee shortage and a higher price for the good.

In addition, weather can play a major part in coffee production and is hard to forecast and impossible to control. Right now, there are favorable conditions in Brazil, but that doesn’t mean that will be the case in the future. It’s possible drier weather will move in which could lead to issues with the upcoming crop. One expert noted that if a drought does occur, it could lead to coffee that is up to 50% more expensive by next winter.

All the 2019 Coffee Trends to Watch Out For

If you are reading this, you’re likely a huge fan of coffee. Whether you simply have a cup every day with your newspaper or you’re fully entrenched in coffee culture, you may be wondering what you can expect from coffee brewing methods and types of drink for the new year. With more and more Americans drinking coffee each year, it’s no surprise that this is such a hot topic right now. We’re going to share some of the trends we think might be big over the next 12 months and touch on others that have been suggested by coffee connoisseurs on the Internet.

More Instances of Sustainable Sourcing

While everyone enjoys having a caffeine hit in the morning, many coffee drinkers are starting to want a bit more. As more and more consumers find themselves interested in sustainable coffee options, it’s up to the coffee companies to make it a reality. This coming year could be the year where things change in a substantial way on this front. Even major coffee companies like Nescafe are moving toward initiatives that treat farmers better and bring in more sustainable coffee for their valued customers.

However, reaching sustainability goals can be a lot more difficult than consumers may realize. It requires, firstly, for companies to make the decision to want to do better. After that, there is a need to make partnerships with farmers with transparency and direct communication. This is the only way to start on the path toward sustainable farming practices while addressing social issues felt by the those who produce the coffee we drink. It’s a long hard road to actually get into a place where all of a company’s coffee is sustainable and fair for everyone who is involved in its production.

It goes beyond that in that these companies also need to put time and energy into visiting the farms to build these partnerships with farmers, mills, coops, washing stations, and exporters. Even after initial work, it is also important to keep in touch with all of these individuals either in person or via phone and email. It means time, it means spending money, and it means having quality in mind.

Still, when consumers push for these things, it makes the companies listen. 2019 might be the year when large companies are pushed further and make decisions they may not have in 2017 or 2018. Whether this prediction will come true is up in the air right now, but it would certainly be a great thing for everyone involved if sustainability became more of the normal and less of a practice only in place by smaller coffee companies.

In the meantime, if it matters to you, take time to buy from sustainable companies on the market. A few of the top names right now are Counter Culture Coffee, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Portland Roasting Coffee, Colectivo Coffee, and Larry’s Coffee.

Chemex Will Take Off Like Never Before

While Chemex coffee is hardly new, it has had a bump in popularity in 2018. That in itself doesn’t mean it will continue on that path in 2019 but the evidence makes it seem likely. For those of you who might be new to the idea of Chemex, we’ll share the details for you. It will give you time to decide if you want to give it a shot before it potentially becomes a huge trend when the year ends.

Chemex is an infusion method of brewing that has many similarities to drip coffee. You’ll find that the taste and body are nearly the same. However, with Chemex, you use a much thicker filter than with other pour over brewing methods. This means that brewing takes long but the coffee you get at the end is significantly richer. It doesn’t quite hit the level of a French press, but it does offer a rich brew without impurities that former drip coffee lovers often fall in love with at first taste.

This sort of brew method uses a coarser grind than drip coffee, but that can vary by recipe and preference. It’s best to start with a coarseness between what you’d choose for French press and what you might use for drip coffee. If you find that the brew is weak and doesn’t have the taste you want, try finer coffee beans. If the opposite is true, go a little coarser. It might sound like a lot of work, but it generally takes only a couple of cups before you have an idea of what you like best.

Cocktails Are Back on the Menu

We did a whole article about how to mix coffee and alcohol and it looks like that was timely. People are realizing just how versatile coffee is for use in cocktails and it is taking off. Maybe this has to do with coffee culture and the desire to try new flavors and textures. Maybe it’s just that so many people love both coffee and alcohol and have realized they mix together well. Regardless of the reason, cocktails that contain coffee are gaining popularity and could hit it big in 2019.

While most people have tried Irish coffee, there are so many more options out there. There are simple cocktails like Italian coffee and Mexican coffee which incorporate ingredients such as Strega, Kahlua, and ice cream. There are also cold cocktails perfect for summer like the white Russian, espresso martini, and paradise found. With the advent of cold brew coffee in the last few years, there are plenty of recipes that offer that type of coffee, too. This can be as easy as combining cold brew, lemon juice, and simple syrup or more complicated recipes that make a great option when you’re hosting dinner and drinks for your friends.

It doesn’t matter what your favorite coffee is or what your favorite alcohol is, you can find a recipe that incorporates it. Whether this is going to be the next big thing at all the bars in major cities is unknown, but it has potential as a trend for the year of 2019. Even if it doesn’t become the next big thing, it’s already more popular than ever and a quick search will give you some excellent recipes that you can try in your own home.

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Restaurants Serving Higher Quality Coffee

Even in 2018, we’ve seen that many restaurants are beginning to realize that coffee is important and should be taken seriously. The upcoming year could be the time when cheap coffee is tossed off of menus everywhere in favor of high-end coffees with specialty menus for those who enjoy caffeine with their meals. No longer will you need to deal with coffee that has been sitting in a pot for hours and hours. At least, that will be the case if this prediction comes to fruition in the new year.

Beyond seeing better coffee on the menu, you may even see coffee being showcased more on menus with suggestions for pairing. For instance, there might be a coffee listed that goes well with certain desserts on the menu or seasonal dishes that the chef of the restaurant comes up with. That might seem like it’s far off from the world we live in right now, but when things begin to change, it can happen quickly. If you’re anything like I am, you love the idea of having better coffee in your favorite café, which is a fantastic reason for that café to provide it for you.

Another way coffee may find itself in restaurants is through the food served on the menu. Foodies everywhere have become excited about coffee, coffee grounds, and other products for use in dishes and we aren’t just talking about desserts. It’s no longer strange to see coffee used in savory dishes with vegetables, meats, and even cheeses. Will all of these things come true in 2019? Perhaps not, but these are some of the things that we’d love to see and the potential for part of it being a reality isn’t as far off as many people believe.

Coffee Infused With Nitrogen at Your Favorite Café

This might seem crazy, but it’s not as unlikely as you think. Nitrogen-infused coffee has been taking off and offers a very different feel than most coffees and a head that reminds many people of beer. While this drink has been around for at least five years now, it hasn’t become popular until recent years. Even major players like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are getting involved, which goes to show how popular it has become.

While it might seem weird to introduce nitrogen to coffee, the truth is that we add gases like this to beverages on a regular basis. For instance, your favorite soda from your favorite restaurant has carbon dioxide introduced into it. This is what causes the carbonation and bubbles that many people love so much. Even nitrogen isn’t a new idea for beverages as there are numerous craft beers that use it. The largest of them is probably Guinness. These drinks aren’t considered carbonated and are instead known as being nitrogenated.

You may also find it surprising to know what sort of locations are now offering nitrogen-infused coffee. Gyms. Fitness centers. Places where people come to work out and improve their bodies have become a common location to purchase this type of coffee drink. Many people believe it is a healthier beverage than traditional coffee and the taste of the coffee is sweet without using sugar or sweeteners. Will this become even more popular in 2019? There’s no way to tell but it doesn’t seem extremely unlikely.

A Continued Trend for the Cold Brew Coffee

One of the biggest trends of 2018 was cold brew coffee and that doesn’t seem like something that will slow down anytime soon. If you haven’t tried this kind of coffee yet, make sure to put it on your to-do list, especially if you enjoy an icy cold beverage more than one that is streaming hot. While cold brew takes a significant amount of time to make, the process is rather simple. If you prefer convenience, you can get cold brew from most cafes or even find it in bottled form.

Cold brew has a taste that is unique and often compared to chocolate or caramel. Many people also believe that is has a texture that is not seen in other types of coffee. While some people may believe cold brew is the same is iced coffee, there are many things that separate the two and make them very different beverages. The largest being that cold brew is a coffee that is brewed with cold water for up to 24 hours’ time while iced coffee is typically brewed in the traditional way and then has ice added to it.

There are many major companies now offering cold brew from Stumptown Coffee Roasters to Blue Bottle Coffee and even Starbucks. This strong new coffee is popular among all sorts of people and the idea that it will stop trending in 2019 is hard to believe. Other coffee lovers and I have all listed this as a prediction and for good reason. That doesn’t mean we’ll be 100% right but there is a good feeling in the air about this particular trend carrying forward.


Iced Lattes in Ready to Drink Form

You might normally think of an iced latte as something you have to hit a café or coffeehouse to find, but that seems to be changing. The trend has been on the market for a bit but it’s starting to gain followers due to being hugely convenient and easy to access. You may already know that Starbucks carries a product like this but it’s trickling down and being seen from other coffee companies like Blue Bottle Coffee. As more companies get in the market, it’s likely others will follow in the pursuit of additional customers and profit. That’s a great thing if you prefer to pick up a few coffee beverages from the grocery store and then take them with you every day. The most choices that are available, the more people will take advantage of the option.

The second reason this is such a great trend is that you can expect the quality of these ready-made drinks to soar as more companies put out their own blends. The best beans and milk will be available as each brand works to put out something new and special. This will be a huge hit for coffee lovers and could result in better options when you don’t have time to brew your own coffee or visit a café. While this may take some time to become reality, it’s likely 2019 is when things will explode.

Beverages Packed With Health Benefits

As people continue to be on a quest to become healthier, it’s not surprising that beverages are adapting to fit that need. The beverage world is beginning to see all sorts of drinks that include ingredients like matcha, turmeric, melatonin, activated charcoal, aloe vera, and more. It might seem like coffee would be the one beverage category not to be included in this trend, but that isn’t our prediction. It seems likely that more healthy ingredients will begin to be used by all sorts of coffee companies in a bid to gain more customers.

On that same topic, CBD is also becoming more common in beverages as a way to help those who have chronic pain, depression, seizures, and anxiety. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a substance that comes from cannabis that is believed to boast numerous health benefits. This substance is a 2018 trend in itself, but it’s possible it will connect with coffee in 2019 to bring assistance to those with medical problems that are aided by the ingredient.

Whether that happens or not, fitness and health are huge right now and that will have an impact on the beverages and foods that you see making headlines in 2019. Don’t be surprised if you see a latte with turmeric or a cappuccino with activated charcoal on the menu at your local coffeehouse before the new year has gone by. Personally, that seems like a great thing. We can all use additional products to make us healthier and happier in our everyday lives.

Even More Emphasis on Plant-Based Coffee Additives

On the same token with health, there are more people than ever who are incorporating plant-based diets as a constant in their lives. Even those who aren’t vegetarian or vegan are interested in products made from plants, regardless of whether an animal-based option is available. This might not seem like something that would have a huge impact on coffee drinkers, but you might be surprised.

Products made from plants are largely considered healthier than those that are made from animals. That includes items like creamers, flavorings, and milks. While most cafes already offer a large selection of additives like soy milk, almond milk, and non-dairy creamer, there is always room for this to grow. Assuming more people choose a lifestyle of eating fewer animal products, there’s no telling how popular these items will become in 2019.

Not sure how realistic this prediction is? Data essential has reported that over 80% of those who use creamer in their cup of coffee every day are interested in trying plant-based milks and creamers instead. Over a third of these individuals are already choosing to use these alternatives on a regular basis. The most popular at this time are almond, coconut, and soy-based, but oat, flaxseed, and peanut are also starting to gain momentum and may be more popular as time goes on.

Drinks With a Global Flair

Do you enjoy trying new foods from other cultures? Many people appreciate having a connection with new cultures, which is why ethnic ingredients and dishes are becoming more popular in 2018. Surprisingly, this isn’t only the case with food items. There are increasing numbers of beverages that include unique flavors and ingredients, such as cayenne, habanero, ginger, cardamom, five spice, and more. This may not be commonplace at every café right now but if the continued desire for new flavors grows, it could be something that is less uncommon in the new year.

It’s likely that more specialty coffee drinks will find their way on the market as we move into 2019, as well as beverages like tea, juice, and cocktails. Other flavors that may rise up in popularity include guava, Meyer lemon, and blood orange, although it’s less likely they will reach the heights of the ingredients mentioned above. This is good news if you like trying new things, and even if you don’t, that’s okay too. The same traditional coffee beverages that have been around for centuries aren’t going anywhere, either.

New Textures to Enjoy in Convenient Forms

We mentioned that it’s likely there will be an influx of new ready to drink iced lattes in 2019, but that may not be the end of that trend. Texture is becoming known as an important component of any coffee, just as much as what is in it and what it tastes like. As more ready-to-drink options hit the market, you can expect that some of them will work to offer the coffee texture you expect from a high-end café. You may find that there are beverages you shake before drinking to give that frothy barista texture without going out of your way to find a coffeehouse.

Of course, nitrogen-infused coffees are another of the beverages here that offers an interesting texture new to the world of coffee. But it is possible that nitrogen-infusion is only the beginning and major changes are afoot as we welcome in the new year on January 1. People love beverages that are different and convenient at the same time and there are few options that offer both the way ready-to-drink coffee beverages like these do. This won’t just be found in coffee, though. You can expect new textures to be a serious trend for all sorts of beverages over the next 12 months.

Putting Together All the Predictions for 2019

It’s always fun to consider what might change when a new year is upon us and in the coffee world, there is no difference. Considering what new ingredients might be popular, which old brewing options will explode and become the next big thing, and how the process of making coffee will adapt to our new tastes is an exciting process. That doesn’t mean that every one of the things on this article is sure to be around in a few months and a staple by next December. What it does mean is that coffee is one industry that never stands still and always has some surprises waiting for you.

Will we see better sustainability in the coffee world? Will prices drop or rise? There’s no crystal ball that will answer those questions. However, looking at the information that is available, we’ve tried to bring you the data you need to make your own decision. Whether those answers are wrong or right isn’t the point, what is the point is that coffee is changing and how we look at it today will be completely different than how we do so in a year from now.

We’d love to hear what some of your thoughts are on predictions for coffee in the new year, so feel free to leave them below. If nothing else, jotting them down will give you a fantastic way to remember how you felt now when it’s a few months down the road and things have changed in various ways. Hopefully those coffee prices will stay low and we’ll see some great innovation as we walk into the new year. Good luck!

Bonus Questions

1. Should I drink coffee?

If you would like to drink coffee, there’s nothing to stop you. The experts at Mayo Clinic note that you should avoid consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day so following that rule of thumb is an excellent idea.

2. Is coffee good for your liver?

Where there is no proven data that coffee can help protect you from liver disease, the experimental data available does show that coffee could be beneficial for your liver in various ways.

3. Is it OK to drink coffee on empty stomach?

While you likely will experience no adverse effects if you occasionally consume coffee on an empty stomach, it’s not something that should be made a habit. The acidic nature of the coffee can be hard on the lining of your stomach.

4. Are used coffee grounds good for anything?

There are tons of uses for your old coffee grounds. They can be used as a fertilizer for your garden, as a pest repellent, or for composting.

5. Do coffee grounds repel slugs?

You might be surprised to find that coffee grounds scattered on your soil can repel slugs, but it’s best to use a small amount. You can also kill snails and slugs using a caffeine spray on your plants and prevent slugs from eating them.

6. Is cold coffee bad for you?

Iced or cold coffee has all the same antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients that you find in hot coffee. That means you get the same benefits whether you prefer your coffee scalding hot or icy cold.

7. Can you eat coffee?

You can certainly eat coffee beans and you’ll get the same effect as if you were to drink a cup of coffee. However, you may find that the effects are more pronounced so don’t go overboard.

8. How can you tell if coffee is rancid?

If you’re worried your coffee is spoiled, the best way to find out is to take a sniff. Coffee that is no longer good will have little of the aroma normally associated with it. In some cases, the color of the coffee may change as well.

9. Does putting more coffee make it stronger?

That is exactly the right process to make your coffee more potent. Adding more coffee or using less water will ensure your coffee is as strong as you like it.

10. Does adding milk to coffee reduce acidity?

Calcium is great for helping to offset the acidity in coffee and other foods. The same process occurs when using cream or similar products in your cup of coffee.

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