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London Coffee Festival Highlights: The Biggest Coffee Trends of 2018

Last week we headed to the London Coffee Festivalheld at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.The London Coffee Festival is a fantastic 4-day event for anyone with a keen interest in coffee. Read on to find out what we discovered… 

This year the Festival featured 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, as well as hosting live workshops and demonstrations. The event is a great chance to catch up with the newest trends in the consumer coffee sector. But don’t worry if you missed it because we have put together a round up of the 3 biggest trends for the coffee world in 2018.

1.Cold Brew & Nitro Coffee

Cold Brew definitely isn’t the newest coffee on the block, but its popularity certainly hasn’t diminished. In simple terms, Cold Brew is coffee that has been brewed using cold water rather than hot. Iced coffees sound similar, but in fact they are espresso-based coffees served over ice, usually with milk and flavoured syrups. Brewing coffee in cold water creates a smoother, less acidic, and more flavoursome coffee, and it also contains up to 4 times more caffeine than regular coffee! Find out more in our Cold Brew blog here.

Nitro coffee goes one step further. It is Cold Brew coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas. The coffee is dispensed through tiny holes in a highly pressurised vessel, often in the format of a tap. The result is a thick, creamy coffee that is slightly sweeter than regular cold brew.

Be sure to keep an eye on our social media channels in the coming months for some exciting cold brewrelated news…

Check out TopBrewer Cold Brew here.

2.Dairy-Free Options

Another big trend from the London Coffee Festival is the growth of non-dairy alternatives to milk. From soy and rice milk to almond and coconut milk, and everything in between.

Plant-based lifestyles are becoming more popular (more than 3.5 million Brits now identify as vegan), so it’s no real surprise that the dairy-free milk market is booming. Whilst some choose to use dairy-free milks due to health concerns or moral issues with cow’s milk, the use of plant-based milks can also improve and enhance the flavour profile of the coffee. For example, the sweet, slightly nutty taste of almond milk works perfectly when paired with a full-bodied dark roast.

We are excited to be launching a dual milk fridge for the TopBrewer in 2018 which will allow for dairy-free milk alternatives. Watch this space for more info.


Consumers are becoming much more environmentally conscious, which has led to big changes for many companies. Waitrose, for example, has recently announced that they will no longer provide disposable cups for the free coffees they offer to their members, and many restaurants and cafes, from Wagamama to Wetherspoon’s, have decided to ditch plastic straws in favour of fully biodegradable paper ones.

A 2015 Nielsen global study found that while only 51% of the Baby Boomer population see sustainability as a shopping priority, nearly two thirds of Generations Y and Z are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings. As the younger generations grow up and start to have more buying power, sustainability will continue to be a major focus.

The London Coffee Festival had a whole host of brands focussing on sustainability and selling products designed to help minimise environmental impact. Compostable coffee capsules being one offering, with others including skincare brands that incorporate used coffee grounds into their products, and companies selling plastic and glass reusable coffee cups to replace takeaway cups that often cannot be recycled.

Read some of the ways we are reducing our environmental impact here.

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