4. Cold brew backlash
Cold brew coffee is here to stay, and will very likely become much more widespread in 2019, because many consumers like its smoothness, its hints of chocolate and its implicit sweetness, and manufacturers have figured out how to make a very consistent product and are delivering it in kegs or in concentrate to restaurants, bars and coffeehouses.
But some coffee aficionados are striking back, complaining that cold brew — made by soaking ground beans in cold water for 16 hours or more — doesn’t properly extract the more distinctive flavors of really good coffee, leaving the terroir behind in the beans. Add to that new machines that can quickly chill hot-brewed coffee to whatever temperature that operators like, and you have a convenient alternative that, cold brew detractors argue, lets coffee be served cold and quickly without diminished quality.
The anti-cold brewers are building some momentum, putting forward arguments that hot-brewed coffee is better for you (one study showed it has more antioxidants than cold brew), so more hot-brewed cold coffees are likely to join the marketplace in 2019. Then, consumers will decide what they like best.