3 Hot NYC Coffee Shop Trends


New York is famously known as “the city that never sleeps,” so it’s no surprise New Yorker’s love their coffee. Everyday, millions of New Yorkers wake up and start their day with a fresh cup of joe, and just like fashion, the coffee market is constantly evolving.


Shifting environmental factors, the rise of conscious and sustainable consumption habits, and individual preferences are changing New York's coffee scene.


So what’s trending in NYC’s morning cup of joe?


Third Wave Coffee

While Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks might seem to have a monopoly in New York City, the truth is they don’t (at least, not anymore). Indie coffee shops and small chains now dominate 57 percent of the NYC market.


Why? Well, because NYC Millennials are bored with paying five plus dollars for a mediocre cup of coffee that comes from an overly-saturated market of giant chain stores. These days, the real novelty in coffee comes from the story behind each cup. Is the coffee fair-trade and sustainable? Where do the beans come from? What was the production process like? These are the questions Millennials seek answers to before deciding where to buy their coffee.


The third wave coffee movement is based on focusing on quality rather than quantity, and transforming coffee from a mere commodity to a sensory experience.


Plant-Based Milk Options

Gone are the days where the only way to make an espresso-based latte was with animal milk. Picky New Yorkers, dietary restrictions, and a shift to sustainable living here in the city have changed the way lattes are blended and consumed.


Now, most coffee shops carry a variety of animal based milk alternatives such as soy, coconut, almond and rice milk. All of these plant-based milk alternatives can be combined with espresso based drinks to make delicious, sustainable lattes.


Suppliers such as So Delicious and Pacific are formulating alternative milk types made specially for baristas so they can still get the perfect foam from an animal-free product.


Draft Lattes

Forget beer on tap, now in New York City select cafes such as La Colombe are serving lattes and cold brew coffee on tap!


What makes the draft latte so trendy?

For starters, it takes less than 10 seconds to pour which is perfect for New York City’s morning rush hour of caffeine deprived New Yorkers looking for a quick fix before work.


It’s like going to a packed bar and ordering a draft beer rather than a mojito – it’s quick, easy, delicious and gets the job done almost instantly.


Adventure seekers can mix the cold brew coffee and draft latte together for a non-alcoholic “black and tan.”


Based on the current trends happening in New York City, it’s becoming clear the New York coffee culture is shifting from a simple caffeine pick-me-up to an all encompassing experience. The entire production process from farm-to-cup is just as important as the coffee itself, and New Yorkers are willing to pay for it.


Interested in learning more about coffee trends?

Read our Coffee Trends Report 2017


About the Author

Antasha Durbin

Antasha is an Online Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro where she spends her days advising restaurateurs on their point of sale systems and her nights writing hospitality-related content. A veteran bartender and server, Antasha enjoys bringing her industry experiences to life through blogging. Her three-year-old son and BFF, Elijah, is her self-proclaimed muse for all things creative.

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