Four trends to keep an eye on

The Future Laboratory: ‘Coffee and cocktail culture set to explode over the next decade’

By Claudio Giuliano

- Last updated on GMT

Tia Maria has launched the Tia Maria + Coffee Project and a selection of innovative beverages. Picture: Tia Maria.
Tia Maria has launched the Tia Maria + Coffee Project and a selection of innovative beverages. Picture: Tia Maria.

Related tags: Coffee

'The coffee cocktail renaissance is set to explode with ‘a perfect synergy of coffee and cocktail cultures’ already underway, according to research from The Future Laboratory.

Driven by millennials around the world, the trend has gained momentum thanks to increasingly globalized palates and influential ‘social seekers’ looking for the next big thing.

Discerning drinkers have enjoyed coffee in cocktails ever since the Espresso Martini burst on to the scene in the 1980s, but it is only recently the astronomical growth of the trend has taken place.


‘Waves of development in coffee have been echoed in innovations in coffee cocktails’, says The Future Laboratory, spurred by the value placed by millennials on a ‘sense of connoisseurship’ along with ‘a constant search for the new and the next’.

Tia Maria, is one example of this 'explosion', launching the Tia Maria + Coffee Project and a selection of beverages including; the Tia Iced Popcorn Frappe – a mix of Tia Maria, espresso, milk and popcorn syrup, topped with popcorn and Tia + Tonic – a twist on the espresso & tonic.

Experts agree this is just the beginning, with the trend set to boom even further in the decade ahead.

‘A new global coffee cocktail culture will break out in our society’, says The Future Laboratory, celebrated by millions of consumers with ‘increasingly sophisticated palates and expectations’.

The research has identified four tribes of cocktail drinkers whose desires will redefine the drinks world and drive leading mixologists and baristas to create new cocktails like never seen before.

The Sensorialists

The first tribe set to make an impact is the next wave Instagram-mad generation who will be looking for ‘visually appealing drinks’ that work in ‘an era of advanced social media sharing’, says The Future Laboratory. Always thinking ahead to their next post, they’ll be looking for an attractive treat that’s not only easy on the eye but creates buzz and excitement.

The Optimizers

The second tribe will be looking to find the perfect balance of work and play, opting for ‘Healthonism’ – ‘coffee cocktails that combine fun with an ability to stop at the top of your game’. Maximizing the benefits from their treats will be top of their agenda, so they’ll appreciate the energizing boost from coffee as a cocktail ingredient.

The Experimental Connoisseurs

The third tribe will want to push the boundaries of taste, and are ‘on the constant hunt for new coffee and cocktail flavors and combinations’. Their desire for experimentation might lead them to order a cocktail containing two contrasting flavor profiles, such as mint and coffee.

The Truth Seekers

The final tribe will ask for drinks that allow the true quality and origin of the ingredients to shine through. ‘Understanding the provenance and taste profile of every coffee type means they can pair it with the right type and amount of spirit and mixer to create the perfect cocktail’, says The Future Laboratory.

The 'Coffee and cocktail culture will explode over the next decade’, ‘bringing with it a new wave of multisensory experiences, as well as innovative recipes and techniques, enabled by major technological breakthroughs.’

Claudio Giuliano is the global brand manager for Tia Maria.

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