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Speciality coffee consumption is on the up. A global market review and forecast conducted by Mordor intelligence suggests that roughly 55% of the retail coffee market's spend was expected to go to speciality coffee in 2017; quite a hefty chunk.

The reason for this is likely driven by two key factors. Firstly, the general trend across consumer culture is leaning towards quality rather than value for money, so whilst the consumer may not be drinking as much, they are willing to spend more to get the quality of product they are after. Secondly, the growing millennial population are consuming more and more coffee, and with increased interest from this age demographic comes increased demand for a creative, innovative product.

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Starbucks Secret Menu – The Rise of the Frappuccino

Launched in 2012, the unofficial Starbucks Secret Menu is the millennial coffee enthusiast’s stuff of dreams. Frappuccinos seem to be the main attraction of the website, with its own dedicated section and over five different Frappuccino collections making it into their ‘Top 10’s’ category.

The most popular drinks within the Frappuccino category are those that are mythically themed; with examples including the Mermaid, Dragon, Narwhal, Unicorn, and most recently the Zombie. Half of the appeal of these drinks is their garish, colourful appearance, which lends them to being the perfect ‘instagrammable’ drink. It’s easy to see why millennial coffee drinkers are jumping on the bandwagon of the themed Frappuccino craze, as if you haven’t posted it on your Instagram, did it even happen?

The website itself is actually very informative, with recipes attached to each individual drink, and information regarding the availability of ingredients in different stores. The ‘Secret’ aspect of the website is based around customer/barista invention; with barista’s trying new recipes on customer request, or creating new drinks for certain events / times of the year such as valentine’s day.

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Cold Brew Coffee on Tap

Cold coffee is not a new phenomenon, in fact it’s been doing the rounds in the form of iced lattes and coffee based frappuccinos for a good few years now. Cold brew coffee, coffee brewed with cold water for 12+ hours, was all the rage in 2014, thanks to its less acidic taste and fuller body. However, the idea of cold brew coffee on tap is a more recent development, and one that is currently creating quite a lot of noise on the coffee scene.

What does the tap do to the coffee other than pour it into a cup? A fair question, and certainly a significant one. Importantly, the tap is used to carbonate the coffee, but not in the standard way. Rather than using Co2, brewers have started using nitrogen to carbonate the coffee, like Guinness and most other stout brewers. The reason for this is that the smaller nitrogen bubbles give the brew a rich and creamy texture, as well as accentuating the sweetness of the drink, rather than giving it a sharp, clean finish that you get with Co2. So for those of us who usually get mocked for enjoying a sweet and creamy cup of coffee, there may finally be a genuinely pleasant way to drink that dark, bitter nectar. Praise be to Nitro Brew!

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Bulletproof Coffee

Butter, coconut oil, and coffee? It’s a thing, and it appears to be gaining more and more press this year, especially with TV celebs such as Jimmy Fallon admitting to their involvement in this buttery blasphemy. Why would anyone even think of combining these three ingredients in the first place? Well, Dave Asprey (founder and CEO of the whole Bulletproof brand) created the brew with health benefits in mind; Bulletproof coffee is intended to act as a slow-burning energy source, supressing hunger for anything from 4-6 hours. Importantly, due to the high content of 'good fats' in the recipe, Bulletproof is intended to be consumed as breakfast, not alongside it. It’s also reported to taste quite good, however I think this may require some testing before taking this for granted.

Asprey has released videos outlining the best way to brew this intriguing health concoction, and surprisingly, the result of the ingredients being (literally) blended together looks astoundingly similar to a standard Latte. The attractive layer of foam and the creamy appearance was certainly not what I was expecting, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about its hunger suppressing qualities. So I shall definitely be giving this recipe a try, although I’m still not sure how a cup of coffee is going to fill a Full English sized void.

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Crème Brûlée Latte

Is this a Crème Brûlée flavoured latte? No. Is this a latte flavoured Crème Brûlée? No (although that does sound divine doesn’t it). This is quite literally a Vanilla Latte with caramelised brown sugar on top. Unbelievable I know. The home-made vanilla syrup is steamed with the milk and added to the brewed espresso in a mug; this thick, creamy coffee is then topped with brown sugar, and quickly torched so that it creates the classic caramelised sugar coating that defines a Crème Brûlée. The wonder that is the Crème Brûlée Latte is credited to Copa Vida, a coffee house in Pasadena, U.S. Hats off to you Copa Vida, this is certainly a show stopper.