Have you heard about Wes Anderson’s new coffee shop “Bar Luce” which opened earlier this month in Milan?
The American filmmaker has designed a café fashioned in the same quirky and idiosyncratic style as his movies. Anderson himself has described the bar as the perfect place to write a movie, which makes total sense, since the bar appears to be designed at a level that would rival The Grand Budapest Hotel.
But apart from the café being designed by the famous director, this concept illustrates how consumers flock to authentic and special products and services that reflect their own style and personality. As the world becomes more globalised, we are over-saturated with choice and it seems like we are increasingly finding authentic, creative and personalised experiences especially valuable.
With Wes Anderson’s quirky coffee café in mind, here are six coffee trends that tap into this sense of a personalised experience.
1. Back to Basics
It’s all about taste. Say goodbye to mass market coffee cocktails and flavour additives – as consumers become more knowledgeable about coffee origins and flavours, they want to experience the original taste of coffee: no sugar, no milk, just black.
This kind of coffee connoisseurship involves awareness of country origins, production processes and specific brewing methods including pour over, cafetiere, chemex, aeropress and cold press.
2. Science vs. Humanity
As consumers discover more about coffee and brewing methods, they have an increased desire to learn about the science behind brewing. This has led to an array of coffee fairs and events from the London Coffee Festival to individual coffee brewing master classes like the ones held at Workshop Coffee in London.
3. Signature Roasts
Smaller coffee shops are finding new ways to brand their coffee, emphasising the distinctive flavour of the beans. Achieved through unique roasting styles, these singular blends are memorable and recognisable. The focus is in creating original flavours that appeal to the consumer’s palates rather than their eyes.
4. Breakfast Piccolo
Going for brunch or breakfast has become a prominent weekend activity amongst millenials and it’s taken hold in many major cities. This initially led to a surge in the popularity of the Flat White and has now given rise to its smaller cousin, the Piccolo.
The Piccolo, commonly known as “low tide latte”, is made with a single espresso shot in a Macchiatto glass, which is then filled with steamed milk. It’s stronger and smaller than a latte – perfect for the coffee drinker who needs a coffee hit without getting too full – leaving space for breakfast.
Smaller coffee houses often have a smaller supply chain and individual relationships with the farmers that supply their beans. They are able to use this network to their advantage and further incorporate this down-to-earth mentality to their communication and design. This unique ethicool style flips ethical codes on their head in a way that mass market coffee companies aren’t able to do.
6. Coffee House Cool
Non-chain cafés need to give consumers a reason to spend £2.50 or more on a cup of coffee, rather than going to their local (probably cheaper) chain. To offer more to their customers, many have invested in creating a cool, stylised atmosphere – often founded on quite niche aesthetics – engaging consumers with inspired interior design and a unique branding and packaging style.
Overall, these trends show a main tendency towards cultivating an awareness and appreciation of coffee culture, localised and original styling, and creating memorable experiences. Wes Anderson’s café is a perfect example of how consumers are eager to have more aspects of their lives a reflection of their identity and personal ethos – especially when it comes to such a particular element of daily life like coffee.