In the news, I’ve seen the headline boldly proclaiming that half the world prefers instant coffee to regular coffee. Eastern and Western Europe combined drink 40% of the world’s instant coffee, with Eastern Europe consuming more than twice as much as Western. Australia and Asia account for most of the rest of instant coffee consumption. That sure sounds like the headlines are correct and that people are clammoring for instant coffee!
But what these headlines are omitting is that instant coffee has an almost indefinite shelf life and is significantly less expensive to buy than fresh coffee. Most of the places where instant coffee is “preferred” are places where there is not a huge, developed coffee culture and/or places where the cost of freshly brewed coffee puts it out of reach as a daily drink for those who are not affluent. American coffee drinkers are the least likely to opt for instant coffee, with an almost total (up to 90%) preference for fresh brewed. We have a strong coffee culture and as a result we have a basic expectation for how tasty and fresh our coffee should be (though even “fresh” coffee isn’t necessarily delicious coffee). It is likely that as coffee becomes even more popular globally, consumers in other areas will start to seek out more flavorful options than instant, too.
Coffee and wine are two of the world’s most popular drinks, but they’re not often drunk together. Soon, however, the two drinks will meet in a new product from Friends Fun Wine, the Florida company known for their easy to drink canned wines: Coffee Wine. The canned drink comes in two flavors – Cabernet Coffee Espresso and Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino – and their are two servings per can, which means that there is plenty to share with a friend if you decide to take a chance and give the drink a try with someone as daring as you are.
The press release states “The Cabernet Coffee Espresso features a rich flavor of cabernet grapes, espresso coffee and a hint of chocolate, while Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino features sweet, refreshing Chardonnay grapes with vanilla cappuccino coffee and smooth hints of chocolate.”
To be honest, my initial thought is that this is a terrible idea. I don’t think that there is a big call for a product like this one from consumers looking to combine wine and coffee in the first place. But I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a try if/when I see it in stores to see if it exceeds my expectations.
Subway may specialize in sandwiches, but the popular chain also serves up a large breakfast menu and plenty of coffee each day. They’re not known for their coffee, however, especially after the breakfast hours when they make it available but don’t serve much of it to customers. Subway and Keurig have just reached an agreement to put Keurig single cup coffee makers into all of their US and Canada stores. More than half of Subway stores already use Keurig machines to make fresh coffee available at all times of the day. Individual k-cups may be more expensive than a cup of coffee brewed as part of a large batch, but since Subway shops are not typically where people go specifically to get coffee, it might be more cost effective for them because virtually no coffee will go to waste.
Washington recently became the latest state to legalize marijuana, and with that legalization, many new pot-centric businesses are springing up to take advantage of the new market. This includes dispensaries, edible pot products and even drinks, such as a new pot coffee drink From Mirth Provisions. The “Legal” drink is made with clod-brewed coffee that is infused with THC to give drinkers a combination of the effects of pot and caffeine at the same time.
The beverage is expected to hit the market in a few weeks, when retail sales of marijuana and pot products becomes legal, and since coffee is already a very popular state beverage, there is definitely a market out there for pot coffee. That said, the drink appears to be marketed as a morning beverage, promising that you will “take on the day with a smooth buzz”
similar to that of “a nice IPA or glass of wine.” Since (most) people don’t usually start their day with an IPA for breakfast, this coffee drink might try to have to find its footing as an afterwork beverage, or they might have to come out with a decaf version for Washington residents who want to take theirs as a nightcap.