Did you know that coffee’s flavour wheel has over 5,000 notes, whereas wine has only 2,000? Clearly coffee is a complex beverage, and an extremely sensitive one at that.
Coffee drinkers are now focussing more on identifying hidden flavour notes, learning how to appreciate provenance by honing their coffee-making techniques.
The lockdown became a good time for coffee lovers to learn more about the bean and how to brew it. If some explored single estate coffees, others tried out different grinders and techniques. A lot of coffee was consumed, and a lot was discovered as well.
The right tool
Seeing the rise in interest in café- styled coffee, Abhinav Mathur, CEO of Something’s Brewing put his knowledge of coffee and coffee machines to use on the platform for home brewers.
Abhinav says, “Fortunately, most of the coffee machines and brewing tools used by the FnB industry commercially are sold by our first company Kaapi. Whether for roasting beans or the espresso machine, we are the biggest commercial supplier, so we established ‘Something’s Brewing’, an e-commerce platform dedicated to coffee targeting home needs.
He adds, “The genesis of the idea for this platform stems from the movement and trends during lockdown wherein coffee took centre stage and people started recreating their cafe-related memories within the comfort of their own homes. Home Brewing has turned into a passion for a whole new generation and has made socialising synonymous to coffee drinking.”
Abhinav says customers in the age group of 35-50 years did not mind spending upto ₹2 lakh to get an espresso machine at home. Gen Z, on the other hand, went out looking for equipment that is more handy, like a nanopresso and manual brewers.
Besides these, artisanal cafés have also seen a huge rise in the demand for tools like Aeropress, syphon, V60 and chemex. Good news is, demand trackers are also stepping up with sustainable appendages, like cloth filter cups.
Suhas Dwarkanath, brew master and trainer at Benkibrewing tools, says, “With more people opening up to black coffee, I get queries on the tools required to brew a perfect cup. I usually suggest they look for the clever drip or an Aeropress.”
The need for café-styled coffee saw Coffeeza launch three new coffee capsules: Cremoso, Forte and Ethiopia, along with the new Finero Next Capsule Coffee Machines.
The Finero is designed to extract coffee at superior 20 bar pressure (similar to cafés) which results in richly extracted coffee with indulgent layers of cream on the top. Rahul Aggarwal, Coffeeza’s Founder & CEO , says, “Lovers of cafe-style coffee can finally enjoy great coffee at home.” Coffeeza claims its machines and capsules allow coffee aficionados to brew café-style beverages like espresso, cappuccino, latte and more within seconds.
Something Brewing says it sold over 200 machines within a few months and also noticed about 20 odd smaller roasters setting up their shop.
A thought for the planet
There is a growing clientèle for plant-based coffee that claims to be vitamin-enriched. Rage Coffee’s small-batch crystallisation process, instead of bulk production, keeps the caffeine quotient intact and potent. Each serving seems to be a confluence of aroma, notes, and nutritive value sourced from six vitamin-abundant plants.
Bharat Sethi, who founded Rage Coffee in 2018, says, “The best bit? We are gluten-free, vegan-friendly and Nature-considerate. Our proprietary, ready-to-mix coffee vials/shots are easy to carry and biodegradable in their entirety. We also offer high-quality natural flavourings to suit your palate without being bland, bitter, or taxing on your calorie count. The brand has exotic flavours: original, Irish hazelnut, crème caramel, sparky orange, and dark chocolate, chai latte, mint mocha, vanilla punch and butterscotch delight.”
Not every coffee lover is a fan of techniques and gadgets. Some like to savour their coffee in the most non-messy, simple way. The coffee cube — a compressed form of instant coffee that only requires milk or water to be added — is proving to be an easy option for the lazy connoisseur.