Year in Review: Our Top 5 Coffee Posts of 2017


2017 was a big year for coffee.

What – and where – we drink is changing. Specialty trends moved into the mainstream, from the cold brew craze to the rise of RTD. Today, consumers have unprecedented control to customize their beverage, from unique flavors to nutrition-driven additives (oat milk, anyone?).

To reflect how these changes are reshaping our industry, the NCA even added a new “gourmet” category to our National Coffee Drinking Trends report.

Yet at the same time, the fundamentals of coffee remain as relevant as ever.  Whether you’re a brewing beginner or a brilliant barista, understanding the basics of what makes a quality cup is still crucial to developing and refining new brew methods and flavors. For instance: Extraction will always be a factor, and your equipment needs to be clean.

We’re looking forward to what the next year will bring – we’re seeing a lot of exciting new research on coffee and health, opportunities to improve industry best practices, and critical developments in sustainability.

But the New Year is also an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been. Here are the most popular NCA blog posts in 2017, highlighting the importance of both innovation and tradition in the world of coffee.

Continue reading

Coffee and Gluten: Start With the Research


By William (Bill) M. Murray, NCA, CEO

One of today’s challenges isn’t finding enough information on a particular subject, but rather deciding how to evaluate all the information that’s available. Is that information unbiased, expert, and useful?

This is true not only for coffee drinkers, but also for consumers seeking information about the impact of coffee on their health. Sorting through the headlines, opinions, blog posts, and advice columns isn’t easy, which is why it is always best to seek out any underlying research on a topic. (For insight into evaluating coffee-and-health research, see “Behind the Headlines: Coffee, Health, and Research.”)

We were reminded of this after an NCA member recently asked, “Does coffee contain gluten?”

Continue reading

Coffee-To-Go By Country [Infographic]


Coffee on-the-go is on the rise. In the U.S. alone, it accounts for 45% of total coffee consumption (second only to Japan, a nation once dominated by tea).

Younger coffee drinkers with increasingly mobile lifestyles are are fueling this trend: About one-third of daily coffee drinkers from 13-24 years old get their java exclusively out-of-home, according to the NCA Generational Report 2017.

However, the popularity of coffee-to-go can vary wildly by country. As the specialty coffee movement gains international momentum, more countries are drinking coffee away from home.

But the practice isn’t popular everywhere — yet.

Continue reading

Is Cold Brew Good For You?

The following post is adapted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News 

Iced latte on leaf patterned tea towel

Science shows coffee can have major health perks at any temperature.

Summer’s hottest drink is also a healthy way to beat the heat.

Cold brew coffee — made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or longer — is just as healthy as regular coffee, according to Frank Hu, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a recent article.

Continue reading

Border Adjustment Tax Dropped


The following post is from the latest NCA Member Alert

On Thursday, Republican leaders announced that the controversial border adjustment provision, which threatened to saddle coffee imports with duties that could have added as much as 20% to declared values, has been dropped from the proposed tax plan.

“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” House, Senate and White House leaders working on a tax plan said in a joint statement Thursday, CNBC News reports.

Continue reading

Do Coffee Drinkers Live Longer?


Two big studies support the long-term health benefits of coffee

It turns out, a cup of coffee can do a lot more than just perk up your morning.

People who drink more coffee may have a lower risk of premature death from disease, according to two new studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The results were consistent among more than 700,000 participants from a variety of racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

Previous research has suggested that coffee is good for you, but was often limited to smaller groups and people of European decent, writes the Los Angeles Times.

And both studies found benefits for people who drank decaffeinated as well.

Continue reading

Study: Drinking Coffee May Help Protect Against Liver Disease


A new study shows that drinking four cups of coffee a day may help prevent deadly disease, and may even counter the damage caused by unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits. (One cup of herbal tea also offers the same protection.)

Previous evidence suggested that coffee and tea could have a protective effect on liver tissue, but the results haven’t been conclusive. Now for the first time, scientists have confirmed the potential benefits of these beloved beverages.

Continue reading

Even Daily Coffee Drinkers Can Boost Athletic Performance With Caffeine

“Caffeine improves athletic performance. This is a truth almost universally acknowledged in exercise science.” — Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times


Drinking caffeinated coffee has been scientifically linked to improved physical performance. And for years, many scientists, coaches, and athletes believed that an athlete had to abstain for days or weeks before an event to gain a boost.

But a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that these ideas about caffeine and athletic performance are outdated.

Continue reading