How to take Great #Coffee Photos for Instagram

Snip20180305_7.pngPhoto: @tanitotoro via @peoplebrewcoffee

[Editor’s note: The NCA Next Generation Council is leading an NCA Instagram photo contest! Follow the National Coffee Association at @nationalcoffeeusa and tag us in your coffee photos with #NCAUSA for a chance to win agreat prize donated by Bunn. Deadline: March 15]

Instagram is a powerful platform for coffee businesses of sizes: the platform has a community of 800 million, with 500 users million using it every day (second only to Facebook, via Hootsuite). And with 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one business, it’s a great way to engage consumers.

There are a lot of great ways to use Instagram to showcase your brand, from promoting new products to sharing a glimpse into your company culture. And fortunately for our industry, coffee is particularly photogenic. But getting that perfect shot (espresso or otherwise) requires more effort behind the scenes than you think.

Over on the MistoBox blog, Melissa Hall reached out to some of the most talented coffee photographers for their top insta-tips on bringing out your coffee’s best side. (Be sure to check out their feeds for even more caffeinated inspiration – and follow the NCA at @nationalcoffeeusa.)

Continue reading

Coffee Energizing Biofuels Research

January 23, 2018 - NREL scientist Phil Pienkos' research at NREL

Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

By Phil Pienkos, NREL

When it comes to sustainability in the coffee supply chain, industry members have been finding creative ways to conserve on every level, from the farm to the coffee shop. But what happens to the grounds after the coffee’s brewed?

Many coffee shops already have composting programs, but what if there were a way, not only to divert used grounds from the landfill, but to use those grounds to produce energy? Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is exploring this question — and is starting to see some exciting developments with help from the coffee industry.

Continue reading

Coffee Drives Restaurant Industry Growth

the-creative-exchange-373981

Coffee sales are making a big difference in the otherwise sluggish restaurant industry, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune.

Chain coffee shop locations increased by 6% from 2016 to 2017, reflecting increasing interest in high-quality and specialty coffee across the country. The U.S. has almost 3,000 more coffee shops than it did five years ago.

So what makes coffee special?

Continue reading

Year in Review: Our Top 5 Coffee Posts of 2017

nathan-dumlao-446301.jpg

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

The Power of Personalization in Coffee

pexels-photo-374780 (2)

This post originally appeared on Restaurant Business via S&D Coffee and Tea

Decaf with two raw sugars, half-caf with almond milk and agave, iced Americano with two pumps of caramel syrup: Coffee orders can be as varied and unique as the consumers ordering them.

One consistent aspect, however, is that customization is now an essential part of the coffee experience — a fundamental or basic need and no longer an enhanced need, as confirmed by research from S&D Coffee & Tea and Datassential.

According to their survey of regular coffee drinkers that purchase coffee away from home from a commercial operator or convenience store, the ability to customize is statistically tied with speed/convenience and variety of options as the third most important factor when consumers choose a venue from which to buy coffee. Only price and quality are deemed more important than the ability to add to one’s coffee.

Continue reading

Coffee Shops Are on the Rise

pexels-photo-292427

When it comes to coffee, convenience is crucial. Fortunately, a cup of coffee is never far from reach for the majority of U.S. consumers.

More people are drinking coffee out-of-home than ever, reaching a high of reaching a high of 46% in 2017, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report. And they’re also opting for more specialty and gourmet beverages.

New market research from the NPD Group shows that coffee shops are popping up across the country to meet this increasing demand. In addition to coffee served at restaurants and other foodservice outlets, there are now 33,129 gourmet coffee shops in the U.S., a 2% increase in units from last year.

Additional highlights from NPD’s  Spring 2017 ReCount restaurant census include:

Continue reading

Coffee Through the Ages [Infographic]

Taking-selfies-520544006_5616x3744.jpeg

Younger coffee drinkers are changing the market – from specialty brews to coffee shop culture. To stay competitive, companies will need to keep up with their customers.

The NCA Generational Report: Coffee Through the Ages takes a look at key consumption preferences and patterns, highlighting emerging trends and opportunities.

(And, to reflect the reality of how we’re drinking coffee today, this is the first NCA report to release teenage coffee consumption data.)

Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights from the research:

Continue reading

Coffee-To-Go By Country [Infographic]

NCA_Web_Social_coffee-to-go-country

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

What I Wish I Knew: Advice From Coffee Shop Owners

StockSnap_1WWJP8LMQB.jpg

The following post originally appeared in full on the Bond Street Small Business Blog

Starting a coffee business is not for the faint of heart. It will bring blood, sweat, and tears (plus a lot of caffeine).

Yet, there’s still something that makes the pursuit worthwhile.

And as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. So what better way to truly learn what it takes to successfully build a coffee business than to turn to those who know best?

The editors at Bond Street asked individuals behind some of America’s best cups  to share what they wish they knew before opening their coffee shops, or other caffeine-infused operations. The result is 33 pieces of advice that all aspiring entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing.

From mistakes made to tricks of the trade, you’re bound to discover at least one nugget of wisdom that will save you time, money, energy, and quite possibly your sanity — or all of the above.

Continue reading