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.)

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Video: What’s Driving 2018 Coffee Market Trends

via Euromonitor

Coffee pods, once the most dynamic segment of coffee, registered single-digit growth in 2016 and 2017, slowing from the double-digit growth seen in previous years. However, this slowdown provides opportunities for the US coffee market in the coming years.

Join Euromonitor International on January 31, 2018 at 1 PM ET to learn about these growth opportunities in a new NCA webinar, “U.S. Coffee Outlook 2018: Latest Trends and Future Growth.”

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Coffee Drives Restaurant Industry Growth


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?

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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.

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How Many People in the United States Drink Specialty Coffee?


2017 U.S. Specialty Coffee Consumption Trends Infographic

The full version of the following post was first published on SCA News

By Heather Ward

Specialty coffee consumption in the U.S. is growing, and 2017 saw a significant increase in daily specialty coffee drinkers.

Over the last 18 years, the number of daily specialty coffee drinkers has consistently increased, strengthening the consumer demand for specialty coffee.

Let’s take a closer look at the data.

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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.

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Coffee Shops Are on the Rise


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:

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Trends and Prospects for RTD Coffee in the US

By Eric Penicka, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International


In recent years, RTD coffee has been dramatically redefined by beverage manufacturers through the advent of cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is coffee brewed without heat, with coffee grounds steeped for several hours to extract flavor and caffeine. The end coffee is one which is naturally sweeter, less acidic, more caffeinated and ultimately more artisanal. This kind of coffee is different from traditional iced coffee, which is hot brewed coffee, iced or chilled, and in most cases sweetened and mixed with dairy.

While currently cold brew coffee is typically offered in on-trade establishments (which Euromonitor International would capture under fresh coffee beans consumed in the on-trade), coffee beverage manufacturers have been quick to identify the trend and produce cold brew coffee for RTD consumption. While still nascent, the dust surrounding RTD cold brew’s explosion has slowly begun to settle, with brands such as Stumptown, Califia, and High Brew emerging to define this new niche.

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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.

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