This past decade has been busy for our specialty coffee industry. While reminiscing about the past is a bit arbitrary, there’s a growing sense that we’re entering into a new period within the industry necessitating a status-check. Such changes are evident in the way that many consumers perceive and engage coffee. Likewise, there has been a change in the industry’s leadership and cultivation of those consumers. However, there are observations on the industry-side of things that are worth our effort, and which may be helpful in predicting our future.
One of the most interesting ways to look at these things is to observe the arc that significant factors have taken over the years. While declaring a “renaissance” of any of these individual phenomena is surely an overstatement, when looking at them in sum, along with other such trendings, you may start to see the makings of a certain sort of maturing; of coming full-circle. So to begin, let’s take a look at one of the more attention-grabbing cases: coffee industry competitions.