What’s in your cup? Coffee and tea remains a growing segment within the food service industry in 2017

A cuppa tea, brew; whatever you might call it, tea has always been synonymous with the British stereotype. However, over recent decades, the nation has sought something with a bit more kick. Coffee’s popularity has grown from an occasional break from the norm, to an everyday essential for most.

Interestingly, the digital era has contributed to this rise in popularity, with laptops becoming an essential piece of kit for busy students and professionals on the go and mobile phones with their endless updates, applications and usability; moving away from your desk has never been easier. The perfect workstations away from work can be found at the various high street coffee shops and service station pit stops, and it’s now an absolute rarity to enter an establishment that doesn’t have wifi.

We’re also seeing a lot more cafes and family restaurants opening on the back of public house closures. What we’re seeing in replacement of these pubs are artisanal cafes and microbreweries as the rise of the health conscious ‘foodie’ creates a demand for excellent quality food and drink.

Millennials now outnumber the baby boomer generation, which means they basically own the monopoly on new trends. What we know about the ‘foodie’ millennial is that they’d rather go out for a nice meal than buy a new pair of shoes; great news for the hospitality industry! They prefer quality over quantity and crave authenticity because they’re typically very well travelled. It’s not just the millennials either, you only have to glance at supermarket shelves to see bespoke and independent product labels overpowering the longstanding brands that we know and love, to see that this demand has gone mainstream. This preference for quality has shifted over the years due to the simple addition of education regarding freshness, sustainability and source. Consumers are waking up to the delicious potential of coffee and they’re prioritising experience over price, with this in mind, the popularity of speciality coffee continues to rise.

Trends to look out for in 2017 range from nitro coffee; stored in a keg and poured from a tap, to RTD coffees that appeal to the health conscious consumer swapping fizzy canned drinks for canned coffee. More plant-based milks are being stocked in independent coffee shops across the UK; one particular establishment doesn’t even provide cow’s milk as an option, out of respect for the welfare of the dairy industry. Independent stores are fast becoming favourites over the likes of high-street brands because of their variety and bespoke qualities.

It all starts with the bean! There are only two types of commercial coffee bean; Arabica and Robusta. Grown at high altitudes, Arabica is known for it’s smooth flavour and slightly acidic taste whilst Robusta is grown at lower altitudes tasting stronger and bitter. The variations in flavour come from the soil and the region.

Freshly ground beans always make more flavoursome, aromatic cup. Lockhart Catering Equipment offers a Gaggia Coffee Grinder which has a 0.6kg capacity for fresh beans and an adjustable dosing device to create the perfect combination of strength and flavour. Remember to only grind the beans that you intend to use at the time and always dispose of leftover ground coffee at the end of each day.

The method of processing coffee really depends on your desired outcome. Filter coffee, also known as brewed coffee, is the popular form in Scandinavia and America. Hot water is poured over ground coffee beans in one of two ways; by adding the desired amount of coffee into a Cafetiere,  waiting for the brew and plunging down to filter the remaining granules, you have your own portable carafe, perfect for dinner parties!

Alternatively, the Pour and Serve Coffee Machine caters to slightly larger events, with two individually switched hotplates and two 1.7ltr jugs, brew time is just 6 minutes and the output can produce 20ltrs per hour.  Be sure to remember your Bravilor Filter Papers! The papers hold the ground coffee and they sit under the spout that gently pours water over the coffee, the water seeps through absorbing the essence and the oils from the coffee and voila! Served black or with warm or cold milk on the side, Lockart’s single serve Milk Jug is the final touch you need.

Espresso coffee can be a lot more fun and versatile; the process is similar however there’s a lot more pressure involved in the filtering procedure and the water is forced through in small amounts, this makes for a thicker, stronger and more concentrated beverage. Lockhart’s Gaggia Automatic Coffee Machine simplifies this whole process with just a touch of a button.  This stunning machine can create up to 4 delicious espressos at once and has the milk frothing capabilities that will set you apart from the competition. Create the finest caffè lattes, cappuccinos, caffè macchiatos, caffè mochas and flat whites with this outstanding machine.

Latte art is definitely something that gets you noticed these days and it’s all about having the right equipment alongside good quality produce. Fresh organic milk from healthy cows will always taste and look great, the key is to use full fat milk with less heat and when using low fat milk, the temperature can be increased. Get the perfect foam at the right temperature by choosing a Graduated Milk Jug and ETI Milk Thermometer.

And finally, for the finishing touches to any table top, these coffee cup sets come in a variety of fashionable colours green, blue, grey and black so you can match your products to your atmosphere.