As the dawn breaks or night falls in Melbourne, Australia, award-winning barista Lachlan Ward might be creating one of these exotic-sounding coffees for you.
Exotic, yes. But also the new normal in the city’s thriving café culture, where you see evidence of the trends we associate with the so-called ‘third wave of coffee’ in every other cup.
The specialty coffee movement celebrates its origin character, art, all the cool things coffee can beLachlan Ward, General Manager Sensory Lab Specialty Coffee
Now General Manager of Sensory Lab Specialty Coffee, a small company whose staff “eat, sleep and sell coffee”, Lachlan tells us that he first fell for the drink in a big way during his student days in coffee-crazy Melbourne.
The city is at the forefront of new java trends, and he describes it as a “melting pot, in terms of fusing different coffee cultures”. Now Lachlan sees the same trends developing worldwide.
Making coffee cool
"The specialty coffee movement basically celebrates coffee in a way that’s not dissimilar to wine,” he tells us. “It celebrates its origin, character, art – all the cool things coffee can be, not just treating it as a commodity."
One of these cool things is nitrogen-infused coffee, which Nescafé recently launched as an RTD option in cans under its Azera brand.
Or perhaps you fancy a chilled Nescafé Azera Nitro Americano when you’re eating or drinking out? There’s a tap for that! The coffee is also on sale in UK bars and restaurants.
"With nitrogen-infused coffee it’s all about the mouth feel and that foamy head, it’s a different sort of sensory experience," Lachlan tells us. "We do see that on tap in quite a few coffee shops here in Melbourne. Will it be the next big thing? We’ll have to wait and see!"
Nescafé… the next big thing
Rewind to 1938 and Nescafé was the next big thing on its launch in Switzerland. Ever since that launch 80 years ago, Nestlé has always been at the forefront of coffee innovation, delivering you high quality coffee whenever and wherever you want it.
While Lachlan believes that the smaller, craft end of the coffee industry will always play a major part in driving coffee innovation, he thinks that bigger companies also have a big part to play.
He was a Nescafé Gold ambassador for the coffee’s recent relaunch, and is a fan of our new full-flavoured, aromatic blend: “For sure we have it at home. In soluble form it’s the premium convenience option. Products like Nescafé Gold do a great job of bridging the gap between a café experience and one you can enjoy in the home.”
Reshaping coffee culture
This focus on the experiential aspect of coffee drinking is also central to Nespresso, which has reshaped the global coffee culture by offering high quality, single-origin Grand Cru coffees to suit every taste, at the touch of a button.
"I definitely look to brands like Nespresso because they do a fantastic job at retail and marketing," Lachlan says.
"They’ve broken down such a complex product into something that’s so relatable to people and popular."
Of course, it isn’t just the coffee itself, or the way it is packaged, marketed or sold that matters – but the people who produce it.
Nescafé recently launched Grown Respectfully, to express how it works respectfully to deliver great-tasting coffee, by supporting coffee farmers, their communities and the planet through the Nescafé Plan.
Strong sustainability credentials are vital for brands as we ride the ‘third wave’ of coffee, Lachlan agrees: "Companies like Nestlé can do positive things as we all ride this specialty coffee trend. Because they deal with farmers directly, they can drive social change in coffee-growing countries across the world."
Get the buzz on 7 Top Coffee Trends Lachlan sees brewing worldwide!