First the emojis, the the side parts… now Gen Z have ‘cancelled’ hot drinks. WHY?
Honestly, I think one of life’s greatest pleasures is a good, made-just-to-your-liking cup of tea of coffee (strong hot and tan please… huh, that can be used to describe two things!)
But in the latest edition of normal things not being cool anymore (I’m still not over the cry-laugh-emoji debacle), according to a recent survey in Britain, Gen Zers are turning their backs on hot tea and coffee.
Gone are the days of the comfort cuppa – now, for those aged 18-24, the preferred method of drinks is lemonade, juice, cold brew or… kombucha.
Think to your FYP pages on social media – those massive Frank Green drink bottles aren’t holding our traditional beverages, rather a new wave of iced options, including cold brew coffee and iced teas are experiencing huge growth.
Says De’Longhi ambassador, coffee connoisseur and MasterChef winner Sam Low, social media trends and popular lifestyles presented on Instagram and TikTok are firmly to blame.
“The younger generation are constantly influenced by their peers or fed the latest trends to follow, iced coffees being one of them. I believe it’s the creativity and fun of iced coffee beverages and the fact that most of the time iced coffees are made with additional ingredients such as sweeteners like caramel syrups, berry reductions, whipped creams etc. which makes it very easy to get into.”
So much is the demand for cold brew that companies like De’Longhi, who make at-home coffee machines, are even evolving to offer cold brew options on their new models, to cater for changing consumer trends.
It’s the same in the tea industry, says Alex Musgrave and Sally Miller, founders of new Kiwi tea brand Picker’s Pocket. “[I have] no idea [why younger consumers are preferring cold bevvies] “I think we’re seeing a creative approach to tea with ice brewing & different methods to extract the flavour. We know there has been little innovation in the way tea is brewed compared to coffee over the last few decades so now it’s time to play catch up.
“Absolutely there has been a trend towards herbal infusions as a caffeine-free option, and historically these have tended to be quite high in sugars to create the flavour profile. It’s nice that we can offer the perfect blend of pure ingredients to bring a beautiful flavour with natural sweetness. All our options can stand alone without the need for milk and sugar to make them palatable! They are also versatile enough to be hot brews in winter and iced tea for summer cocktails.”
While hot cups of goodness might have gone the same way as skinny jeans and side parts for the youth of today (read: still firmly happening for all of us over 24 because damn it we’re too old to change), if you’re interested in dabbling in the colder side of life, cold brewed coffee is, to be fair, a good place to start, Sam says.
“Cold brew, like its name suggests, is brewed with cold water, which allows a very different type of coffee extraction resulting in a very delicate refreshing more approachable coffee flavour. When coffees are brewed hot and left to cool, they tend to lose a lot of their aroma and characteristics through evaporation, however when a coffee is extracted cold it will taste the same without flavour decline over time so it’s perfect for a cold drink application. It’s a great blank canvas of a beverage to build from, if you’re a coffee purist having a cold brew with ice is great, if you want to have fun with it you can add your favourite sweetener, flavouring and creams to suit your taste.
In addition to cold brew, [De’Longhi’s new home machine] La Specialista Maestro Cool can create Espresso Cool! It’s still full of flavour with body and crema but cold. This is great for iced lattes, cocktail preparations like espresso martinis and desserts such as tiramisu. If you’re making cold brew with the traditional style, I’d recommend using freshly roasted and ground beans with clean filtered water and refillable tea bags that can be enclosed. Drink it within the next couple of days from brewing. Experiment with different types of beans such as light or medium roasted beans from different origins to find a flavour you like. If you’re having creative coffee drinks, make your own syrups or use interesting sweeteners like maple syrup or molasses to add more depth.”
And while the Picker’s Pocket gals are firmly with us when it comes to the good, old-fashioned cup you’re used to – “We love that holding a cup of tea in your hands is an instant call to breathe, take a break & either collect or share your thoughts. There’s a style of tea for every occasion”- they also have noticed a huge surge in chai tea – so much so, it’s their top seller!
“The beautiful boxes are so eye-catching they draw people in and then they’re excited to find an authentic Chai – similar to something they have tasted whilst travelling themselves and without the sweet syrups that are all too common here.”
So it seems we’re all changing how we’re having a cuppa – what do you think?