KANSAS CITY — Coffee innovation is trending as the mainstay beverage is showing up in new formulations, from canned cold brew to ice cream cones.

In the Spring 2023 Coffee Data Trends report from the National Coffee Association (NCA), lattes, espressos and cappuccinos were named the most popular specialty coffee beverage in a three-way tie.  

“Coffee’s continuing reign as America’s favorite beverage is great news for coffee drinkers and our economy,” said William Murray, president and chief executive officer of the NCA, in the report. “Coffee remains a mainstay in Americans’ daily routines, supports businesses and workers in every state, and is associated with multiple unique health benefits.” 

Companies like Chamberlain Coffee and Reborn Coffee Co. are tapping into the popularity of specialty coffee in their recent product launches. Chamberlain Coffee, which was founded by social media influencer Emma Chamberlain, launched a line of ready-to-drink, plant-based lattes. The canned cold-brew lattes are available in four flavors, including mocha, cinnamon bun, vanilla and traditional cold brew.

Taking trending specialty coffee flavors in a different direction is Reborn Coffee, Inc., which launched four coffee-inspired ice cream flavors: Cold brew, alcohol-infused mocha rum and bourbon vanilla and non-dairy coconut cream. Each flavor is infused with the company’s cold-brew coffee concentrate.

Other companies see the coffee category as a window for sustainability. Food technology startup Compound Foods is debuting Minus Coffee, which is coffee formulated with … no coffee beans.

The company’s initial offering will be a canned cold brew formulated with date seeds, chicory, sunflower seeds, carob, lentils, grape seeds and millet malt.

“Instead of beans, we roast upcycled roots, seeds and legumes, which we then grind and brew in a gorgeous fermentation batch with caffeine,” said Maricel Saenz, founder and chief executive officer of parent company Compound Foods, in a December 2022 interview. “I am proud to say that we have successfully recreated the flavors, aromas and effects of coffee while eliminating the crop itself from the chain, a crop that is the sixth most pollutive agricultural process concentrated in regions around the equator.”

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