Coffee Fest New York has been celebrating java long before it was “hot.” The festival previews specialty coffees, gourmet teas and alternative beverages for lovers of all things caffeinated.
Metro attended this year’s 70th Coffee Fest to find 2014's top five most percolating trends.
1. Counting Sheep Coffee
Bedtime Brew. credit: Counting Sheep Coffee
Coffee drinkers love the smell and taste of a fresh cup of Joe, but the real perk is that morning pick-me-up we get when there seems to be no other reason to get out of bed. But for those who crave a cup later in the day, even decaf only eliminates 98 percent of the caffeine in coffee. Now there’s a bedtime blend of coffee that helps you sleep better at night.
Counting Sheep Coffee presents a gourmet decaffeinated coffee and an all-natural herbal that counteracts the 2 percent of caffeine remaining in decaf and allows you to drift off for a restful night of shut-eye. The sedative comes from valerian, a perpetual flowering plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. Valerian is used for treating sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety. But not to worry, the herbal sleep aid doesn’t change the taste of this bold roast. Counting Sheep Coffee offers this bedtime blend in pre-ground bags and K-cups. The company’s motto is "The best way to start your day is now the best way to end it.”
2. Xira Brew
Single serve capsule. credit: Xira Brew
The difference between a homemade cup of coffee and a cup from a coffee house is the brewing process. The problem with some at-home filters is that all it’s doing is straining hot water and coffee grounds, which could lead to with watered-down coffee. The Xira Brew incorporates an extra interior layer to the standard drip method capsule.
It’s a three-step process. The first layer utilizes all the grinds by entirely submersing them. This process is comprable to the steeping process of a coffee press. The water stays in contact with the grinds longer, extracting the delicious natural oils and promoting a more robust cup of coffee. Then the forced brew filters through the stainless steel mesh into the middle flow basket layer, making for a smoother cup of coffee. The fresh brew then flows down the narrow cascade in the outer cup and into your coffee mug.
As of now, the refillable brewing capsule is compatible with Keurig brewers and other standard single-serve brewers. Louis Dakis, CEO of Xira told Metro, “The Company is working on creating a more universal capsule.”
3. Frozen Bean
Frappe mix by Frozen Bean. Blend at home. credit: Frozen Bean
A cup of coffee is always good on cold days, but the summer months provide an opportunity to swap the hot beverage for a frozen frappe. Frozen Bean is a leading manufacturer of specialty desserts and beverages for the food service industry. But now you can make the same delicious blended frappes at home with Frozen Bean’s single serve frappe packs. Just pour in the frappe mix, add ice and a cup of milk and blend to perfection. Frozen Bean offers signature flavors like Belgian Hot Chocolate, Rocky Road, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chai Latte.
4. Simpson and Vail: The Dessert Tea
Simpson and Vial's Dessert Tea Collection. credit: Simpson & Vial
Want a sweet and savory beverage without the calories? Simpson and Vail carry a unique line of dessert teas, no sugar added. With teas like Crème Brulee, Strawberry Cupcake, and their most popular, Almond Sugar Cookie, they’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without the cavities. These high quality, calorie-free dessert teas are so sweet and smooth, no honey or sugar is needed. The Dessert Tea collection is only sold in select coffee houses and are available for purchase online.
5. uVu Lids
Various colored uVu lids. credit: uVu Lids
Almost every New Yorker can relate to the nightmare of spilt coffee. We drop our cup of coffee and almost always blame our own clumsiness (or the person next to us in the subway car) as the hot beverage splatters across the floor, but David Weiss, Executive Officer of uVu Lids says, “This wouldn’t happen if you had a lid that didn’t pop off as soon as it hit the floor.”
Uvu Lids are proven to survive the fall. Unlike most lids that seal from the outside in, this double inner seal securely grips both sides of the cup’s rim. The lid snaps so tightly into place, you can hear and feel it. But with the four slots along the rim of the lid, called uVu windows, you can also see the snug fit at a glance. The deep reservoir in the lid catches the overflow and helps prevent drips. Some coffee shops have caught onto the trend of using these firm-fitting lids to satisfy customers as they move about the city with a cup in hand. uVu lids are recyclable and reusable, and come in six different colors.