Drinking coffee is no longer just about getting your caffeine hit.
As Australian baristas continue to experiment with the humble coffee bean, we're seeing many weird and wonderful flavours, textures and ideas emerging in local cafes.
In honour of World Coffee Day on October 1, we asked General Manager of Melbourne's Sensory Lab, Lachlan Ward, to predict the top five coffee trends he expects to see in the year ahead.
You've seen it creeping onto the menus at all your favourite cafes, and cold brew coffee will continue to trend in 2019. But, what about this new way of brewing makes it so special?
"Cold brewing is a method in which ground coffee beans are steeped in cold or room-temperature water for up to 24 hours," Lachlan explains. This allows for greater oxidisation, creating a sweet flavour much less acidic and bitter than normal iced coffee."
Next year will also see the rise of nitro coffee, a cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas.
"This infusion affects the taste and texture of the coffee," says Lachlan. "It leaves you with a foamy, velvety and rich texture with a slightly sweeter taste than normal iced coffee."
There's also a really cool, theatrical element to nitro coffee, as it's usually stored in a pressurised keg before being poured from a tap. Have your phone at the ready to capture it all!
Believe it or not, instant coffee is on the rise among coffee-lovers all over the country. Lachlan believes that as the quality of store-bought blends increases, so will demand.
"I personally recommend the Nescafe Gold range. I like that there are five varieties to choose from, which span the strength spectrum from smooth all the way to dark," he says.
The chemex is a solid glass curved coffee maker with a paper filter, typically used for pour over coffee.
It first made an appearance in the coffee world back in the 1940s, but Lachlan expects it will enjoy a resurgence in the coming year.
"This is a very gentle brewing method where the filter paper gives clarity to the coffee, leaving you with smooth citrus notes," says Lachlan.
Soy, lactose-free or almond milk is a pretty common fixture at most cafes, but the demand for other non-dairy kinds of milk is set to increase with Australians in 2019.
"Macadamia, coconut, rice, oat, and cashew milk will have an increasing presence in the coffee scene," says Lachlan. "Cafes will start to cater for the varying non-dairy ‘milks’ that Aussies are starting to lean towards."