Whether you like cappuccino, espresso, or a signature brew, there is something for everyone at the World of Coffee exhibition which kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday.

As some of the finest coffee-makers, tasters, and lovers came together to check out the latest technologies and brews, team KT has put together a list of trends that coffee aficionados should watch out for this year.

Fermented coffee

Similar to kombucha, fermented coffee has been catching on in popularity. It is made by fermenting coffee beans using a controlled process. Said to improve gut health, this trend is expected to become even more popular in the next few years.

Alternative milk

With more people being diagnosed with health issues and dietary restrictions, usage of alternative milk in coffee is becoming commonplace, with oat milk being the most popular. Other choices include almond and soy milk.

Roasting coffee beans

More coffee houses are opting to roast their own beans rather than buy roasted coffee beans. “This ensures that they have better quality control over the process of coffeemaking,” said Emirati barista Nooran Albanny, who has set up her own roastery in addition to her café Coffee Architect.

Single-origin coffee

While the popularity of blended coffee has been burgeoning for the last few years, this year belongs to single-origin coffee, according to Aparna Barretto, managing director of Bon café. “Single-origin coffee is coffee coming from one single country and farm,” she said. “People have begun appreciating it more.”

Cold brew

One trend that has become quite popular among coffee lovers is the cold brew. Made by steeping coffee grounds in water at cool or room temperatures for a period between 10-20 hours, cold brew can be served cold or hot. Believed to have some health benefits, the cold brew is here to stay, according to experts.

Over the last few years, coffee-making has become expensive, with many entrepreneurs focusing on the quality of the beans. However, according to Emirati coffee connoisseur Suleiman, the latest trend has been to bring back the underdog. “Many coffee-makers are buying cheaper coffee and trying to see how they can innovate with that kind of blend,” he said.

Man vs machine

As machines become more advanced with options to mix, blend and froth, baristas are racing to show how they are indispensable in the art of coffee-making. According to experts, the next few years will be interesting to the industry where man will try to prove his authority over machines.

Discovering beans from different countries

While coffee-makers traditionally preferred beans from countries like Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia and Yemen, they are increasingly becoming more open to other countries. The large number of participants from various countries including Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Republic of Dominica at World of Coffee is a testimony to this.

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