The daily pick-me-up has evolved in imaginative but not, shall we say, necessarily constructive ways in recent years. The less said about rainbow and glittery embellishments and avolattes, the better.
Thankfully there’s more straightforward developments this year that focus on the true taste of good coffee – music to the ears of true connoisseurs.
Cold brew and nitro coffee have been rising in popularity in recent years but look to be reaching new peaks. Cold brew relies on time rather than heat to create a great tasting beverage, with ground coffee steeped in cold or room-temperature water for 12-24 hours, which achieves a less acidic, more velvety, rounded taste.
Nitro treatment takes cold brew a step further by infusing it with nitrogen gas, chilling it in a keg and then drawing it out from a tap which gives it a creamy, silky texture with a foamy head, much like a pint of Guinness.
On the subject of alcohol, the ubiquitous espresso martini is a leftover from the 1980s that won’t go away. As legend has it, it was invented in a London brasserie when a bartender had his drinks station next to a coffee machine and a patron – rumoured to be Kate Moss, although the gentlemanly bartender never revealed who it was – asked for a drink to wake her up.
Since then the espresso martini – most commonly a coffee shot, vodka, Kahlua and sugar syrup to taste – has had a massive resurgence in recent years, and is an easy drink to pull together at home, too.
But more and more inventive coffee cocktails are on the horizon, too, with cold brew having a huge influence on the act. Try Surry Hills’s Irish hideaway the Wild Rover’s take, which uses nearby coffee house Kwila’s cold drip and adds Bulleit bourbon, Averna amaro, creme de cacao and chocolate bitters ($19) for a vibrant, sweet treat.