ECRM’S Virtual Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa, Winter Program: 8 Trends to Watch

    Can't attend all the virtual expos? Trendspotter Nancy Trent has you covered! Here's a sampling of the trends she spotted at the ECRM beverage show.

    Earlier this year, ECRM hosted their virtual Coffee, Tea and Cocoa, Winter Program, providing the best way to ensure quality face-to-face time throughout the pandemic. Coffee and tea has become a morning ritual that is so important to so many people, especially in these more isolated times where we are continuing to work from home. Coffee and tea provides us a sense of normalcy that everyone is craving. At the program, we met with different companies either doing something green, something healthy, or something different. Check out all the trends we spotted:

    Coffee for a better tomorrow

    Oteas is not just another tea company. First and foremost, Oteas only uses high-quality ingredients, with whole leaf, herb, spices and flowers are never crushed and that are housed in a plant-based bio-degradable pyramid, then wrapped in a compostable biofilm to maintain freshness. The company offers a 100% plastic free, zero waste product that is good for you and for the planet.

    Run by Firefighters, for everyone, Fire Department Coffee is a veteran-owned coffee company. In addition to providing great-tasting coffee, they also support heroes in need through the Fire Department Coffee Foundation. Ten percent of net proceeds are donated to help provide essential resources and assistance to first responders who have been injured on the job, mentally or physically, or who are facing other serious health challenges. Drink great coffee and feel good at the same time.

    Lifebrands Natural Food is another super premium and super sustainable company. They recently introduced their new tea, Just T, which is 100% plastic free with all packaging made out of paper. They are committed to a more sustainable future.

    The Chalo Company is inspiring us through ingredients that are all-natural, vegan, and sustainable. This premium Belgian brand is known for funky feel-good foods and beverages. In their efforts to be more fair and sustainable, they are supporting projects for women working in tea plantations in India with the goal of supporting women empowerment through education in these tea plantations.

    Functional beverages

    Everyone wants a drink that does more. Java Trading Company’s PEAK are ready-to-drink elevated coffee beverages that combine coffee with functional ingredients to support energy, well-being, vitality, and immunity. Through the use of caffeine, turmeric, collagen and elderberry, Peak offers benefits beyond that of a traditional cup of coffee.

    Identity International combines organic, natural ingredients with innovative science to bring a line of exceptional CBD and non-CBD health & wellness products. The state-of-the-art formulations remove the bitter aftertaste of CBD and utilize healthy fats for better absorption. Their health-forward products are quality-controlled, highly effective, and environmentally friendly.

    Peerless Coffee & Tea Company has nearly 100 years of experience in the coffee and tea world, so they took their expertise introduce a Wellness Collection that support good health with delicious, immunity-boosting teas that are full of vitamin-rich and healthy ingredients.

    With 50 years of experience, Pharmadus has many brands geared to various needs. Whether you want to breathe better, relax, detox, refresh, stay regular, aid nursing mothers, or support gut health, they have a functional beverage for you.

    Democratizing organic coffee

    Being one of the first organic coffee companies in the United States, founded by specialty coffee pioneers, Allegro Coffee Company believes that where your coffee is grown matters. Since 1977, every great cup of Allegro coffee and tea you enjoy works hard to create fairness for farmers, healthy ecosystems, and prosperity for the people and communities they serve.

    America’s Best Coffee Roasting Company is brewing the American dream one cup at a time. They are roasting specially coffee that is 100% Arabica at competitive pricing to make it accessible to everyone. They live by founder Alvin Azadkhanian’s favorite saying, “Only in America can a man start from nothing and build everything.”

    International flavors 

    The program featured many coffee and tea companies from around the world that are either introducing themselves to the U.S. market or already making a name for themselves.

    Atalanta Corporation’s Caffè Vergnano is one of Italy’s leading coffee companies. Recognized for its superior quality, all origins are roasted following the traditional slow roasting method by single origin.

    Baba Black Tea has a new product that sources the all-natural Darjeeling Black Tea from India and infuses it with fruit flavors to make a premium instant tea product. The tea can be consumed iced for a refreshing cool down or warm/hot for a soothing experience and can be enjoyed in their delicious Lemon, Mango, Peach, and Strawberry flavors.

    Therbal is a Mexico-based company that offers innovative products of natural origin with international quality. With more than 40 years of experience, they produce a variety of products of natural origin made with high-quality standards that contribute to well-being and delight.

    Coffee that is full of flavor

    You might remember this household favorite and longtime player in the coffee world from their cafes and coffee shops around the country or from their packaged coffee in retail stores. It all started over 40 years ago with their love of coffee and decadent flavors. From their year-round best seller, Santa’s White Christmas, to their English Salted Toffee and their roasted single origin beans, Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. has a flavor and blend for everyone no matter your preferences.

    Roasting Solutions’ Verena Street coffees have fun and unique names like Pumpkin Smasher and Cow Tipper and Sunday Drive, which captivate and resonate with the consumer. But it is the taste and flavors that keep them coming back. This is a full line of craft roasted 100% Arabica premium specialty coffee offerings that are Rainforest Alliance Certified and Kosher Certified.

    Better-for-you alternatives

    Everyone wants to indulge in delicious, great-tasting beverages, but what is in them is just as important. Trilliant Food, Beverage & Nutrition’s new Black Stag line not only tastes great, but is a healthier option containing 40% less sugar and less calories than its competitors. They have a wide variety of premium ready-to-drink coffee beverages in the form of coffee lattes, coffee cold brews, lattes with energy, and espresso with cream.

    Another better-for-you option are GREYSTONE’S premium organic teas. These teas are Paleo-, Whole30-, and Keto-friendly, USDA Organic and Kosher, contain 0 sugar and 0 carbs, have clean labels that are packed with superfoods, and never have added scents or flavors.

    Unexpected experiences in a cup

    While majority of the companies we met at the show were coffee and tea companies, Moonstruck Chocolate Company reminds people why they fell in love with chocolate in the first place. They describe it as “experiencing the metaphysical,” which is toeing the line between actuality and possibility when you taste their chocolates. Their hot cocoa mixes have focused on clean label ingredients and unique recipes so if coffee and tea is not your thing, get yourself a cup of this delicious hot cocoa.

    Whether you are a Buzz Aldrin fan, obsessed with space, or just love great coffee, Copper Moon Coffee will take you to the moon and back. They are a family roastery with a simple mission: to create evenly roasted, uniquely smooth, high-grade coffee, giving you a perfectly satisfying taste that’s out of this world.

    If you cannot make it to New Orleans, and these days who can, Ballard Brands will give you the experience of Mardi Gras in a cup with their PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans and New Orleans Roast coffees. Not only are they serving a great cup of coffee to customers, they’re developing programs to ensure the quality of life for Honduran and Nicaraguan farmers through their Direct Trade relationships with farmers.

    Quality you can count on

    At Canary Coffee, they are passionate about crafting amazing coffees that everyone can enjoy and believe great coffee should be an affordable luxury. All of their coffee blends and single origins are designed to be wallet-friendly. Their coffees are also small-batch roasted, direct trade, and ethically sourced, which are typically the features of the expensive brands.

    Love the taste of coffee and the effects of caffeine but still want to be able to sleep at night? Split Rock Coffee is your answer, crafted to contain low amounts of acidity, making it the coffee you can drink all day. All roasts contain 100% specialty grade, gold-standard Arabica coffee.

    Whether you like strong and bold or super sweet, there is a company and blend made just for you. We learned how important it is to know what is in your coffee, where it comes from, how it supports your body and what its doing for the planet. There is a lot that goes into this daily morning task and we can’t wait to discover more companies at ECRM’s next program.
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