Home   Whats On   Article

As the year draws to an end, Rob Butterworth, of Butterworth & Son, in Bury St Edmunds, reflects on the specialty coffee trends of 2019 and looks ahead to what we may expect in 2020

As 2019 draws to a close I reflect on some of the big changes that shaped the specialty coffee industry this year and what trends may occur as we enter a new decade.

Dairy alternative milks have been around for a while now but as we entered 2019 the demand seemed to go off the chart at the same time a shortage from a leading producer kicked in. This seemed to lead to a greater demand for the product and now at Guat’s Up! 1 in 3 drinks ordered are with oat milk rather than moo milk, whereas back in 2015 it was more like 1 in 10. As we close the year many new producers have entered the market, including a locally produced product from Glebe Farm in Hertfordshire.

Another big trend in 2019 was reusable cups. Again, not a new concept but one that really gathered momentum this year; helped by some cafés offering 10 per cent off your hot drink purchase when you bring in your own reusable cup and a big range of colours and designs now on the market. Guat’s Up! offers the biggest range of KeepCups in East Anglia and a 50 per cent off your first drink with a KC purchase. 2019 closes with a shocking article in Caffeine Magazine on bamboo cups, pick up your free copy in house.

Reduction of plastic packaging – At Butterworths we are continually evaluating our packaging. This year, we introduced oxo-degradable and biodegradable bags and swapped our packing tape for a biodegradable product. We haven’t quite managed to phase out metal/plastic mix bags yet, but we now have some customers that have switched from bags to reusable or upcycled packaging for their coffee.


As we enter a new decade, the popularity of filter brewed coffee continues to flourish with more cafés offering filter coffee and featuring farm specific coffees. Delicious. The trend of featuring more brewed coffee options I believe will continue and the focus on farm specific in espresso as an option will become more available in more specialist cafés.

With cafés opting to showcase the specifics of coffee more, this will help roasters like Butterworths highlight some of the communities and the environments their coffee comes from.

Rob owns Butterworth & Son coffee roasters and tea smiths, based on Moreton Hall, and Guat’s Up! café in Guildhall Street.

His job takes him around the world visiting coffee farms to source great coffees.