DR Wakefield likes to keep an eye on the latest trends in the coffee world to ensure our roasters are well-equipped to meet demand, serving consumers the best possible coffee that has been sourced at the right price.
But with trends constantly changing, it can be a challenge to keep up with what exactly it is that people want.
DR Wakefield's coffee catalyst Henry Clifford offered an insight into what is currently popular in the market, as well as providing some predictions for the future.
Henry explained that in recent years, the coffee market has undergone significant changes, with more small, independent roasters competing against each other to serve the best quality coffee to their customers.
With so many roasters vying to offer coffee that focuses on quality, this can make it difficult for them to stand out in an increasingly competitive market, which is why serving exclusive, unique varieties can be beneficial.
Henry said: "If everyone has top-quality coffee, then everyone's the same, so how do you differentiate?"
He added that one way to do this would be to secure the entire coffee harvest of a single micro lot.
"If I'm the only one who has that coffee because it's from a small farm, if I've got enough money and enough demand and if my business can handle it, I've not only got a coffee, but I've got an exclusive coffee that none of my competitors have," Henry explained.
How can DR Wakefield help with this?
To help to build a relationship between the coffee farmer and the roaster to further improve the exclusivity aspect of the beans, Henry explained that DR Wakefield has a scheme in place known as 121.
He said: "To develop quality you need to work as a team. The idea of 121 is that DR Wakefield puts roasters in touch with farmers so they can have a long-term business relationship for two or three years.
"This contact gives the farmer the stability to invest more in their production and the roaster can give them feedback on how they'd perhaps like them to change or improve the cup.
"But the main focus of this is on exclusivity. At the moment, we're only doing this in Honduras in Peru, but we're thinking of rolling it out further," Henry added. "It's working really well."
DR Wakefield kicks the relationship off by providing the roaster with all the information they need to know about the farmer, before communication between the two parties begins.
Another prevalent trend in the coffee market is seasonality, with Henry explaining that roasters are increasingly trying to tie in the beans they offer to their customers with the harvests of different countries to ensure their coffee is as fresh as possible.
Due to logistical issues, beans can sometimes be left at ports or in a warehouse for many months, meaning their freshness could be compromised.
Henry also stated that this year has seen "the summer of the cold brew", highlighting another coffee roasting trend that has become increasingly popular in the UK.
With such drinks now being sold in major department stores, smaller, more independent roasters who wish to offer this to their customers may find it wise to stock up on these.
When asked about his predictions for coffee roasting trends of the future, Henry said that with the market constantly changing, it would be almost impossible to say, but that this somewhat exciting unpredictability was a "great thing about the industry".
However, he did say: "I think that buying whole bean coffee is going to be popular – but not necessarily in the next year, but in the next decade. I think there is going to be huge growth in buying whole bean coffee instead of the traditional ground variety from supermarkets as consumers become more and more conscious of quality."
If Henry's prediction comes to fruition, this could signal the start of more amateur or home-based roasters trying their hand at making their own brews. Whether or not this will actually come into play though, only time will tell.