“Coffee is life” isn’t just a funny saying on coffee mugs and in internet memes—research backs up the strength of America’s coffee culture. According to the National Coffee Association’s “2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends” report, the percentage of Americans drinking coffee on a daily basis increased to 62 percent last year, up from 57 percent in 2016.
One of the drivers of this growth in consumption was consumer enthusiasm for gourmet coffee varieties, including cold-brew coffees (11 percent of survey respondents had partaken within the past week) and nitrogen-infused varieties (3 percent had consumed one in the past week), according to the NCA.
Choice Hotels International is a proponent of this gourmet-coffee trend, and has just added nitro-brew and cold-brew coffee in select Cambria hotels across the country as part of a six-week pilot. The pilot, according to Choice, “enhances the Cambria brand's distinct experiences and simple, guilt-free indulgences that allow guests to treat themselves while on the road.”
According to Mintel, cold-brew coffee in particular is gaining popularity, with the research company reporting that demand increased 580 percent from 2011 through 2016.
The three hotels piloting the new coffee brews are the Cambria Hotel Los Angeles – LAX; the Cambria Hotel Madison (Wis.), and the Cambria Hotel White Plains – Downtown in White Plains, N.Y.
The hotels will also create signature coffee cocktails, using cold brew and nitro brew, into unique mixtures inspired by the surrounding city.
Cold brew is coffee brewed with room temperature or cold water over a 12- to 24-hour brew time, giving it a smoother, deeper flavor. Unlike regular hot brewed coffee, cold brew is never exposed to heat. Nitro brew is cold-brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas that creates a creamy stout-like effect served straight from the tap.
Wyndham Hotel Group is another company that recognizes the power of coffee. It’s Wyndham Grand hotels offer Brew Parlor: a fresh take on afternoon happy hour where people can meet, recharge or take a breather over cold-brewed coffee-based drinks and cocktails developed in partnership with the brand’s “chef de caffeine,” award-winning culinary personality and chef Stephanie Izard, and mixology maven Ivy Mix.
Wyndham Grand’s Brew Parlor is centered on cold-brewed coffee, and Izard has created several proprietary cold-brewed coffee beverages available only at Wyndham Grand’s Brew Parlor like Five Spice Shaken Iced Coffee with Thai chili, cinnamon, clove, star anise and sweetened condensed milk; Cafe Olé with dark chocolate, brown sugar and ancho and guajillo chilies; and Biscotti Coffee with almond whipped cream and simple syrup made of star anise, fennel seed, and orange zest.
Mix is behind exclusive cocktails such as Spurred Ground—cold-brewed coffee infused with oloroso sherry, Italian vermouth, premium rum, and amaro.
The Ace Hotel New York is another proponent of these specialty coffees. The hotel partners with Stumptown Coffee Roasters to offer guests cold-brew as well as a full espresso bar, drip coffee and brew-by-the-cup offerings. And the lobby coffee bar at the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh features cold-brew coffee as well as nitro on draft.
Not to be outdone, in August The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba launched a new experiential culinary offering called Ritual Coffee Culture. Among a variety of menu items, Ritual Coffee Culture offers filter coffee, and iced coffee, espresso, cold-extraction/-drip coffee, nitro coffee and other specialty lattes.