Find out insights and industry learnings from the team at POGO Coffee Roasters.

The Anti-Milk Movement - The Rise of Black Coffee

By: Mia Smith

The Anti-Milk Movement - The Rise of Black Coffee

The generic perception of coffee enthusiasts comes with its tropes. 

The image of the stereotypical coffee fanatic that comes to mind is often young, male and scoffing at your two sugar cappuccino with a long black in hand. 

But there’s a divisive but predictable curveball that’s come our way in the coffee industry, and I’ve coined it the ‘Anti-Milk Movement’. We’re finding that more and more of our everyday coffee drinkers are interested in our filter roasts and are ditching the milk for a sharper, more contemporary coffee. They also often have their own back-pocket full of coffee knowledge to share.

Although the new alternative milk options at almost every cafe or espresso bar is seemingly health motivated (your body is a temple), it feels more like a trade gratification when someone is interested in a black coffee, more so in a pour-over or batch brew. No more skill is required to brew it well than a latte or flat white, but its curation is motivated by the knowledge of coffee and its ‘specialty’ levels. Of course filter beans are sourced and cupped the same as green beans for espresso roasts, but with different intentions in mind so being able to share that with more people is like a geologist being able to talk about rocks, to a lot more than just the rock enthusiasts.

the rise of black coffee

The peaked interest in filter and black coffee feels more organic and true to the want and curiosity of coffee's offering and not a fleeting trend. Being able to talk about flavours and the homage of each roast to its origin and processing method, feels like what we came here to do.

They’re also more interested in the technical sourcing information and origin of the green beans being roasted. It’s common knowledge within the industry that drinking black coffee allows for the rawest and more authentic coffee flavours to be exacerbated, as the addition of milk changes the scope of your roast profile, so the growing interest of coffee in our everyday consumer is changing the accessibility and exclusivity of how coffee is enjoyed. It’s really cool to see the passion of coffee being shared from trade to consumer and being reciprocated. 

The variables in coffee can make quite the difference and as a roaster, we are always making sure that our profiles are consistent with what our market is after so it’s not just in our bricks and mortar that we’ve noticed a change in preference. The demand for filter roasts and black-coffee products is on the incline, with our new mindset focussed on diversifying our products to suit diverse brewing and consumption. This also means an extended support to the sourcers and growers in origins that can grow interesting crops with a myriad of flavours and processing methods. The diversification of coffee means more opportunities for them too! 

There will always be a need and a want for a bold espresso roast and the more traditional, Italian-style espresso coffee and we are the ultimate coffee cheerleaders, (however you drink it, we make it and love that you love our coffee).