Coffee Trends for Cafes and Coffee Shops

What are the hottest coffee trends in cafes and coffee shops? Our guide takes a look at old favourites and new types to keep an eye out for.

Coffee Trends for Cafes and Coffee Shops

Cafes and coffee shops now have an abundance of choice when it comes to types of coffee drinks and flavours. Customers expect to be able to select from a long list, and the most popular orders become trends.

Here’s an extensive list of each type of coffee and how they are made. We also look at some of the current trends sweeping the nation and what you should consider when choosing a supplier for your cafe.

Coffee types: explained


Black is the simplest coffee to make. All you need to do is soak ground coffee beans in hot water. The quality of the coffee bean is essential as the flavour isn’t changed by other ingredients such as milk.


The latte is one of the most popular coffee drinks. It contains a shot of espresso and steamed milk with a small amount of foam on top. Flavoured syrups are also added and can include flavours such as caramel, vanilla or pumpkin.


Like latte, a cappuccino is made with steamed milk but contains much more foam. Sometimes cream is used instead of milk and you will usually find cocoa powder or cinnamon sprinkled on top.


The Americano is a simple drink containing a shot of espresso and hot water. Those who like it strong may add extra espresso and it is always advised to add the shot before pouring the water in.


Espresso is a key ingredient in many types of coffee. It is a super-powered shot of caffeine and is made by pouring hot water through ground coffee beans under high pressure. This coffee is most popular with European drinkers and is thought to be the creation of Angelo Moriondo, the man who patented the first coffee machine capable of this process.


A Doppio (the Italian word for ‘double’) is basically an espresso with an extra shot and is usually 2oz. This coffee is ideal for customers who enjoy a strong taste and need a quick energy boost.

Doppio contains the maximum amount of ground coffee that can be extracted by a lever espresso machine in one go.


For those wanting a caffeine boost without the bitterness of an espresso, a cortado is the perfect compromise. It’s made by combining a single shot of espresso with warm steamed milk.

About 1oz of espresso is combined with 1oz of steamed milk to get the right balance.


Lungo is the Italian word for long. The process for making this drink involves using an espresso machine to create a long pull, using more water to create a larger drink. It is also sometimes referred to by its French name, café allongé.


This drink is a hybrid between a cappuccino and an espresso. It is an espresso with a small amount of foamed milk added to it.

The macchiato is a little bit sweeter than an espresso due to its milk contents but still retains that strong coffee taste and high caffeine concentration.


The mocha is a favourite amongst chocolate fans, it is an espresso-based drink with hot milk and either cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. It is often served in a glass cup and has a small amount of foam on top.

The drink’s name is derived from the town Mocha in Yemen where there is a bustling coffee trade.

Flat white

The flat white is also an espresso-based drink with hot milk, similar to a latte but with a higher concentration of coffee to milk and a small velvety layer of foam. This drink is thought to have originated in Australia in the 1980s.


The affogato is one of the more indulgent coffee servings and is actually more of a dessert than a drink. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato is topped with a shot of hot espresso, forming a delicious combination of flavours.

The affogato is most common in Italy but is served all around the world. Other variations have been invented with different ice cream flavours and complementary toppings.

Café au lait

Popular in the US, this drink is a coffee with a splash of steamed milk.


A coffee with a twist. Irish coffee contains whisky and a good serving of sugar (usually at least one teaspoon). Thick cream is poured over the coffee and floats on top.

This drink is often served in bars and there are a number of different variations in different countries. For example, in Spain the drink often consists of a layer of whisky, a separate layer of coffee and a top layer with cream.


The piccolo is a small latte drink that contains a ristretto. A ristretto is an espresso shot that contains less hot water and has a slightly sweeter flavour.

Types of iced coffee


A frappe is an iced coffee made from coffee, water, sugar and milk and is one of the most popular types in Greece and Cyprus. To make a frappe, add coffee, sugar and a little water into a cocktail shaker or milkshake machine and mix until foamy. Serve in a glass cup with ice, cold water, and milk if desired.

Cold brew

A cold brew is made by soaking coffee beans in water overnight. Once done, cold milk or cream can be added.


A Frappuccino is a popular cold drink choice in hot weather. It is a blended iced coffee that is topped with cream and syrup. Different-flavoured syrups can be used to create a signature recipe.


The Guinness of the coffee world. The nitro has a thick frothy consistency and is poured from a nitro tap. Combine a cold brew with nitro bubbles to make a trendy and refreshing beverage.

In Ireland, the most popular coffee is the Americano, followed by the cappuccino and the latte. They are the most often ordered coffee drink at cafes and coffee shops around the country. Coffee culture has continued to rise in Ireland but as elsewhere, coffee drinkers were forced to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, 83% currently prepare their favourite coffee drinks at home.

In recent years the number of customers trying alternatives to dairy milk has risen. The most popular alternative is almond milk, followed by soya and then oat. Young people are more likely to drink plant-based milk than older generations.

Not only do these milk alternatives add a new twist to customer’s favourite drinks, but they also cater for those with special dietary requirements such as lactose intolerance or vegan diets. Non-dairy is just one of a number of emerging coffee shop trends.

However, despite the trend towards healthy alternatives, more than three quarters (76%) of coffee drinkers in Ireland agree that taste is the overriding factor when choosing what to drink.

Matcha lattes

The market for matcha is growing at a fast pace. Matcha is a green tea and superfood that has been described as having a number of health benefits, claims have been made that matcha consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and arthritis. In a matcha latte, the matcha is ground rather than soaked and replaces the espresso shot.

Coffee and tonic

You might have tried a gin and tonic but have you ever experienced a coffee tonic? The drink can be made in a glass by pouring tonic water over a generous serving of ice. A warm shot of espresso is then added on top. A garnish such as a lemon wage can be placed on top to add to the drinks aesthetic appeal.

Drive through coffee

Customers want convenience and for some, this means grabbing a coffee without having to even leave their vehicle. The number of coffee shop drive-throughs is on the rise in a number of countries, while many customers still enjoy cafe culture and sitting inside, many others want to grab a quick pick-me-up on their way to work or while out and about.
Whatever type of coffee you are serving up, Square Point of Sale is the perfect business solution for all cafes and coffee shops. This software helps small businesses to run their sales, payments, records, inventory and requires minimal setup, it can also help you to get to know your loyal customers better by tracking preferences and frequent purchases.