The majority of early risers in the United States require a cup of coffee in the morning before they can fully function or begin their workday. According to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association, 7 out of 10 Americans consume coffee weekly, while 62% consume it daily. The average American coffee drinker consumes three cups per day.
This high demand for coffee is met by an industry that includes convenience stores, family-run small business coffee shops, and supermarkets. Nearly sixty percent of the coffee served in the United States is gourmet, meaning it is brewed with premium beans. Meanwhile, the National Coffee Association reports a 10% decline in traditional coffee consumption.
Cold brew and nitro, which were previously unheard of, are becoming increasingly popular, with one in five Americans under 40 claiming to consume at least one per week. And now, a type of mold used in coffee processing has the potential to forever alter the coffee industry, according to The Seattle Times.
This mold, known as koji, is used during the fermentation stage of coffee production. Koji has been utilized in Japan for centuries to produce products such as sake and miso (via Perfect Daily Grind). According to its proponents, koji has the capacity to enhance the flavor of an average cup of coffee.
According to producers who have adopted koji in their products (as cited by The Seattle Times), this unique ingredient can add sweetness and enhance the quality of coffee. Beyond these effects, the mold is attractive because its presence can enhance the flavor of the beans. According to Forbes, it has the additional benefit of providing farmers with more sustainable profits.