White coffee
White coffee Image Credit: Shutterstock

One of the best things to come out of 2020 was Dalgona coffee, but getting the DIY homebrew right can be tricky. So, if you haven’t figured out how to whip up a cup, don’t worry, beverage trends only last about as long as it takes to post your creation to Instagram. In other words, just skip straight to one of this year’s beverage trends. From protein coffee or functional teas, we’ve rounded up the latest thirst-quenchers to get you ready for Ramadan.

A new twist on old: White coffee

Ready to burst into public consciousness this year is white coffee, a new drink that is similar to the traditional lightly roasted Arabic coffee (not Gulf green coffee) that is a Ramadan staple. And no, it isn’t a lot of fuss about latte. Instead, the white indicates a lightly roasted bean. Also called a yellow roast, the beans are roasted to about 175°C, lower than the typical dark roast temperature of 260°C. The result is a nutty, fruity flavour that is less bitter than traditional coffee.

How to make it: Lightly roasted beans haven’t cracked open so they require commercial-grade grinders. You’re best off buying them pre-ground. It tastes best as an espresso, so you’ll need a proper espresso machine or at least a Moka pot or Aeropress to generate the pressure required for the perfect cup. Some connoisseurs add a touch of spice. Stop by the Spice Souk and ask for hawaij, a Yemeni blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and optionally, fennel or star anise. If you haven’t tried this yet, well, that’s grounds enough for change, eh?

Fit for everyone: Proffee

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Remember the bulletproof coffee? Yeah, we miss its velvety, buttery decadence too. Luckily, there’s protein coffee or Proffee, which Igers have been flexing for a few weeks now. It’s being marketed as a healthier, quarantine-kilo-shedding beverage, but what it really does is make whey protein palatable.

How to make it: A few shots of espresso, your protein shake or powder of choice, a splash of water and milk — shake well and pour into a fancy glass from the Africa pavilion at Global Village. You could sub in protein milk, which makes everything easier, but topping up your glass with whipped cream kinda defeats the purpose. Don’t forget to take a photo!

Chilled to the core: Cold-brew teas

Cold brew teas
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With summer well and truly here, the iced drink of choice is a refreshing cold brew tea. Steeped teas are mellower and gentler on the stomach with half the caffeine of normal teas, while the room-temperature extraction process reportedly preserves the leaf’s natural antioxidants. In other words, perfect for those long, humid Ramadan nights. Earl Grey, Moroccan mint, berry, lemon, lemongrass, chamomile and peach are among the popular flavours, but we’re rather partial to hibiscus. Or experiment with rose and Turkish apple: why limit yourself?

How to make it: Time does the trick, so plan your cold-brew well in advance. Place your favourite tea bags in a large pitcher, add room temperature or cold water, cover and refrigerate to steep for 8-12 hours. Remove the tea bags, stir in honey or sugar syrup, and serve with ice and a sprig of mint and a slice of fresh lemon or orange.

Bubbling up: Milk tea

Milk tea
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Milk tea, also known as bubble tea or boba, has been around for a few years, but has recently charged up the beverage charts as the drink of choice for Chinese millennials, who spend an estimated 400 yuan (about Dh225) on the delightful concoction each month. Originally from Taiwan, the chilled beverage is served with tapioca pearls or beads — with several Dubai entrepreneurs latching onto the trend. Hit up Vin Jimenez’s Joy Bubble in Ghusais if you can’t be bothered with recipe.

How to make it: Good bubbles are life, so pay a little attention to the tapioca pearls, which you can buy online. Luckily, it’s an easy recipe — you just need cook the pearls in hot water for a few minutes. Add them to a glass of ice, top with steeped tea, a syrup made from brown sugar, and your milk of choice, whether condensed, frothed or otherwise. Again, the best bit is the flavours: From strawberry to pineapple and mango, there’s one for every Zodiac sign, and then some.