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With the weather warming up, so is our appetite for iced-cold lattes and fruit-infused teas. To inspire you to shake up your order, we look at some of the key non-alcoholic drink trends you might spot at your favourite cafes and tea houses in Hong Kong this spring (and beyond).

Left: Watermelon Passionfruit Matcha, available at Matchali. Right: Yuzu Lemonade Matcha, available at Matchali

1. Matcha with a Modern Twist 

This season, matcha flexes its adaptable and transformative powers in fresh new ways. ‘Matcha has a long, influential history, and we embrace that by pairing its customs with contemporary notes that excite the modern tastebuds,’ says Cara Li, co-founder of Matchali. ‘For example, we’ve just launched Yuzu Lemonade Matcha, which is a fragrant concoction of yuzu, lemonade and soda topped with matcha, as well as bringing back a summer favourite, the refreshing Watermelon Passionfruit Matcha.’

2. Buzz-Worthy Liquid Nitrogen Brews

You might be more familiar with liquid nitrogen when it comes to sprucing up the presentation of cocktails, but the gas has been growing as a trend in the coffee arena too. Behold, nitro coffee — cold-brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurised valve. How exactly does it work? Coffee is brewed with cold or room-temperature water for 12 to 24 hours, and then made into a cold brew with nitrogen gas, which gives the coffee its signature velvety texture. It’s also higher in caffeine than your regular coffee, so get ready for a buzz. Try it out at Starbucks, who make not just Nitro Cold Brew, but a Dark Caramel Cold Foam Nitro too.

Coffee Tonic, available at Emmer

3. Bubbling Coffee Tonics 

Giving iced lattes a run for their money is the latest coffee tonic trend, which is made using a double shot of espresso, poured into a glass of bubbly tonic water over ice. Emma, barista at Emmer Pizzeria, tells us their version ‘features an earthy note from the Godfather coffee blend from Holistic Coffee Company and a citrus-y flavour from the tonic, which also gives an effervescent kick. It’s so refreshing and is the perfect drink for the summer. The layering effect is super Instagrammable too!’

4. Instagrammable Drink Toppings 

With social media becoming an ingrained part of our daily lives, the desire for snap-worthy content has grown too — a trend that has latched on to the food and drink scene. You’ll see this coming through in the rise of flourishing drink toppings ranging from nuts to fruit to candy to coffee art. One of the most popular toppings of the moment? Pretty, delicate, edible flowers. While the trend dates back to ancient times, today it’s having a resurgence sprinkled on top of teas, coffees and beyond at Matchali, Starbucks and other drink creators.

A range of plant-based milks are available at Fuel Espresso

5. Eco-Friendly Plant-Based Milks

From soy and rice to oat, almond, coconut and hazelnut, non-dairy milk alternatives are experiencing an impressive rise, moving from a niche alternative category to a billion-dollar industry. The trend is driven by modern consumers’ concerns over the agricultural use of antibiotics, animal treatment and the milk industry’s environmental footprint. Along with finding a bounty of non-dairy milk options at your local supermarket, the trend is firmly in most of your local coffee shops. Fuel Espresso, Emmer, Matchali and others offer choices including soy, oat, almond and coconut to mix and match for the perfect cup.

As part of Pacific Place’s Spring in Style promotion, from now until 18 April, enjoy shopping and dining rewards at Pacific Place. Rewards include HK$50 drink vouchers to spend at your favourite cafes, tea houses and coffee shops including Matchali, Starbucks, Cova, Emmer and Fuel Espresso, as well as dining vouchers up to HK$300.