“Third Wave Coffee” is a focus on quality in the cup that associated with specific origins, production methods, and preparation styles as opposed to consumption alone which goes back to “The First wave Coffee”. “The Second Wave Coffee” was about enjoyment and defining specialty.
Third Wave Coffee allows the coffee to speak for itself. Any coffee shops or any knowledgeable barista around the world who truly appreciate his/hers passion to coffee industry and each coffee for what it truly is will take whatever necessary steps to highlight the amazing and unique character in every coffee. It is a movement toward a good coffee.
Third Wave Coffee involves improvements at all stages of production. Paying the good attention to coffee bean growing, harvesting and processing and most important is establishing the stronger relationship between coffee growers, coffee traders and roasters. The main aspect is selection of high quality beans which results to fresh roasting and skilled brewing techniques of baristi.
Any baristi around the world who give a lot of attention to best quality coffee beverage preparation have a highest form of coffee culinary appreciation, detailing in subtleties of coffee flavor, beans varietal and regions the coffee comes from.
The roasters approach to The Third Wave Coffee movement is to find the highest quality green beans from coffee production regions (such as Central/South America, Indo-Pacific and Africa). Those roasters have developed a direct trade with coffee farms by buying the best green beans possible. Roasters, such as Intelligentsia Coffee, BareFoot Coffee, Stumptown Coffee in USA or Taf Coffee in Greece, etc. work with farmers to figure out the actual cost of their hard work of coffee production in order to negotiate a fair price with farmers so they could remain profitable to produce the greatest coffee for the next season.
The Third Wave Coffee is based on continuous education, evaluation, skills improvement and best approach possible to the unique character of coffee beans that take a long journey from seed to cup.
FIRST WAVE: 1930’s to 1960’s
Long distance distribution of roasted coffee became feasible with the development of vacuum packaging, which led to bulk production and mass consumption of coffee. Large corporations, such as Folgers and General Foods, expanded their sales worldwide. At the time, cheap price was of primary concern and taste or quality were took the backseat. In this way, coffee consumption spread among the homes and offices worldwide.
SECOND WAVE: 1960’s to 1990’s
Some of the coffee roasters, who no longer could tolerate the marketing by large corporation in which taste or quality had to take the backseat, became independent and started to market their own business. “Specialty coffee” gradually gained recognition among coffee lovers with discerned taste, which ensued to a global boom of coffee consumption as culminated in the global operation of Starbucks Coffee.
THIRD WAVE: 1990’s to now.
New generation of specialty coffee: coffee progressed to next stage like wine. Coffee is no longer a bulk produced item. Rather, coffee is blossoming as being an refined article of taste. Coffee has evolved to meet the refined demands of a matured market.