Coffee Comes in Waves? And there’s a Third Wave?

The era of Third Wave Coffee came about in the early 1990’s. Characteristic of Third Wave Coffee Shops are Specialty Coffee, are Lighter Coffee Roasts, specialized brewing methods and artisan roasted coffee. A very distinct aspect of Third Wave Coffee is the appreciation of the “process” of coffee appreciated by all in the process. Specialty coffee farmers, importers, artisan roasters and whole bean coffee buyers that enjoy the respect of coffee.

third wave coffeeHow did Third Wave Coffee get its name?

One of the early adopters of the whole “Third Wave Coffee Concept”, Nicholas Cho, USBC Certified Judge stated, “A Third Wave barista is a coffee ambassador.” That statement in itself, is telling of the coffee culture. The Third Wave Coffee movement is a new evolution of coffee indeed. Apparently his business partner Trish Rothgeb, described and named the different era’s of coffee drinking habits in the terms, “Coffee Waves”. Kinda cool, I guess.

What is the First Wave of Coffee? If there are three…

First Wave Coffee is believed to be the era where coffee drinkers grew among the masses. Want to know where the idea of office coffee or the coffee making vending machine originated? It was the First Wave of Coffee. Coffee brands like Sanka, Folgers and Maxwell House dominated the marketplace. The world wanted coffee, we just didn’t know how much of the stuff we thought we needed.

first wave is part of the era's of coffee we are now in the third wave we try not to drink sanka

Sanka. A staple of First Wave Coffee

First Wave Coffee brought us decaf. Oh thanks…

In the late 19th Century Pierre-Joseph Pelletier, a French chemist discovered the chemical compound now known as caffeine. And of course, us humans figure out a way to mess up something good. Ludwig Roselius created the commercial decaffeination process. Unfortunately, the process used another chemical, food grade paint thinner. Also known as Methylene Chloride, a known carcinogen. Fortunately, the Swiss Water Press Decaffeination process was discovered. I have organic Swiss Water Press coffee available. Unleaded Fuel.

Lemme guess. The Second Wave of Coffee was…

If you guessed that Second Wave Coffee is the era of the coffee chain. You are absolutely correct. The Second Wave of coffee was all about bringing sweet, syrupy drinks, blended coffee drinks, mocha’s, the customer experience of coffee in the “franchise model”. The Second Wave of coffee was all about the coffee chain. In short. Starbucks.

Second Wave Coffee

Second Wave Coffee

In the early 1960’s a group of college students, under the tutelage of their Dutch professor, Alfred Peet, learned coffee roasting.Those students later moved to Seattle, Washington and founded a small coffee roastery. While running their company they met a dishwasher salesman, Howard Schultz, and that’s when everything coffee turned into Starbucks. His book, Pour Your Heart Into It, is a MUST READ for any entrepreneur. According to the book, Alfred Peet believed that American coffee tasted so bad because we were still drinking WW rations of coffee. Out of a can.

So Really, Third Wave Coffee is…

Third Wave Coffee

Third Wave Coffee

To some coffee drinkers, Third Wave Coffee Culture is about, stories of trips about coffee plantations. What is the significance of coffee bean elevation, the varietals and roasting? In Third Wave Coffee, terms like, “Fair Trade Coffee“, “direct trade” and “organic” are commonly used. Technically, Darrin’s Coffee is a Third Wave Coffee Roaster in Indiana. And such is the evolution of the coffee movement. Where is the ticket to the coffee tour in Panama or to the plantation to buy Peruvian Coffee? Let’s take a trip to the coffee source is the goal of any Third Wave Coffee Professional. Movies like Black Gold, a movie about all of the many global issues that exist around the world of coffee document the origins of the coffee in the coffee buying process.

Does Darrin’s Coffee sound like one of those Third Wave Coffee shops? Take a guess…

To me, Darrin, I think giving names to different coffee drinking trends can sometimes be the very thing to drive people away from what a cup of coffee is meant to be. Coffee is Saturday or Sunday with a newspaper or just a conversation between very good friends. Coffee is a comfortable place for that blind date. Coffee is a business meeting without an obligation. Nothing more than a little time, and hopefully the best coffee available. Honestly, I think coffee shouldn’t take itself to seriously. Remember, I believe that. Everyone Deserves to Drink Great Coffee“. I hope that’s a good answer.

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