Third Wave Coffee – I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about third wave coffee, but up until a couple of weeks ago I actually had no idea what they were talking about.
I thought, maybe it’s a flavour or a brewing method or coffee from a specific country – yes I clearly have a lot to learn when it comes to coffee.
So I decided to ask some questions and do some research.
First I wanted to know was there ever a First and a Second Wave?
According to the Perfect Daily Grind website – Yes, there was.
First Wave goes back all the way to the 1960s when coffee became widely accessible and coffee consumption began to grow exponentially.
Second Wave was when coffee started to become a luxury product rather than a necessity.
Third Wave Coffee can be described as a movement towards producing better and higher-quality coffee.
Gone are the days where coffee is simply a commodity or a necessity. Coffee has evolved into something that consumers can really appreciate, like wine.
But what sets Third Wave Coffee apart from Second Wave Coffee?
Well, Third Wave is not just about the improvements that are being made in the quality of the product, it is about the quality in all stages of production from coffee farmers to traders, roasters, baristas and everyone else that is involved.
Most barista’s take so much pride in what they do. They use different brewing methods to make coffee. My mouth sometimes hangs open at just how talented some of these baristas are, especially when it comes to latte art.
And who knew there were so many different ways to roast coffee? I’m amazed, intrigued and can’t wait to learn more about all the different roasting methods and how each method brings out different flavours.
However, the thing that I love most about the coffee industry and the third wave coffee movement is how the coffee farmers are now a more “visible” part of it all.
In being part of this movement, coffee farmers are getting notice. People start to realise the hard work that goes into every cup of coffee, not just in making the coffee, but also in growing the coffee plants that produce the beans that get used to make the coffee.
A lot of coffee farmers work in very poor and sometimes even dangerous conditions and they don’t always get their fair share when it comes to the price they get paid for their coffee beans.
I think Third Wave Coffee is not just about improving the quality of coffee it’s also playing a role in making people more aware of the conditions coffee farmers have to live and work in and it makes us realise just how important Fairtrade coffee is.
“Fair trade organizations create trading partnerships that are based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. These partnerships contribute to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to coffee bean farmers” – Wikipedia
With Third Wave and Fairtrade Coffee, stronger relationships are being built between coffee farmers, traders and even roasters.
Behind the Cup
So next time you order a cup of coffee, don’t just drink it, take the time to really appreciate it and remember that more than one person was involved in making that cup and behind that cup is most certainly a story.