Third wave coffee: how coffee has changed
Third Wave Coffee, the third wave coffee, refers to a change in coffee consumption, production and awareness.
Third wave is a term that refers to how coffee was experienced in a given historical period . To give it this name was Trish Rothgeb in 2003. The idea is that each wave builds and reacts to the last one. A sort of replica, a generational middle finger to the phase just passed.
1960: the first wave
It was the 1960s when coffee consumption began to grow exponentially around the world. For the first time, coffee (albeit in an instant version) has become accessible to everyone, has entered homes and drinking it has become a habit. This marked the first wave.
The chains and the second wave
Coffee becomes a trend , there is greater disclosure about the origins, even if a 360-degree care of the product is still lacking. The chains are starting to invest in a more informed consumer, but the focus remains on the experience (of consumption), rather than on the raw material. The personalization of your coffee-based drink – such as Frappuccino – is more relevant than pure coffee. Which is starting to be perceived as a luxury product rather than a necessity.
The main characteristics of the third wave can be summarized in a few points, but the extent of these assumptions is a true revolution: increase in the quality of coffee , direct trade, sustainability , greater respect for the raw material, innovative extraction methods .
The third wave has really upset the way of living and doing business with coffee. Unlike the first and second waves, it had a real and profound impact not only on consumers, but on the entire coffee supply chain . Alongside the coffee tasting notes , therefore to a phase linked to a moment of consumption, the story behind the cup (or more often, the mug ) has entered .
It is a story made up of producers, importers, roasters and baristas , to explain to the final consumer why a coffee is special, making him aware of the journey he has gone through and of how much work it has required.