Third Wave Coffee
Third wave coffee is a movement that consists of certain practices and sourcing methods that preserve and accentuate the quality of the bean. To understand Third Wave Coffee, it is helpful to have the context of first and second wave coffee.
First Wave coffee started in the 1800s and early 1900s when Folgers came on the scene and people first started brewing their own coffee. Second Wave began when businesses realized that there was some money to be made in this coffee industry but were not overly invested and concerned about harvesting the bean, quality and diversity, and where the coffee came from.
Precision and passion from the bean to the cup
The Third Wave Coffee movement is about quality and precision every step of the way from how the bean is grown to how it is served in your cup. It’s about the climate and agriculture, the farm and farmer, methods of harvesting, roasting, and variations – light, medium, dark roast, blending beans and offering single-origin coffee blends that bring out unique flavor notes, brewing methods and all of the science in precise extraction.
The Heart of Third Wave
The Third Wave Coffee movement is built on sustainable sourcing and organic farming methods through fair trade. It supports building relationships with those farmers who are harvesting the coffee beans. Another aspect of Third Wave is how the beans are roasted, in small unique batches based off the seasonal harvest of these beans – many of these beans are sourced from a single origin. The roasting recipe is different for each coffee type, and is designed to bring out various flavor notes and showcase a certain coffee profile.
From there, the brew methods are precise and tailored for assorted coffee offerings. Many elements factor in to pairing a coffee bean or blend with a brewing method – coffee bean origin, grind size, and roast are some elements that are considered on the coffee side. On the brewing side, there are a myriad of choices to select from. We’ve come a long way from the Drip Coffee Machine. For example, chemex, v60, French press, cold brew, drip and espresso machines are all brewing tools used for various brewing methods. Each method is used to brew fabulous coffee but each follows specific recipes.
Did you know that coffee has a flavor profile?
The recipe may call for fine or coarsely ground coffee, a shorter brewing time, a particular ratio of coffee to water used during extraction. All these variations are designed to highlight the origin of the coffee, the roasting process, and its unique flavor profile. Each cup of coffee is packed with diverse flavors which occur naturally (floral, fruity, nutty, bold, or bright) … flavors that would be muddled by artificial syrups and sugars.
Cause it’s Persnickety
This is what the Third Wave Coffee movement is about: quality coffee sustainably sourced, and thoroughly enjoyed in all its forms but particularly in its purest form. It is about having a craft beverage and experiencing it in a new way. You’ve heard of wine tasting; well, coffee is similar in its artisan and scientific nature, its complexity of growth, diversity and preparation.