Recently we’ve heard people talk of the fourth wave – something that has stirred up a lot of controversy. Is a fourth wave possible? Are we currently experiencing it, even if we’re not aware of it? It’s tough to see how. Already, in the third wave, we have high coffee quality, meaningful trade relationships, innovative
The third wave of coffee. We come across this phrase all the time, in coffee shops or online. But what does it actually mean? How is it different to specialty coffee? And what’s this about the first, second, and fourth waves? Defining the third wave isn’t easy. You’ll hear different explanations everywhere you go –
Specialty coffee shops, third wave coffee shops… you’ll hear people talk about these as if they’re interchangeable. But are they? Kris Schackman, CEO of Five Elephant Coffee in Berlin, tells me, “Think of a film. Specialty coffee is the picture, the film you’re watching, and third wave is the cinema you’re watching it in.” Confused?
Consumers in the US believe that 48% of their coffee is specialty, according to the National Coffee Association of America (2015). But is that true? What actually is specialty coffee? And how is it different to labels like “third wave” and “gourmet”? We reached out to several professionals in the specialty coffee industry, from producers