We’re A Part Of The Third Wave Of Coffee

For some people, it seems unfathomable to get out of bed and start the day without a hot cup of coffee. That ritual caffeine buzz is what gets many people moving. According to ABC News, Americans drink approximately 400 million cups of coffee every day, and the coffee industry itself is worth $30 billion. Coffee’s become a staple to serve amongst the baking & pastry arts for dessert as well. It’s become so much more to our society than just a beverage.

According to Trish Rothgeb of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, we’ve entered the third wave of coffee, and in which, coffee is more of an experience than it ever has been before. Rather than something we drink out of habit, it’s become something that enhances – or takes place of- our breakfast. Coffee has come along since the first wave at the turn of the century.

The first wave of coffee
Though coffee has been consumed around the globe for centuries, coffee became a household drink in the United States in the early 1900s. In such a short time, vacuum packaging, instant coffee and home coffee makers were all brought into the mainstream. The two coffee powerhouses began mass marketing their products and coffee quickly became the “best part of waking up” in houses across the country.

The second wave of coffee
The second wave of coffee in America began in the 1970s  when people started wanting variety in their java, according to Coffee Kind. They wanted lattes and cappuccinos and alternative names for their sizes. Coffee shops became more prevalent, as a place for people to hang out and “experience” their coffee rather than consistently having their white mug consistently topped off by a diner waitress. Independent coffee shops quickly became chains and expanded to what seems like every street corner in America.

The third wave of coffee
Rather than accessibility being at the forefront, the coffee beans themselves are the stars of the third wave of coffee. People will walk an extra few blocks to get a cup of artisanal coffee.  They’ll shell out the extra money for fair trade beans that have distinct flavor profiles rather than a mass-produced generic bean. People will take the time to grind their own beans and according to The Kitchn, some will even use a take the time to use a pour over method rather than putting some basic ground coffee into a drip coffee maker.

Comparable to the culture of wine aficionados and craft beer lovers, the craft coffee culture is taking over the grab n’ go lifestyle that’s been such a staple of the American weekday morning. Where the beans are from, how they’re harvested, roasted and brewed are all things that are taken note of when someone is looking to purchase a cup of gourmet coffee. Some see the culture as snobby and pretentious and are turned off from giving “third wave coffee” a try, but baristas and consumers are just appreciating a craft that’s long been ignored for the sake of convenience. When you’re jonesing for your next cup of joe, give a local independent shop a chance instead of firing up your coffee maker.

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