The Waves Of Coffee
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Coffee has become an important part of culture and life all over the world. In America, coffee has come through waves of movements in order to place quality coffee in our morning mugs. We are now in the third wave of coffee connoisseur movement. This most recent movement has been the most significant for the appreciation of good coffee. This third movement is encouraging people to look at coffee more like fine wine, than just a simple commodity. The subtle flavors and aromas of different coffees and different roasts are being valued at a greater degree than ever before. Here is a very brief history of the waves of coffee:

First Wave: the first wave of coffee was the mass production of brand named coffee. Rather than buying green coffee beans at the local general store to bring home and roast, the first wave of coffee made 'Folgers' a house hold name. This took place in the 19th century, and since then Folgers has remained a conglomerate of coffee production in the United States.

Second Wave: the second wave did not come about until around the 1960s. The second wave began with Peet's Coffee and Tea in the San Francisco area. Peet's was the first to sell darker roasted coffees and then introduced espresso to the United States Coffee industry. The second wave was carried greatly by the movement of Starbucks across our nation; Starbucks gave us a number of espresso based specialty drinks. People in America began to expect more out of coffee than the local pot brewed at the dinner down the street. Coffees were introduced to us from all different regions of the world, and soon people began to distinguish the flavors unique to world regions.

Third Wave: we are now in the third wave of this coffee movement. This third wave hones in more on specific farms rather than regions. This is similar to wine tasting. Multiple wines in a region may grow the same types of grapes, but each farmer's crop gains its own subtle flavors and aromas. This truth is now being applied to the coffee tasting connoisseurship. True coffee connoisseurs want to be able to have fresh, properly roasted beans, brewed to perfection, in order to be able to appreciate the uniqueness of each coffee crop that is grown. Some examples of third wave coffee roasters are Intelligentsia Coffee, Driven Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and the Blue Bottle Coffee Company.

As we see how far coffee drinking has come, it is interesting to wonder where it will go in the future. For the present, we can appreciate that the passionate coffee lovers in our country are working hard to bring the best coffee crops into our nation and cups. Learn more about the craft of coffee roasting here.


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