In recent decades, coffee culture has changed dramatically around the world. A key driving force behind this transformation has undoubtedly been Starbucks. The company has managed to revolutionise the coffee house world and laid the foundation for the exciting development of Specialty Coffee. In this blog article, we will take a closer look at how Starbucks brought about this change and how it evolved into the "Third Wave" of coffee. We'll also take a look at possible future coffee house waves.
Starbucks and the coffeehouse revolution: When Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, USA, coffee culture in the US was dominated by filter coffee and instant coffee. However, the founders, Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker, had a vision of high-quality coffee and an inviting café atmosphere. They began importing and roasting high-quality coffee beans to offer customers a new coffee experience. Starbucks also introduced the idea of "third roast", where the beans are roasted darker for a fuller flavour.
Expansion and brand identity: In the 1980s, Starbucks continued to expand, opening shops in other parts of the US. The company also introduced its signature features, such as the green logo, the cups with the distinctive Starbucks lettering and the use of baristas to prepare coffee individually. These visual and sensory elements helped build a unique brand identity and set Starbucks apart from other coffee providers.
The Starbucks experience: Starbucks emphasised not only the quality of the coffee, but also the experience of drinking coffee itself. The shops were designed as cosy meeting places where customers could relax and enjoy their speciality coffees. The company also offered a wide range of drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes and frappuccinos, which quickly became cult drinks. The customisability of the drinks, such as choosing the type of milk or adding syrups, allowed customers to cater to their personal preferences.
The 3rd Wave of Coffee - Specialty Coffee: While Starbucks was changing coffeehouse culture around the world, a movement emerged that specialised in quality, craftsmanship and origin. This movement became known as the "Third Wave of Coffee". Driven by independent coffee roasters and baristas, the focus was now on the origin of coffee beans, roasting in smaller batches and preparation with artisanal care. The term "Specialty Coffee" was coined to describe coffee of exceptional quality, offering attentive processing and unique taste.
The future of coffee house waves: While the Third Wave of coffee has already had a remarkable impact, it is interesting to speculate what other waves coffee culture will experience. A possible fourth wave could focus on sustainability and ethical cultivation to reduce coffee's environmental footprint. A fifth wave could explore connecting coffee with new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics. The possibilities are endless, and coffee culture will undoubtedly evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs and preferences of coffee lovers.
The Starbucks revolution changed the coffee house world forever by introducing high quality coffee, customisation options and an inviting café atmosphere. This change has paved the way for the Third Wave of coffee, which focuses on Specialty Coffee. Coffee culture remains dynamic, however, and future waves of coffee houses may explore new focuses such as sustainability or technology. One thing is certain: passion for coffee will continue to drive innovation and change in the coffee industry.