19grams Alex Schild

Waves of coffee

Coffee is almost as old as man himself and has undergone a fascinating development. In summary, we can speak of three waves.

First wave of coffee offers coffee to a broad mass at a low price, but also at a relatively low quality. This coffee is also called commodity coffee. On the packaging there is very rarely any information about the country of origin or the farm, let alone information about the processing method. In order to mass produce the coffee, it is roasted for a long time and in a dark color, which creates bitterness.

Second wave of coffee is based on the idea of offering different coffee sizes and varieties. This concept is especially used by large coffee chains such as Starbucks.

The third wave of coffee is about enjoying high-quality coffee. Specialty Coffee is part of this movement. Of course, good quality also has its price, which is why the prices are higher than for commodity coffee. The aim is also to improve living and production conditions in the countries where the coffee is grown. Special features of third wave coffees are the rather light roasting, specific flavours and single origin beans.

Fourth wave of coffee refers to the involvement of science in the coffee sector, making quality even more fundamental, especially in specialty coffee. The fourth wave includes, for example, experimentation with new brewing methods and equipment, as well as a high degree of transparency with regard to growing areas and conditions.

The fifth wave of coffee is the current wave, in which consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of quality. The aim is to constantly refine processes through training, education and investment in supporting technologies. Numerous other industries also see the need to both increase quality and improve the customer experience in order to gain a competitive edge over the competition.