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Discover the Evolution of Coffee – And What Third Wave Means


Are you still drinking first wave coffee? If you’re not sure what that even means, this primer will bring you up to speed.

1st Wave

Early to mid-20th century

• Coffee for mass-consumption

• Creating systems of cultivation and distribution

• Poor quality

Example: Folgers

2nd Wave

Mid to late-20th century

• Improved quality

• Introduction of espresso beverages

• Coffee shops emerge

• Streamlining and branding of operations

Example: Starbucks

3rd Wave

Late 20th century to present

• Focus on coffee as craft beverage

• Refined brewing techniques

• Individual farms, roasters, terroir

Example: Stumptown