This blog continues our conversation on the history of coffee in which we discussed the beginning of coffee to the present. Coffee has evolved through different trends throughout its history in the form of “waves.” We have 1st, 2nd , and 3rd waves for coffee, but what’s next? As you look at these different coffee waves you will see how coffee has changed on not only a global scale but even as small as the Bradenton coffee scene.
1st Wave Coffee (started in the 1800’s) – Starting in American households with Folger’s and Maxwell House, cans became the convenient way of packaging coffee. Here, instant coffee and vacuum sealed coffee began to grow. Quality is not part of 1st Wave coffee vocabulary. Instead cheap, easily sourced coffee is the name of the game. Transparency and traceability is definitely not a priority at all. This wave features coffees that are commodity-driven for mass consumption and bulk coffee makers. Bottom line, this is your coffee on a budget. You can spot 1st wave coffee by being extremely bitter and being a very dark roast. It generally can be found in supermarket stores with a label stating “naturally” or “artificially” flavored coffee. Additionally, it’s most likely to say “Premium,” “Gourmet,” and “Pre-ground Coffee “ as a catchy phrase.
2nd Wave Coffee (Started sometime between 1970’s-1980’s) – Try to think of Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts when you hear 2nd Wave. When Alfred Peet came to the U.S. he discovered how bad the coffee quality was. As a result, Peet’s Coffee opened up in 1971 to change our view of consumption of coffee. He started selling higher-end coffee beans at dark roasts to locals. Soon, Starbucks was formed off the Peet’s coffee idea, but changed the “experience” consumers began to have with coffee. The idea came from a visit to Italy and from there, Starbucks ran with it. 2nd wave coffee focused on branding and globalization. Coffee became an “experience” and no longer just a drink. The majority of these companies are part of the stock exchange today. The 2nd wave also paved the way for 3rd wave coffee. Starbucks started this 2nd wave by popping up coffee shops all over the world. Adding a variety of sweet drinks their menu increased popularity exponentially. They gave the coffee connoisseur and newbies different options to come into their coffee shop. 2nd wave coffee focuses less on coffee bean quality and more on flavored coffee drinks. The coffee is more dark roasted and bitter tasting. You can still find these coffee beans in supermarkets to enjoy a slightly higher quality drink than 1st wave beans.
3rd Wave Coffee (1980-2000’s) – This wave focuses more on the coffee bean itself rather than the flavored coffee. It started in the 1980’s but really took off in the 2000’s. This period gave the coffee roaster the chance to be creative and experiment with different coffees. Light roast coffee was not born during this time but more appreciated due to the coffee notes that light roast brings out. The Specialty Coffee Association of America was also started during this time. It created different methods of brewing and a new way of roasting. Techniques like Pour over, Chemex, and French press coffee hit their stride during the 3rd wave. Transparency of coffee origin is more common to find. Most coffee roasters will have a roast date on the bag for freshness transparency. Bradenton coffee shops and the Sarasota coffee scene seems to lack more of the 3rd wave coffee. In Bradenton, most coffee shops are larger companies like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. Coffee is simply more commercialized in the Bradenton and Sarasota area. This is why Banyan Coffee Company wanted to offer the area something different than your 1st and 2nd wave coffee products. As a coffee roaster, we want to raise the bar of our coffee standards. One of our goals is to help provide the Bradenton coffee shops the option to have locally roasted coffee instead of a coffee brand that’s not from Bradenton. If we can invest in a coffee roaster in Bradenton then more of your hard-earned money stays in this community.
Future wave of coffee: “4th Wave Coffee”Maybe decaf coffee will taste the same as regular coffee? Will Starbucks start purchasing and partnering with other coffee roasters like the large breweries acquiring the small ones? Will Pumpkin Spice go to the wayside? Please! We know a 4th wave is here or is very close because we see a push for more organic coffee, sourcing coffee beans from an individual farmer, and sourcing the highest quality coffee, We also see not only fair trade coffee but investment in the farmer to build for a sustainable future. A mutual partnership with the farmer to the coffee roaster or barista (Crop to Cup method) is becoming much easier to accomplish than ever before. We can talk to our farmers directly in Guatemala via zoom or Instagram. The transparency has never been better when you can chat with the farmer.
“This is Amazing”
Megan, Sarasota, FL
“Delicious coffee, we love it! Can’t wait to come back to get more!”
Mikey, Bradenton, FL
“Thank you so much Banyan Coffee Co. for the great cup of coffee. Nothing like a cup of home Guatemala in the morning to get you ready for the day!”
Rov, Bradenton, FL