Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry

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Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry:  Currently, coffee has become the most popular drink in the world, just after water. To develop and become as familiar as it is today, coffee has gone through three historic waves including the Invention of instant coffee, the invention of the espresso machine, and a third wave with the name called Specialty Coffee with the participation of Baristas. 

The First Coffee Wave – History Invention of Instant Coffee (AAAS)

Coffee appeared in the 9th century in Ethiopia. By 1532, in Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, coffee shops were always crowded. By the 18th century, coffee had become one of the most profitable export crops in the world.

During the first coffee wave, coffee flourished and was focused on packaging and product innovations, and made a breakthrough with the introduction of instant coffee.

The first wave was the introduction of instant coffee
Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry: The first wave was the introduction of instant coffee

In 1901, Dr. Satori Kato invented instant coffee. However, it was not until 1919 that this convenient coffee product became popular thanks to the vision of George Washington, creating a “first wave of coffee” that was popular around the world with customers mainly being the army.

Even though coffee was a popular item in most countries by the early 1800s, widespread availability remained a challenge. Due to limited storage capacity and weight-based taxation, coffee consumption relies on local stores or roasters. For coffee companies, this is an issue.

The invention of vacuum packaging and instant coffee in the mid-eighteenth century ushered in the first wave of this sector based on convenience. This item’s popularity grew due to its convenience and clear benefits.

The first wave has completed its historical task, and in retrospect, this was a period when coffee taste and quality were sacrificed in favor of speed and convenience. This motivated the second wave’s subsequent arrival.

The Second Wave – The Popularity of Espresso 

Coffee first appeared in Italy as a commodity in 1683. And quickly became popular as coffee shops mushroomed everywhere. At this time, the Italians began to seriously study the quality of this drink by using hot steam and pressure to create a coffee called Espresso.

In 1948, the breakthrough came when Achille Gaggia invented the machine that controlled the temperature and controlled the water pressure to create an espresso extract that distilled the excellent, delicate flavors of the coffee beans.

Since then, espresso has been popular all over the world, always considered one of the most popular coffee-based beverages today, and reborn in countless other drinks.

The Second Coffee Wave – The Popularity of Espresso
Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry: The Second Coffee Wave – The Popularity of Espresso 

Users are progressively becoming more aware of the beverage’s taste, and they want more of it. To meet this new dilemma, coffee cafes and roasters worldwide began experimenting with different roast levels and kinds. The world of coffee’s varied fragrances was uncovered during this period, broadening believers’ taste horizons. The concept of specialty (Specialty Coffee) – coffee that meets high criteria in the commodity trade – gradually emerged, signaling the start of the second wave.

Aside from Robusta with a robust enough flavor, Those who are “addicted” to caffeine grow progressively to appreciate Arabica beans for instant coffee because of their unique, multi-layered taste. The practice of making Espresso, Cappuccino, or Latte cups using Arabica beans is steadily gaining popularity, providing customers with tasty, decadent coffee cups that are brewed swiftly and with excellent quality.

Furthermore, coffee firms began to capitalize on the community component, generating a positive customer experience. Coffee is more than just a source of caffeine; it’s also a way for people to socialize and connect in a third area outside of their homes, offices, and schools.
Coffee became a drink to be “enjoyed” every day once “consume” was coined.

Three waves: The Third Wave – When the Baristas Come Into the Game!

Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry
Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry: The Third Coffee Wave

If the first two waves focused chiefly on user experience, emphasizing convenience or availability, the third wave emphasizes coffee as an Artisanal.

The following four variables are seen to be the primary determinants of the 3rd coffee wave’s appearance and development:

  • The Specialty Coffee movement, which began in the second wave of coffee, has evolved as coffee quality has become more critical. The second wave prioritizes “third space” marketing and creative experiences from specialty coffees, including syrups and other flavors. During the third wave, every part of coffee beans focuses on this massive beverage sector—users who appreciate the coffee place more attention on the bean’s nature than on the experience.
  • Single Origin coffees are coffees that have been grown by indigenous peoples. Coffee is famous because it carries the distinct flavor of the region where it is produced: The 3rd wave focuses less on combining beans and more on bringing out the inherent flavor of the beans. Coffee is grown in specific soils, at particular altitudes, and in specific climates. Roasters experiment with processing techniques and extraction processes and coffee beans are roasted lighter than before to preserve the aroma. As a result, coffee connoisseurs discover layers of flavors far more nuanced than the introductory notes they are accustomed to, such as honey’s sweetness, a soft rose aroma, or fruit’s sour overtones.
Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry
Three Waves In The History Of The Coffee Industry
  • The focus is on manual brewing techniques like Siphon, Pour-over, or Chemex and the Barista’s significant role: Coffee beans are now handcrafted by experienced baristas rather than being processed by machines. To become “masters” of taste, they hone their knowledge and skills. A cup of coffee can be made using a range of brewing methods worldwide thanks to always up-to-date expertise. As a result, users can learn in various ways and become better connoisseurs of their favorite beverage’s flavor. Barista has evolved from a career to a true “artist,” conveying the love for each coffee bean through his talented hands and romantic stories.
  • Direct Trade Coffee is a step forward in the direction of sustainability from Fair Trade Coffee: One of the bright spots of the third wave of coffee is the “community responsibility” that firms pledge to growers. Many coffee firms have begun to transition from Fair Trade to Direct Purchase to offer the most excellent local coffee possible. This concept enables coffee firms to directly support farmers by providing better resources and higher purchasing prices while also establishing a long-term supply chain between customers, roasters, and farmers.

The tendency of “amortization” has sparked the third wave of coffee, as can be observed. From the farm to the cup, the process is becoming more complex, sophisticated, and invested than ever before. The coffee is “removed” from the automatic machine processes and processed manually. Baristas have become “masters” of taste, knowledge, and abilities through rigorous education, which was not the case in the prior two rounds. Users began to modify their thoughts as they learned more about the different facets of flavor and the stories behind the coffee they drank.

History buffs refer to major moments of transformation in the history of coffee culture as “waves,” just as they do the “waves” of the industrial revolution or the “waves” of feminism.

Unlike feminism or industrial theory, however, the waves of coffee are specifically focused on how consumers interact with or relate to coffee as a consumable good, and this has changed significantly and rapidly with other historical and cultural trends around the world.

In a nutshell, the three waves of coffee represent how accessible or appreciated coffee was at various points in time: the first wave represents the transition from novelty to commodity, the second from commodity to culture, and the third from culture to consumer awareness.

Of course, it is much more complicated than that, as is everything in life. Continue reading to find out how the global consumer transitioned from instant coffee to sustainably sourced, direct-trade coffee!


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