The definition of the Third Wave of Coffee has begun to spread also across Italy. The term was first used by a Norwegian coffee roaster, Trish Rothgeb, in a newsletter of The Flamekeeper association, in 2002. In reality, however, it refers to a movement originating in the United States in the Nineties that then spread across northern Europe and the Anglo-Saxon countries.
The first two waves
According to Rothgeb’s analysis, the Americans’ relationship with coffee has experienced three waves. During the first, coffee was consumed as a simple energy drink: thanks to its caffeine content, it was used to wake up in the morning and have an extra dose of energy during the working day, without paying much attention to its quality. Afterwards, the “social” aspect of coffee began to prevail. Cafés started to present coffee as an opportunity to socialise, share and relax.
The Third Wave
A movement promoting coffee as a high-quality artisanal product to be tasted slowly began in the United States in the Nineties. Small coffee shops that proudly sold masterfully roasted special blends to their customers began to spring up. The same period saw the development of a movement of careful consumers eager to learn, while enjoying a beverage they wanted to know everything about: from its country of origin to production processes.
Coffee narrates its own story
As it has always been for wine, beer and chocolate, today even coffee can narrate its story to those who approach it willing to know more. In addition to the blends, there are single origin coffees, which preserve all the fragrances of the soil in which they are cultivated, and when they are well-roasted, they offer to the palate a bouquet that is as complex as good wine.
The Third Wave in Italy
The Third Wave has just landed in Italy finding a highly fertile ground in a country that has always loved good coffee. There are new courses to introduce baristas and coffee enthusiasts to roasting, preparation and tasting techniques. Small coffee shops have entered gourmet handbooks and the experts who work there know how to suggest and tell about gourmand blends or unusual pairings that enhance flavours and aromas. In short, coffee has become an all-around experience, an exclusive treat that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. And how do you like your coffee break? Do you like to experiment with the products of small coffee shops? Tell us if you are already surfing the Third Wave of Coffee.