This week’s East Bay Express has an article about third wave coffee. The article refers to a trend that can be traced to baristas working for a coffee roaster in Oslo, Norway. The first two waves refer to 1) the introduction of instant coffee by Maxwell House and Folgers and 2) the emergence of serious coffee in the 1960s led by Peet’s. The third wave is marked by a new emphasis on bringing the bean’s grower, the roaster, and the barista together as equal players in producing a flavorful beverage.
The other hallmark of third-wave coffee is an overwhelming preference for light- and medium-roasted coffee, as opposed to the darker roasting style popularized by Peet’s and Starbucks. At its most basic level, the roasting process involves the application of heat to the green coffee bean, whose flavor gradually changes as it goes from a pale yellow through various shades of brown and, eventually, if you roast long enough, to a solid, fully carbonized black. To a third waver, this is akin to taking a prime rib-eye steak and simply burning it to a crisp. — East Bay Express
Jon poured me a shot of ristretto yesterday morning, made with Black Cat beans from Intelligentsia in Chicago. It was dark, almost syrupy, and very bold. It’s a cultivated taste, but one that I have been cultivating for years. (see a video of Jon making espresso) I will admit, though, that the article in the Express has me looking forward to trying some of these newer cafés and wrapping my taste buds around a cup of third wave joe.