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What are the THREE WAVES of COFFEE?


In our first blog, we saw how the story of coffee evolved. This blog will introduce you to what is generally called the “waves of coffee”. Waves are nothing but milestones in the journey of coffee that brought about a significant change in the way coffee is consumed.

While there are multiple opinions on how many waves exist, when these started, and what consists of them. The general consensus is that we have seen three waves of coffee thus far, although there are compelling arguments that a fourth wave has already started. We have summarised what the three waves of coffee mean in general.


First Wave


While some mark 1800s as the beginning of the first wave, there is another group that places it in the mid-1900s. Regardless, there is agreement that the first wave is characterised by the below:

  • Commoditisation of coffee;

  • Availability of instant coffee;

  • Mass production and distribution through off-the-shelf packed coffee; and

  • Coffee stepping into daily household routines.



Second Wave



Again, there can be a debate on the exact point in time when the second wave starts, but the range is much narrow between the 1960s and 1970s. Distinguishing impacts of the second wave were:

  • The emergence of “Coffee Shops” as we now know, esp. the Starbucks phenomenon;

  • Rise of the “Coffee Culture”;

  • Standard recipes based on espresso and steamed milk; and

  • Move from coffee as a commodity to coffee as a luxury.

Third Wave


Third Wave coffee is a recent movement which has been around for a couple of decades now. Key elements that make up the third wave are:

  • Appreciation of the coffee quality;

  • Emphasis on the source of coffee and fair trade;

  • Focus on processing and roasting methods;

  • Awareness and preference of aroma and flavours; and

  • Transparency around the bean-to-cup journey.


We are a part of the Third Wave coffee movement by providing you with ethically sourced Coorg coffee roasted to your liking. You can explore the specific aromas and flavour notes of our offerings in our shop.



Stay tuned for more fun facts on coffee!


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