The specialty coffee industry is one that has traction and does not show signs of slowing down.
There is a way that coffee has an affect on people on every level of the supply chain. Wine has been around for a really long time, just like coffee. Wine is consumed ceremoniously, just like coffee. Wine is admired and hunted, just like coffee. And, when you ask a person about their favorite wine, they will tell you the varietal, the region it came from, the year it was harvested and be able to explain why they like it. For example, a wine drinker will say, ‘this wine has a real floral nose, big body, bright acidity, and a long sustaining finish with flavors of strawberries, lavender, chocolate and hint of roasted beet’. Why is it that wine can be so meticulously defined with purpose and coffee does not, yet? That is changing and changing rapidly. There are 3 waves of coffee: 1) the Folgers (home coffee) era 2) the Starbucks, Peets and Caribous (the coffee shop location) and we are in the 3rd wave of the coffee industry which is the craft roasted coffee where we demand an experience along with the fix. But still, a lot of people cannot tell you where their coffee comes from. That will soon be changing as well.
We are starting to describe coffees based on their aroma, fragrance, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, balance and complexity. We are starting to describe them just like wine. Some coffee tasters may even say, ‘this coffee has a chocolate aroma and it really comes to life in the fragrance. The flavor is light in the beginning with toasted almonds and notes of citrus and ends with a floral consistent to that of lavender and the finish lasts and lasts...the body of the coffee is rich like cream and the heavy acidity plays well to cut into the richness which makes for a really nicely balanced cup of coffee. And while it cools down it tends to become even sweeter with notes of strawberries and champagne.’ That is the definition of the third wave but only the beginning as we start to experiment and execute nitro, cold brew and even partnering with brewers to add coffee to their craft. Specialty coffee would not be here if it were not for the farmers that work extremely hard to support their families with a crop that is consumed by a country that is not their own. They need to be recognized and given proper attention to keep the quality of the coffee high. We can all be a part in something that connects something we love to pay for to paying the right people for their effort.
Keep drinking coffee and we’ll keep sourcing, shipping, roasting and brewing it.