THE THREE WAVES OF COFFEE
FIRST WAVE - This was low grade commodity coffee. It was roasted extremely dark to hide the ugly and unpleasant flavours. No traceability and unreliable.
SECOND WAVE - The quality of the coffee is much better, but still a very dark roast resulting in bitter flavours.
The main focus of second wave coffee was creative drinks such as a flavoured latte that you would usually find being sold by the big name, high street coffee shops.
THIRD WAVE - This is where we are today, a complete re-invention of coffee. Third wave coffee, often referred to as speciality coffee, values traceability and transparency of origin. Highly skilled roasters are bringing out exciting taste notes we've never seen before by offering different roast profiles to extract the best flavour from each coffee bean.
Coffee beans are the seeds of a cherry that grow on a tree, not produced in a factory. Just the same as every other agricultural product we consume, they are best FRESH.
Commodity coffee was roasted extremely dark to essentially roast away the bad flavours. Third wave coffee is different. We want to emphasise exciting flavours which usually results in a lighter roast.
LIGHT - A lightly roasted coffee bean maintains more of the flavours and characteristics of its origin. The beans are usually dark tan in colour with no visible surface oils. You will find this type of coffee is often Floral & Fruity, Light Bodied, and will be accompanied by Crisp Acidity, Bright Aroma and No Bitterness.
MEDIUM - A medium roasted coffee bean will manage to maintain the vast majority of its flavours and characteristics but will be much smoother, less sharp and more approachable. The beans are light brown in colour and you'll rarely find surface oils. A medium roast keeps the exotic flavour but cuts out a lot of the harshness. This is done by producing notes such a caramel and honey which rounds out acidity and creates a balanced coffee. You will find a medium roast coffee is often Rich & Rounded, Floral & Fruity with a Medium Body, Smooth Acidity, notes of Honey & Caramel, and a Light and Pleasant Bitterness.
DARK - A dark roasted coffee bean is nowhere near as dark as the first wave. The beans are dark brown in colour with a very slight oily surface. There is less character in dark roasted beans but they're far from boring! The brighter acidic and exotic notes are smoothed out creating a darker sweetness, such a chocolatey flavours. This coffee will often have a Mellow Acidity and Deep Spice combining Earthy flavours with a Chocolate Sweetness, Heavy Body, Rich & Deep Aroma, and a Pleasant Bitterness.
SO WHICH COFFEE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? BLEND OR SINGLE ORIGIN?
SINGLE ORIGIN - Essentially, a single origin coffee means the beans have come from one crop, region or producer. One of the reasons why single origin coffee has become so popular is simple, they are all COMPLETELY different. The all have unique flavours and characteristics which makes them an extremely exciting option to any coffee lover. Every farm will produce a completely different tasting coffee bean. A coffee bean from Ethiopia will taste immensely different to a coffee bean from Rwanda. Even two farms on opposite sites of the volcano in Guatemala will produce beans with completely different features. The diversity of this different coffee is an adventure. The flavours will be more apparent, more exotic and less subtle than a blend.
BLENDS - A blend is simply two or more different beans combined to compliment each other and create a more rounded coffee. Originally (before third wave coffee), blends existed to mask less-desirable flavours of low grade coffee. However, today blends are carefully selected to create a consistent and reliable coffee. For example, you can pair a deep coffee that has earthy and chocolatey notes with a more floral & fruity coffee. The result is a well-rounded and balanced coffee that can take the acidic edge off of the floral coffee and add some lighter notes to the deeper coffee.
Do you want a reliable, well-rounded, balanced and consistent coffee that wont let you down? Go for a blend.
Are you interested in comparing unique coffee and there individual characteristics? Go for a single origin.
Are you new to coffee and want something approachable that doesn't offer too many surprises? Go for a blend.
Are you curious about vibrant natural flavours eg: pecan, plums, berries, vanilla, chocolate? Go for a single origin.
OUR ADVICE? TRY THEM ALL!