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...so now its over but where did it begin?

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  • ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Those of us that have read the current issue of "BeanScene" will know that the "3rd wave" is over.
    Mark Dundon has declared it passe, so we now have an exact historical reference point for when drew its last breath...!

    But when did it begin? (in this country at least).

    I would argue that Atomica was Melbournes 1st "3rd wave" cafe...and therefore Australias 1st, given that Melbourne is the centre of Australias coffee universe.

    Atomica was the 1st cafe/micro-roaster with that certain "3rd wave" athsetic that I know of. It is also the 1st place I encountered real latte art. They were streets ahead of their peers in the mid 90s and are still producing the goods today. I guess they didnt really have the focus on sustainability/fairy traded coffees and S/Os that we expect from todays quality cafes, but they were certainly doing it differently enough to be pioneers I reckon.

    I would be interested to hear others thoughts about this and hope this turns out to be an interesting and contentious thread.

    Cheers, Kaldi

  • #2
    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    There is massive confusion as to what "third wave" coffee actually is and isnt so it is hard to define a begining and end. That said for the ones at the pointy end of the "wave" it might be over but most of the industry is still catching up and so the "wave" is continuing.

    I do agree with his comments regarding 3rd wave becoming a marketing gimmick.

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    • #3
      Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

      Originally posted by 69676A657264650B0 link=1256630329/1#1 date=1256631503
      There is massive confusion as to what "third wave" coffee actually is
      Yeah, I dont know about that...
      Its not that complex and you know it when you see it.
      I think most people will remeber when and where they 1st saw it too.

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      • #4
        Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

        What was the First and Second Wave that preceded the Third Wave?

        (hijack

        Brings to mind a skit done by the late, great Kenny Everett his his surfie guise "Wheres the beach, alas, alak - show me a wave...and Ill wave back!



        /hijack)

        PS - whats this rubbish about Melbourne being the centre of Australian Coffee? Obviously the centre is Maitland, NSW because MY house is the epitome of good coffee in Australia!!!

        ;D

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        • #5
          Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

          Anyone have a link that points to a definition of "third wave"??

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          • #6
            Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

            Originally posted by 424B5A5A43424B5A5A432A0 link=1256630329/4#4 date=1256679124
            Anyone have a link that points to a definition of "third wave"??
            that would be good... time for book???

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

              If first-wave coffee describes the post-WWII proliferation of low-quality robusta coffee, second-wave coffee is exemplified by companies such as Lavazza and Vittoria mass-producing higher-quality espresso coffee for cafes and supermarkets made from arabica beans. The biggest profiteer of second-wave coffee is, of course, Starbucks. Third-wave coffee makers are distinguished by their dedication to extracting the best from coffee in its purest, unadulterated form, with Melbourne specialists including Hawthorns Liar Liar and Brother Baba Budan on Little Bourke Street, owned by Mark Dundon, who last year sold the St Ali business he founded.

              This is taken from a recent article in the Melbourne Age. It doesnt really explain the nuances of 3rd wave, but puts it in perspective historically I guess.
              Again I would say that you know what a 3rd wave cafe is when you experience/see it, and it usually doesnt have branded umbrellas and wind-breaks out the front!
              I agree that the term 3rd wave is a bit of a toss, and is becoming a bandwagon, but I guess we need to have a name for this relatively recent step in coffee cultures evolution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                If I had to define it I would say that the first wave was the initial Italian influence and early Italian roasters. Previous to this Australians were mostly tea drinkers.

                Second wave was the proliferation of large commercial roasters and brands most cafes adopted these brands out of convenience with little knowledge of the beans they were using or even how to make a decent brew with them. The word tea house was largely lost. Your now either a Cafe or a Restaurant.

                3rd wave is a return to understanding the Origin of the coffee being sold and a pursuit of getting the best out of it. The barista is much more in touch with the coffee process before it reaches her/him. They are aware of how to follow their senses to determine how best to prepare it.

                Imo 3rd wave is more then just good quality coffee. Simply preparing well and serving "Coffee Supreme" or Veneziano with latte art does not make a cafe "third wave" unless it is also coupled with an exploration of other blends, s/os and an exploration of brewing variables.

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                • #9
                  Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                  My response to it becoming a bandwagon is everybody jump on board. Chances are that cafes who define themselves as third wave will be serving better coffee then those who are completely unaware of any movement. As consumers we still get the choice regardless of how cafes define themselves. Just as there were good and bad second wave cafes the same will apply to "third wave."
                  Ie Jamaica Blue :-/

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                  • #10
                    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                    Good points well made MM67

                    Originally posted by 554D48485D4C675559560E0F380 link=1256630329/7#7 date=1256689262
                    Imo 3rd wave is more then just good quality coffee. Simply preparing well and serving "Coffee Supreme" or Veneziano with latte art does not make a cafe "third wave" unless it is also coupled with an exploration of other blends, s/os and an exploration of brewing variables.
                    I agree, and I would argue that any cafe that knows the difference between good and great coffee and has the skills/knowledge (and probably machinery) to consistently serve great coffee does by definition take part in the exploration you speak of, and therefore could be consisdered "3rd Wave".
                    But, back to my original question: Where/When did this 3rd wave start in this country?

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                    • #11
                      Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                      Originally posted by 435B5E5E4B5A71434F4018192E0 link=1256630329/8#8 date=1256689659
                      My response to it becoming a bandwagon is everybody jump on board.
                      Couldnt agree more.

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                      • #12
                        Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                        Originally posted by 4F6568606D040 link=1256630329/9#9 date=1256690445
                        Where/When did this 3rd wave start in this country?
                        Perhaps Im simply too young and unaware but my gut feeling is that its an impossible question.
                        My feeling is that there were probably people aware and subscribing to the above ideals long before any such movement began.

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                        • #13
                          Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                          I am of the belief that "third wave" happened back in the 70s. Specialty coffees and all the hype was happening then. Single origin coffee and syphon bars were popular in Japan in 1975 and then copied in Melbourne.
                          Irrespective of this, anything to emphasize good coffee is a bonus. Some establishments are obviously media savvy today and use propaganda (or should I say Intelligent Marketing) to promote themselves at every opportunity. If they back it up with a good product then everyone wins.
                          The next wave will be whatever the slick and savvy sales and marketing dept can think of.
                          Remember that some subscribe to the notion that any publicity is good publicity. If this business gets a lot of exposure, and its owners are reaping the financial benefits, then they are the smart ones riding the profit wave.

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                          • #14
                            Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                            Originally posted by 7077626D60030 link=1256630329/12#12 date=1256693784
                            I am of the belief that "third wave" happened back in the 70s. Specialty coffees and all the hype was happening then. Single origin coffee and syphon bars were popular in Japan in 1975 and then copied in Melbourne.
                            Thats interesting. I didnt know that.

                            Originally posted by 6E76737366775C6E626D3534030 link=1256630329/11#11 date=1256691411
                            Perhaps Im simply too young and unaware but my gut feeling is that its an impossible question.
                            My feeling is that there were probably people aware and subscribing to the above ideals long before any such movement began.  
                            Seems to back up your comment MM67.

                            However, I still think there is a certain aesthetic associated with what I consider to be "3rd wave" cafes. There are certain similarites in the people and how they present themselves, thier establishments and thier product that is as much a part of being a "3rd waver" as anything else.

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                            • #15
                              Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

                              Originally posted by 1C363B333E570 link=1256630329/13#13 date=1256696077

                              However, I still think there is a certain aesthetic associated with what I consider to be "3rd wave" cafes. There are certain similarites in the people and how they present themselves, thier establishments and thier product that is as much a part of being a "3rd waver" as anything else.
                              Ill have to disagree with this. The Aesthetic and atmosphere of St.Ali and Malling Room are worlds apart. Any difference in staff would be the difference between career hospitality workers and backpackers/school/uni part time kids.

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