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

  1. #1
    Member Kaldi's Avatar
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    ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    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    Mark Dundon has declared it passe, so we now have an exact historical reference point for when drew its last breath...!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

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    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.

  3. #3
    Member Kaldi's Avatar
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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote 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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    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
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    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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    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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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote 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???

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    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.

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    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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    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 :-/

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

    Good points well made MM67

    Quote 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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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote 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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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote 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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    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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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote 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.

    Quote 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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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote 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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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5941444451406B59555A0203340 link=1256630329/14#14 date=1256700068
    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.
    Yes, true, but with any generalisation there are exceptions to the rule...and surface level aside, if you were to compare the "sum total" of both cafes, the similarities would more than likely outway the differences.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 1D373A323F560 link=1256630329/15#15 date=1256702662
    Quote Originally Posted by 5941444451406B59555A0203340 link=1256630329/14#14 date=1256700068
    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.
    Yes, true, but with any generalisation there are exceptions to the rule...and surface level aside, if you were to compare the "sum total" of both cafes, the similarities would more than likely outway the differences.
    Apart from the fact they are both cafes that use good equipment, serve good coffee, good food and have good service? Menus and decor are different and pitched at different clientel. Malling room is very "Camberwell" whilst St Ali is very "South Melb" :)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C34313124351E2C202F7776410 link=1256630329/16#16 date=1256703917
    Apart from the fact they are both cafes that use good equipment, serve good coffee, good food and have good service? Menus and decor are different and pitched at different clientel. Malling room is very "Camberwell" whilst St Ali is very "South Melb"
    Perhaps one is very Camberwell and one is very Sth Melb because, well...one is in Camberwell and one is in Sth Melb!!

    And I honestly dont mean that in a smarty-pants way, but I do think this sort of nit-picking about what constitutes the "3rd wave" is missing the point.

    Your description of both cafes left out the important common elements of multible grinders/bean offerings, micro-roasting and highly talented, high profile baristi, which are all integeral elements of the *"3rd wave"....so, again I reckon its the similarities not the differences that stand out.

    Ohh, and they both serve great (as opposed to good) coffee too!! *;)

    And all I really wanted was for this to be a discussion about where "it" started...!!

    Cheers, Kaldi

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

    Quote Originally Posted by 456F626A670E0 link=1256630329/17#17 date=1256706599
    Quote Originally Posted by 2C34313124351E2C202F7776410 link=1256630329/16#16 date=1256703917
    Apart from the fact they are both cafes that use good equipment, serve good coffee, good food and have good service? Menus and decor are different and pitched at different clientel. Malling room is very "Camberwell" whilst St Ali is very "South Melb"

    And I honestly dont mean that in a smarty-pants way, but I do think this sort of nit-picking about what constitutes the "3rd wave" is missing the point. i
    I thought thats what I was arguing. My point was only that I dont think there is any aesthetic that can be defined as "third wave" Its all about the product. Both places are different yet both fulfill my idea of 3rd wave anyhow.

    sorry if I steered this off topic.

  20. #20
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    Re: ...so now its over but where did it begin?

    ...ok, now I get what you were saying, I misunderstood you.

    Its not off topic at all, Im just really interested in peoples opinions on where this "3rd wave" started in Australia, so I keep trying to steer it that way!

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

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Interesting topic. Im not sure when the 3rd wave reached this country, but it arrived at my door the minute my Galatea did *;)



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