Here's the Wikipedia definition in full Third Wave Coffee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I found the history of the term revealing, down to one persons interpretation, he had to be American of course, seriously! what did America have to offer the word of coffee in 1974? I can tell you, I was there in that era, absolutely bugger all, in those days, as in most of the US now, the black liquid they serve in a cup is barely recognizable as coffee.
I find the claim that The US had anything much to do with the evolution of quality coffee to be a joke.
I guess their greatest claim to coffee fame is that they consumed more Folgers and similar brands than any other country in the world, and probably still do, high praise indeed.
In March 2008, Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold of the LA Weekly defined the third wave of coffee by saying:
The earlier term "specialty coffee" was coined in 1974, and refers narrowly to high-quality beans scoring 80 points or more on a 100-point scale."
The first wave of American coffee culture was probably the 19th-century surge that put Folgers
on every table, and the second was the proliferation, starting in the 1960s at Peet's
and moving smartly through the Starbucks
grande decaf latte, of espresso drinks and regionally labeled coffee. We are now in the third wave of coffee connoisseurship, where beans are sourced from farms instead of countries, roasting is about bringing out rather than incinerating the unique characteristics of each bean, and the flavor is clean and hard and pure.