Waves Of Coffee Trend: Where Are We Now?

For centuries, coffee trends have been constantly changing and the last few decades have been really exciting for coffee lovers as this is the period of growth and evolution of the global coffee industry.

The movements or also known as waves of coffee experience have also evolved and no doubt, you’ve encountered these different coffee waves but maybe just haven’t realized it, yet.

When we talk of coffee waves, it always speaks on the bean quality, sourcing practices, process, and anything related. Learning about them can give you ideas about where the coffee industry is headed and you’ll also gain ways to relate with your coffee roaster and your favorite cafe.

The First Wave of Coffee

It can be traced back to the 19th century when businessmen saw a market for providing coffee that was both affordable and “ready for the pot” or commonly known as instant coffee. Even though it received criticism for having the lowest quality to promote convenience and mass production, the innovations in processing, packaging, and marketing have skyrocketed across the coffee industry.


    Features of first wave coffee:

  1. 3-in1 coffee

  2. primarily pre-ground offerings

  3. Super dark, bitter coffee

  4. the supermarket coffee aisle

  5. Offers refuelling to customers

The Second Wave of Coffee

Second-wave coffee was born in the 20th century after a reaction to the “bad coffee” being marketed in the first wave. It resulted in consumers’ desire to know the origin of their coffee and understand the unique roasting styles. They started publishing the origin countries and began exploring higher-quality coffee.  Words like espresso, latte, and french press became popular. 

The downside of the second wave is that it lost its way - forsaking the source of the bean for the social experience of drinking coffee. Coffee shops became big businesses, luring consumers to drink their favorite coffee. The coffee business most often associated with having second-wave coffee is the brand name with a star.

    Features of second-wave coffee:

  1. Heavy focus on flavored drinks

  2. Rise of branded chain concepts

  3. Customized espresso-based beverages

  4. Offers enjoyment to customers

The Third Wave of Coffee

The term was first used in the early 2000s by Trish Rothgeb. It is characterized by coffee lovers interested in the coffee itself. With third-wave coffee, production and marketing taking the back seat and the product takes center with the emphasis on transparency within the coffee industry. Consumers can trace the coffee’s soil, altitude, and method of processing and its importance as a factor to the discerning pallet. 

Micro-roasters and coffee shops that roast beans in-house are associated with third-wave coffee.

    Features of a third wave coffee

  1. Focus on craft

  2. Importance of micro-roasting

  3. Hand produced

  4. Sourcing transparency

  5. Culinary appreciation of coffee

The Fourth Wave of Coffee

The fourth wave of coffee is the science of coffee. It focuses on coffee profiling, the act or process of learning information about someone based on what is already known. Fourth wave coffee celebrates the science of coffee and obsession with detail and perfect taste experience. Aside from promoting specialty coffee, the fourth wave also celebrates the rise of fine robusta.

    Features of a fourth wave coffee

  1. Accurate measurement in brewing

  2. Deep understanding of properties of coffee

  3. Water chemistry

  4. Development of brewing equipment

  5. Exploration of the coffee itself

Is there a 5th Wave of Coffee?

Since the coffee industry is fast pace, it is not impossible. Some suggest that the 5th wave of coffee is slowly developing which is referred to as the business of coffee - obsession with excellence and continuous improvement, customer-centricity, and investment in technology and team development. 

There are a few coffeepreneurs in the Philippines that are transparent and value authenticity when it comes to coffee beans’ quality. At Good Beans PH, we aim to promote Philippine coffee to the world but first, let every Filipino coffee lover explore the Philippines through coffee. 

We consider our company under both the 4th wave and 5th wave of the coffee trend - valuing the efforts of our farmers by being transparent to the source, valuing coffee brewing accuracy by continuing to learn coffee profiling, and investing in technology to serve our clients better. Check us out now at https://goodbeansph.com/.

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