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What Is Third Wave Coffee and How Did We Get Here?

From Folger’s to Stumptown, and Peet’s plan for the future

New school coffee roasters have made headlines in recent months — Stumptown and Intelligentsia were recently snatched up by Peet’s Coffee and new independent micro-roasters are opening up in cities big and small — but what does "Third Wave coffee" actually mean? A new generation of roasters and cafes are focusing as much on the buying and drinking experience of coffee as on the brew itself, putting a new premium on aesthetics while touting higher quality and better preparations. But the road to pour-over brews and fancy espresso bars is changing course, with consolidation shaking up Third Wave's more grassroots approach. Here's the history of the first and second coffee waves — they brought the world Folgers and Starbucks, respectively — and a look into the future of coffee culture in America.

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