Rubasse Blog

Step into the “Third Wave of Coffee” and Enjoy the Charming of Specialty Coffee

2173 | 2020-11-10

There have been many huge changes in worldwide coffee culture in these years. The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has been promoted the concept of specialty coffee for more years, not only people have more knowledge about “specialty coffee”, but more coffee professionals invent various unique flavors. Nowadays, the coffee industry is stepping in a new era.


“Third Wave of Coffee”

The term “third wave of coffee” was first refered in the SCA's magazine column The Flamekeeper in 2002, being famous and becoming the synonym of specialty coffee.

Third wave coffee is often contrasted with commercial coffee, which provides masstige and popular coffee mostly espresso drinks like Starbucks. The third wave café has the concept of offering exquisite coffee. Thay produce with the best manufacturing process, and try to reduce the gap between baristas and customers.

Self-roast cafés or roasters are typical of third wave cafés. Claim to supply fresh and light roasted beans, they advocate for high quality coffee or “specialty coffee”. Beside single origin, they focus on distinctive flavors representing barista's preferences and skills. Even if the prices are usually much higher than commercial coffee, many people have appealed to specialty coffee.

(Wikipedia: Third wave of coffee)


The growth of specialty coffee

In early 2000s, Norwegians first enthused in specialty coffee. World Barista Championship winner Tim Wendelboe spreaded the culture of specialty coffee from Oslo, have been a representative of specialty coffee.

San Francisco also has a long history of specialty coffee. All Blue Bottle Coffee, Verve Coffee Roasters and Philz Coffee originated from the Big Bay Area. You can meet specialty coffee shop in every street when you go to San Francisco.

According to Center for the Promotion of Imports' report, the market share of specialty coffee has about 10% growth for each year in Europe, and the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan also informed that specialty coffee were estimated to have 13% market share in Japan in 2018. The world biggest coffee brand Nestlé acquired 68% of Blue Bottle Coffee by more than 400 million US dollar that intends to penetrate the specialty coffee market.

Let's look back in Taiwan. Drinking coffee is not prevalent in Taiwan in traditional thinking. Although the coffee consumption per capita of Taiwan is only one half comparing to Northeast Asia or Europe countries, the growth of specialty coffee in Taiwan still catches on the trend third wave of coffee, makes Taiwan a key market of specialty coffee.

In recent years, Taiwan has fostered many coffee experts and has won many coffee championship. There are also hundreds of high quality coffee farms in Taiwan. Lots of people have been attracted in specialty coffee, make Taiwan a remarkable specialty coffee island.


The future of specialty coffee

The two most important organizations of specialty — Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) have merged into Specialty Coffee Association, integrating the resources to promote the culture of specialty coffee all around the world. They hold many coffee-related event including lectures, forums, and expositions excepting to make people have more knowledge in specialty coffee.

Specialty Coffee Expo
SCA hold many events of specialty coffee annually. (Photo by: SCA)

It is foreseeable that we can see more specialty coffee shops everywhere in few years. The coffee market will have a huge change because of the popularity of specialty coffee.

Rubasse Near-Infrared Digital Coffee Roaster was born for the third wave of coffee, blurring the line between exquisite roasting and mass production, instancing mass production of specialty coffee, and coffee makers can use the roasters to produce better coffee beans.