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Three Waves of Coffee: The History of Coffee Processing and Making. Part 2

Third Wave of Coffee - Eco and Specialty

Starbucks coffee house

The early 2000s were marked not only by the development of technology but also by a sufficient number of coffee connoisseurs. 

This is the era of real gourmet and specialty coffee.

The growing competition in the coffee business reached its peak. Various methods were developed to win over the consumers. However, the emphasis was placed on the origin of the bean, the history of its country, harvesting, and processing. 

The coffee gourmets of the 21st century have completely different requirements. They are primarily interested in the flavor of the drink rather than in the industry and production. Coffee as a consumer product has been reinterpreted.  

What is trending is not mass-market but craft establishments that can offer an exquisite drink and provide information on:

  • the country where the beans were grown;
  • the specific plantation and farmer;
  • the method of harvesting, processing, and even the geographical features of the region.

In addition, roasting and brewing methods have become unique enabling a broader range of flavors to unfold in a particular brew. Professional baristas appeared. They experimented with the methods and developed new flavor variations of the beverage. This resulted in well-known methods such as Chemex, Aeropress, filter coffee makers, and the Hario funnel.

Starbucks' Role in Flavor Development

People in the Starbucks cafeteria drinking coffee

Starbucks played a significant role in the development of coffee flavor preferences. Prior to the emergence of Starbucks, coffee was largely viewed as a utilitarian beverage used to relieve fatigue rather than for pleasure. Starbucks introduced the espresso machine to their chain of coffee shops, which allowed them to produce a more flavorful and complex cup of coffee. The heavily roasted beans used in their coffee also contributed to its distinct taste.

Despite Starbucks' popularity, many people don't know that the founder, Howard Schultz, adopted the concept of Alfred Peet. Peet is considered the forefather of the family coffee shop business and offered coffee brewed from beans roasted using his own method. This emphasis on the pleasure of drinking coffee rather than its mass consumption was a departure from the utilitarian view of coffee held by many Americans at the time.

However, Schultz knew that Americans were not yet ready for this concept of coffee drinking. As a result, he offered more acceptable options for the time, such as large servings of cocktails with milk, cream, and other additives. These options, like cappuccino, latte, and macchiato, were prevalent on the Starbucks menu.

Starbucks' success can also be attributed to their marketing efforts. They actively worked to create an image of coffee that provided more information about the country, climate, and history behind the beans' origins. This helped consumers develop an appreciation for the nuances of coffee flavor and origin.

In conclusion, Starbucks played a pivotal role in transforming coffee from a utilitarian beverage to a pleasurable experience. By introducing the espresso machine, heavily roasting their beans, and offering new variations of coffee drinks, they were able to create a distinct flavor profile that appealed to a wider audience. Additionally, their marketing efforts helped to educate consumers and create an appreciation for the origins and nuances of coffee flavor.

Demand for Craft Beverage Coffee maker espresso and french press

The consumer prefers craft coffee shops where the owners roast beans and offer unique flavors with distinctive notes instead of coffee from Starbucks. It is possible to attract customers with exclusivity - so that everyone feels special as if the beans were ordered from a farmer and carried halfway around the world personally for him/her.

Therefore, the era of natural drying of fruits is back, so small farmers and large companies began to experiment with ways of fermentation, which enables exclusive compositions and new flavors.

Mixed beans have been used less, and pure varieties that have been harvested from a single plantation are offered. Manual labor is more appreciated, and people are willing to pay more for it.

The concept of Specialty Coffee has been evolving since 2010. The relevant association was founded. It clarifies the principles of the coffee brewing process. More and more attention is being paid to the little things that didn't matter before. This is especially true for water as there are new requirements for it: particular temperature, transparency, mineralization, degree of purification, and natural properties.

A new approach is required to make a craft coffee shop a success:

Many baristas have become true artists, creating sophisticated patterns on the coffee foam. The trend has even been named coffee art. There is real headhunting for such professionals. They are paid a good salary and provided with the most comfortable environment, as well as all the necessary equipment. The barista's charisma is one of the important criteria. The client has to feel like a special guest, rather than just one of the visitors.

New Technology and Sustainability — Coffee Pods

Сoffee pods Nespresso maker

It is impossible to say for sure whether the innovative solutions and technologies belong to the third wave or whether this is the beginning of the fourth one - technological. However, it is certain that current solutions make it easier to get a savory beverage while preserving all of its properties. 

It all started in 1975 when Eric Favre of Nestlé noticed how the bar employees used special technology to brew coffee. They oxygenated it more and added a pressure that gave the drink a more distinct flavor. Eric was able to implement this idea only 10 years later when he created the first capsule machine patented by the company. 

The first attempts to sell capsules failed because they were offered to offices and companies, rather than the general public. However, everything changed with a new approach to the idea - the capsules were positioned as a luxury product that belonged to the exclusive club of coffee gourmets.

Initially, the capsules were made of plastic, which was considered the best option for mass production at the time. Even today, some brands stick to this concept in spite of global eco-trends.

Modern technology today goes hand in hand with environmental friendliness, which is especially in demand in a deteriorating natural and climatic situation. Having assessed the prospects, Nespresso, the major company, developed an innovative product - compostable Nespresso pods. Similar capsules appeared in the range of many companies. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that with maximum ease of brewing, the best properties of coffee beans are preserved.

It is worth noting that both Starbucks sticks and Nespresso pods are still overly intense due to strong roasting. This is largely the impact of an audience that is used to the coffee's strength, and then the appreciation of the flavor composition.

What Makes BOSECO Coffee Different

Compostable coffee pods

BOSECO Coffee capsules are a fresh approach to tradition, preference, and taste. More and more coffee fans are turning away from the old habits of looking for flavors, such as bitterish or sweetish with pronounced sourness in their drink. Unlike Nespresso caps, Boseco offers a milder, more refined taste with its medium roast taking the experience of drinking coffee to a new level.

With care for the environment, we create capsules from biodegradable material. Ground coffee goes directly into the stick and is instantly sealed. All pods are made from the finest coffees harvested from Congo, Colombia, India, Brazil, and Ethiopia. We tell a story and deliver an experience and emotion that is contained in every sip of the beverage.

Coffee and Sustainability: the Trend of the Contemporary World

The history of coffee pods has experienced its own waves. The first releases were all about innovation, the phenomenon of capsules as such. Nespresso was a monopolist for a long time, so it did not really seem to focus on developing in other directions. 

When new companies started entering the market, high competition developed among brands producing convenient and practical capsules. Thus, companies searched for fresh solutions and ideas to stand out and attract more customers. 

The second wave was marked by an emphasis on the flavor of the capsule coffee. Consumers now have got access to a variety of compositions, as well as unique aroma and flavor blends. The capsules are sold in sets with all kinds of varieties and combinations.

When coffee quality reached its peak and the world was trending toward sustainability, the market has seen new eco-capsules made from biodegradable materials. In fact, this is the third wave of capsule coffee, which is still going on.

What Makes Biodegradable Capsules Different

Organic biodegradable coffee pods and sprout

Eco-activists now perceive plastic and foil capsules as an unacceptable option associated with environmental pollution. For example, about 56 billion used capsules were discarded in 2018, and only 5 percent of them made it into recycling. This is serious environmental damage, so some countries, like Germany, have banned to use them in offices.

Companies made attempts to set up special collection points for used capsules. It was expected that more waste would go to recycling through such a move. However, according to statistics, only half of the consumers supported such an idea and the problem was still there.

New technologies have come to the rescue, making it possible to produce a biodegradable material with properties similar to plastic. Nevertheless, it degrades into compost in a matter of months. This is a real revolution in the environmental struggle for nature, as it enables us to completely eliminate the use of plastic in households over time.

Biodegradable capsules are not inferior to their predecessors in terms of their properties:

  • they are exceptionally airtight;
  • they are filled with high-quality coffee;
  • they do not require special disposal;
  • they are environmentally friendly and safe.

This method of capsule packaging has become a trend today. Every company that takes part in environmental preservation is happy to mention this fact in its mission statement. At the same time, the consumer becomes a part of the environmental campaign, which attracts more and more customers to such a brand.

Boseco offers a soft elegant coffee, which has an environmentally friendly container - a biodegradable capsule. This is a great way to join the effort to save nature and, at the same time, enjoy the best coffee with sophisticated flavor.

To be continued...




Illustration made with neuronet Midjourney

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