As someone sits in their local coffee shop in their town, they normally think about what they have going that day or what they had done. They are probably not thinking about how their recent purchase of coffee with cream and sugar are affecting the lives of thousands of people in other countries. Drastic changes in the way Americans and other northern countries are drinking coffee have been impacting the coffee production countries like Guatemala. Anthropologists have called this change, “the third wave coffee.” This “third wave coffee” is the specialty coffee that many people have been drinking more recently. It is often artisanal infused and can be bought online by retailers like Stumptown, Intelligentsia, and Blue Bottle or by high-end coffee shops around the country. This “third wave coffee” follows the first and second wave of coffees, which include your normal brands Maxwell House or Folgers and popular coffee stores like Starbucks.
This new generation of coffees can be sold for $20-$50 per pound, and even though this price has risen farmers in Guatemala aren’t getter any richer. Coffee, is hard to grow; it is “back-breaking work and these farmers mostly live in very modest circumstances, with limited resources and opportunities (Fishcer 2015). So how is it that coffee is rising yet these farmers aren’t getting richer? Well with this new demand of coffee, it attracts many people to this new booming field. 50,000 new farmers have started growing coffee over the last 20 years. With these new farmers, the over production of coffee has started to take place and buyers don’t need as much because they want less quantity of coffee and more quality. The coffee industry is trying to achieve something more through a limited number of resources as well as opportunity. So this simply means that our changes here in the way we not only drink coffee but also brew coffee is having a huge impact on the way people live their lives in other countries.