Third wave coffee


In the article “Third wave coffee,” Edward Fischer discusses how our gourmet coffee habit affects the livelihoods of producers. Fischer points out that these farmers mostly live in modest homes with limited opportunities and resources. Mr. Fischer, who is a cultural anthropologist, has studied the culture of Guatemala for years. It is the mecca for third wave coffee production.

Mr. Fischer points out the first wave of coffee production was from 1890 to the 1960’s. with familiar names like Maxwell House and Folgers as commodity coffees. In the late 1960’s, the second wave occurred with brands like Starbucks becoming the brand of capitalism.

This third wave is specialty coffees, which is produced on single farms. The coffees can go for over six dollars a cup. Although you may not think so, Mr. Fischer states that consumption of coffee in the United States is down, forcing many farmers to look for new opportunities.

Mr. Fischer says coffee consumption is down but all I see is new Dunkin’ Donuts and other coffee shops being built. On the main road in my town there are three Dunkin’ Donuts locations, one Honey Dew location and many other specialty coffee shops. The article was written in January of 2015, so it is current. Next time you have a coffee or don’t, think of the small farmers in a small area of Guatemala who depend on you buying coffee. Producing coffee beans is engraved in their culture.


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