The third wave
You have probably already noticed, the specialty coffee offers a aromatic palette out of the ordinary; Grape, strawberry, dark chocolate and hibiscus are some examples of what can be found in terms of flavor and aroma. "Yes but Geek, will my coffee still taste like coffee even if there are hints of blueberries and blackcurrants?"Yes and no! I'm going to give you an overview of the“how and why” coffee can possess these characteristics and try to answer this question that I am sometimes asked at my coffee.
But first; what the third wave or specialty coffee It is above all a way of doing things that highlights the region, the terroir, the producer, the cultivar(s) used and the know-how of each and everyone throughout this great process. It is to give the grain everything we can offer it in terms of know-how to help it express itself fully. It is also having a tasting lexicon and to have major events pretty much everywhere in the world. It is to give and give back to the coffee its notes of nobility!
It all starts with the producer , the farmer. It is thanks to him that we can succumb to this small pleasure of life. In my opinion, there is no one more important than them in the industry. The very basis of a good coffee will depend on several factors including the region, the altitude, the terroir, the cultivar, and the transformation process (we will come back to this in another article!). Every little detail counts and will ensure that the roaster can develop the most complete aromatic palette, to our great pleasure.
The work of roaster is, you guessed it, roasting coffee. This art aims to transform the grain, which is still green, into a grain that will be "cooked" in order to be able to consume it. This is where the roaster's know-how comes into play. Depending on each type of coffee, there will be a suitable roasting for this one to bring out the desired notes. Take the example of a coffee from Kenya. Generally this region brings fruity notes with a rich, tangy and syrupy body. It will therefore be necessary to good curve of temperature and time to be able to extract these characteristics . The roaster will perform several tests with different variables before finding the perfect compromise between fruity and sweet and between acidity and bitterness. Roasting a coffee is an art!
We have been used in the past to over-roasted coffees with slightly smoky, bitter aromas and flavors without too much complexity. What a dark roast! I'm not saying here that it's evil incarnate, but let's just say that it's not the best way to do justice to this grain that has worked hand in hand with mother nature. A coffee will be dull and lifeless if it has been over-roasted and, of course, will be unidirectional in its taste perception. Conversely, a lighter coffee will be opened withs nuances and a frank and balanced complexity . You will quickly take a liking to this complexity; where the aromatic layers overlap and reveal different flavors throughout the tasting.
So to answer that question, yes third wave coffee will taste like coffee! It is of course different but you will see that this difference is most pleasant. It is a small pleasure where you can travel on the other side of the world, one sip at a time.
Whether it is to consume on the spot in your favorite café or to buy a coffee that you will make at home, do not hesitate to speak with your barista. It is our role and above all always a pleasure to advise you in order to find the grain that will be perfect for you. Remember that there is no right or wrong choice, because basically, a good coffee is a coffee that we enjoy drinking!
The Coffee Geek