Anyone who has worked in coffee understands that teaching a new employee to finagle a palatable shot of espresso is about as difficult as trying to teach a toddler violin; anyone can press a button on an espresso machine and hope for the best (we can think of one corporation with a big green sign that fits this category), but only the rare committed individual can master the barista trade. Here at Silver Service, there
If you have encountered a young person—usually with a handlebar mustache, a cardigan, a smattering of tattoos, and a knack for thrift shopping—who has proceeded to tell you about a new coffee shop in an artsy part of the city you live in, he or she was probably referencing what is now known as a “third wave” coffee shop. You've probably heard of cafés like it before; they usually serve fair trade coffee, offer gluten-free pastries, and are more expensive than your run-of-the-mill coffee spot. In the worst case scenario, the young person you encountered might have scoffed at your frequent Starbucks runs and your cup of Folgers every morning. In the best case, they encouraged you to visit their favorite café because they enjoy the environment, the coffee, and the values the business boasts. The patrons of these budding establishments are often referred to as “hipsters,” but the interesting fact is that they aren't just a fringe demographic; their values correspond with the values of millennial consumers as a whole. Those born between 1980 and 2000—the peak ages for specialty coffee drinkers—show marked concern for the environment, healthy growth of the economy, and gravitate towards companies committed to good citizenship. These are the frequenters of the third wave coffee shop.So all of us longstanding coffee industry participants need to ask ourselves, is the third wave here to stay? In what ways is the tide changing? Let’s take a look at what good has come from this movement to see if this style of café will long endure.
Do you drink coffee? Do you know what illy caffé is? (pronounced EEE-LEE) If you answered yes to both questions, you are among the minority of Americans. Illy is one of the oldest espresso roasting companies in the world and widely considered the gold standard in Europe. You may not know much about Francesco Illy and his coffee business; here's 5 reasons you owe him and his company a large debt of gratitude.