Hayman Coffee

Third Wave Coffee: Your Indispensable Guide (Part 2)

specialty coffee, speciality coffee, third wave coffee, third wave coffee movement, organic coffee


As promised, here is the second half of our two-part explainer covering all there is to know about third wave coffee:

Is There a Difference Between Specialty Coffee and Third Wave Coffee?

Must have come to believe that specialty coffee and third wave coffee are interchangeable terms. In reality, the two are in fact quite different.

Specialty coffee (or Speciality coffee) is used in reference to high-end, single-origin coffee produced by a noted farm in comparatively small quantities. It is a term which applies to ultra-premium coffee produced with meticulous care and attention, in order to result in something truly superior.

By contrast, third wave coffee refers more to the current coffee movement as a whole. Speciality coffee is a product, whereas third wave coffee is more of a trend. The skyrocketing popularity of speciality coffee is effectively a consequence of the third wave coffee movement.

Was Specialty Coffee Around During the Second Wave?

The short answer is yes, and in no short supply. While the second wave coffee movement was doing its thing, some of the biggest names on the High Street (like Starbucks) were getting creative. They were buying and selling all manner of specialty coffee from around the world, in order to pack their coffee shops with curious consumers.

Nevertheless, the second wave was not a time when purchasing specialty coffee to brew at home was particularly commonplace. Nor was experimenting with all the weird and wonderful brewing gear we all enjoy playing with today.

Speciality coffee in its own right is nothing new. In fact, prior to mass production taking over as the standard for much of the sector, speciality coffee from traditional organic coffee farms was the only coffee that existed.

Will There Be a Fourth Wave and What Will it Look Like?

As for what to expect from the fourth wave, projections vary from the sublime to the ridiculous. There are some who expect little more than a continuation of what is already taking place now. That being, even greater availability of fantastic specialty coffees from artisan producers worldwide.

In addition, it is inevitable that we will continue to see even more weird and wonderful coffee brewing devices hitting the market. All claiming to ‘revolutionise’ coffee production at home, though in most instances doing nothing of the sort.

There are also those who see the fourth wave focusing on the enjoyment of coffee on a more molecular level. Perhaps being introduced more readily into creative cuisine, or in the form of far-fetched coffee extracts and by-products used to create things we can’t even imagine.

Though in all probability, the most likely outcome will be a fourth wave that goes the opposite way. A contemporary coffee trend that focuses on taking things back to basics, rather than overcomplicating things. 

There are already those who insist the whole thing is going too far, given how all you need to enjoy the best coffee on earth is a bag of top-quality beans, a good grinder, some hot water and a basic drip filter!

At Hayman’s online store, you will find the best third wave coffee, including the legendary Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, Kona coffee Hawaii, and Panama Geisha coffee (also called Gesha coffee). These spectacular specialty coffees are available as green coffee beans (for home roasting), roasted whole bean coffee, ground coffee, and Nespresso®* compatible pods. Click here to order today, we offer free worldwide shipping!


* Nespresso® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., unrelated to Hayman®. Our espresso pods are not created or sold by Nespresso®.