Third Wave Raves

Obsessive attention to details and exactness, coffee formulas, coaxing out coffee’s nuances – these are all described in a recent article on two baristas by Polly Campbell. Though she never uses the term third wave, she has accurately described the ultimate definition of the third wave of coffee. Indeed, her colorful wording almost takes the current wave of coffee culture to a higher spiritual plane. Campbell’s article introduces us to Chuck Pfahler, roaster and coffee shop owner, and restaurant barista Sebastian Hue. Pfahler, who obsesses over every cup of coffee, is the ultimate third wave barista. He measures and tests, collects data on spreadsheets, uses water at exactly 207 degrees F., and even pours the water in his pour-over in a clockwise direction. All this boils down to his simple basics for good coffee: good beans, pure water, simple equipment and gravity. Hue introduced the after-dinner table-side pour-over to his restaurant, in which the waiter/barista prepares the after-dinner coffee for customers right at their table with, in this case, a Chemex. It’s the filter he likes which he feels brings out the “clarity and elegance” of the gourmet specialty coffee. Hue says the pour-over “creates the highest expression of the coffee”. It works well with estate coffees by “coaxing out their high and low notes and nuances of flavor”. The expressions of the writer and the baristas reveal a deep respect and love for their craft and the coffees and coffee makers with which they brew their quality coffees. Both use the new pour-over method, a more labor intensive brewing method. Both the Hario and Chemex were mentioned, each representative of the third wave cutting edge. ROASTe is excited to be able to offer both coffee preparation methods.

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