top of page

The 4th Wave

a creamy cappuccino set in front of a futuristic coffee roaster

Each "wave" in the world of coffee represents a significant change that our industry has gone through.

The first wave introduced the coffee drink to our homes through the birth of instant coffee, in a simple and convenient way.

The second wave was born out of the low quality of instant coffee. Some roasters decided that a significant move was needed to improve the quality of the coffee. 

The most significant representative of the second wave was Starbucks. They were the first roastery that sold bags of coffee for home use. Its transformation over the years into the most prominent "espresso-bar" company in the world (by far), contributed significantly to changing the perception of coffee from a low-grade drink into a fantastic product that represents a status symbol.

The third wave of coffee defined coffee as an artisanal product, not just a commodity. The very definition became mandatory in all aspects of the product: the attitude towards the farmer and his produce, local roasting, and of course, the brewing methods. All these led to a significant increase in the quality and prices of coffee, and in the process, the coffee market became one of the global leaders in the creation of lifestyle brands.

Taking this into account, expecting the fourth wave to produce another profound change is correct.

The definition chosen for this wave is the science of coffee.

The science of coffee refers to the effects of technology and scientific research in many fields of the coffee industry: cultivation, processing, roasting, and brewing. A deeper and more scrutinizing look at the definition leads us to understand that there is no actual definition here, from which one can understand why it is superior to the previous waves.

When my partners and I decided to establish a technology venture in the field of coffee, we took upon ourselves the task of making a profound change in the industry. Since the venture is a start-up, and a successful start-up can disrupt an industry, we tried to understand where technology can make a real change.

Leaning on that mindset, and out of our teamwork striving to reach this clear goal, it is possible to define the fourth wave in a more precise manner. 

"Taste control"

It's easy to see why the involvement of science and technology can help control flavors, from simple examples of controlling water temperatures and flow rates to more complex issues of creating new coffee varieties and fermentation methods in coffee processing.

But as previously mentioned, this still doesn't constitute enough to properly represent a genuine wave.

The vision we had, from which the company was born, actually took the opposite approach from how the coffee industry is typically run today.

We decided to start with the coffee maker, the simple kind you can find at home or the office, and we decided to build an alternative coffee system that would give it all the capabilities to control the flavors of the coffee.

So, what is happening (until) today?

The main explanation for flavor control is quite simple:

The raw material, green coffee, is like wheat or fruits and vegetables in the field. Then, we have the roasting process, which is similar to baking or a chef preparing a salad. Combining the green and the roasting process results in a finished product with distinct and clear flavors. Responsible for this process are roasters worldwide; they know how to select and buy green coffee, considering both flavor and cost. This stage largely determines the potential flavors one will get from their beans. To clarify, the major roasters today are the big coffee companies we all know: Starbucks, Nespresso, Lavazza, illy, and similar brands.

How can we give coffee drinkers more control over the flavors they enjoy? By bringing the roasting process closer to them - integrating it into home or office coffee machines. This also establishes a direct link between the drinker, the countries of origin, and the farmers who produce the raw coffee beans.

In essence, this turns the coffee-drinking experience into a vibrant farmer's market, where drinkers can test, taste, and experiment with different flavors. Ultimately, they have the freedom to choose the flavors they prefer, a blend of the raw material's characteristics, and their personal roasting preferences.

Welcome to the fourth wave!

The stage is yours!

23 views0 comments


bottom of page