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What Is “Third Wave Coffee”, and How Is It Different to Specialty?

The third wave of coffee. We come across this phrase all the time, in coffee shops or online. But what does it actually mean? How is it different to specialty coffee? And what’s this about the first, second, and fourth waves?

Defining the third wave isn’t easy. You’ll hear different explanations everywhere you go – some of which even contradict each other! So we reached out to some industry professionals to ask how they define it. Here are their perspectives.

Exploring Coffee Consumption In Uganda

In 2019, Uganda was the eighth-largest coffee producer in the world, ahead of Guatemala (10th), Nicaragua (12th), and Kenya (16th). Coffee is the country’s top-earning export crop; and though Uganda is a growing producer of arabica coffee, it has been historically known for its robusta production.

A 2016 report by the Ugandan Investment Authority stated that the country was Africa’s largest robusta producer, supposedly comprising some 7% of global robusta exports. Robusta plants are native to the forests around Kampala (the Ugandan capital) and the Lake Victoria Crescent.

Yet despite a rich heritage of production, coffee consumption in Uganda, as with many other producing countries, has historically been low. To learn more about internal coffee consumption in the country and how it is changing, I spoke to Andreas Nicolaides of Great Lakes Coffee and Fiona Tanner of Gorilla Highlands Coffee. Read on to find out what they said.