Surely, you don't need us to tell you this, but the coffee scene here in Philadelphia is positively booming. It feels like a new spot is opening up every month! And we're not talking about corporate coffee chains - we're talking legit shops serving quality coffee to cool customers in every neighborhood in this town. We are so happy and proud to be part of this phenomenon and think it's very exciting that, after years playing second fiddle to "serious" coffee cities, Philly is stepping up its cafe game so undeniably.
This trend is the subject of the cover story of last Wednesday's Philadelphia Weekly, broken down into three articles: one about Fishtown's coffee shop renaissance, a sweet story by a barista who worked in a coffee kiosk in Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, and an interview with Nick Cho, formerly of Murky Coffee in New York, now at Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco. We found this third article particularly interesting, as it poses the question What is third wave coffee?
We ourselves throw this term around on this blog (and in real life) from time to time, and appreciate PW's attempt at defining it. One of the lines from Cho's explananation resonated with us. He says:
Third Wave coffee says, “We’re not going to accept the answers that we’re getting from the existing system.” We want to be able to ask the growers questions directly. Today that’s very typical in specialty coffee...
That's where we're coming from. We are not satisfied with status quo coffee. We do not believe that cheaper, bigger, hotter, or faster is necessarily better when it comes to coffee. Our close relationship with Stumptown allows us to know things about where, when, how and by whom the coffee we are serving is grown. And that, friends, is what is the beginning and end of everything we do.
Give these articles a read to feel some hometown pride, and to learn a little bit more about Third Wave coffee.