Should coffee beans become less of a commodity product?

Gone are the days when you could ask for a simple frothy coffee in a coffee shop. If you asked now, you’d be greeted by a confused barista asking you specifically what kind of coffee you’d like, the size of the drink and even your milk preference.

Starbucks to an extent expanded the world of coffee drink options – from the skinny soy latte and flat white to the size grande frappuccino … And even coffee machines have followed suite. You may still be able to order a simple coffee in a greasy spoon or a hospital waiting room, but with the rise of the pod coffee machines and the sophisticated designs of the more modern coffee machines, coffee has certainly come a long way from the instant freeze dried granules.

In a previous post, I wrote about the rise of third wave coffee – a movement that aims to make coffee more like wine and less of a commodity product. I can certainly see this hitting off. Should coffee beans become less of a commodity product?

Coffee shops and coffee machines may give us a lot of choice, but how much do we really know about the different types of coffee beans, the roasting process and the stories behind how the coffee beans were grown and who grew them?

Perhaps in the future we’ll start to see less of the gimmicky coffee drinks and we’ll develop our taste so rather than there being a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ coffee, we’ll be able to distinguish between the different roasts and unique flavours of different kinds of coffee beans. This is the case with wine after all. Even if you’re not a wine connoisseur, you can probably tell the difference at least between a sweet and a dry or a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc.

At the moment, however, I think we’re still a long way off from coffee tasting (coffee cupping) sessions becoming as popular as wine tasting, but it’d certainly be nice to see more coffee shops offering the service.

more information about coffee cupping and coffee tasting

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