Which Style of Coffee Shop is Better?
After a day in Caffè Bar Ficini of Rome, Italy, it became as light as day to understand the philosophical and practical differences between
Traditional and Third-wave Coffee Shops:
- Traditional coffee is like dance while
- Third-wave coffee is like math.
- Baristas of traditional cafes lead their clients through the cafe experience. No guide or maps needed.
- Baristas of third-wave cafes let the client equate their own cafe experience.
- Traditional cafes are about a feeling while
- Third-wave cafes are about an equation.
- A traditional barista must feel when the coffee is ready. No timers, no thermometers, nor automatic machines.
- A third-wave barista knows when the coffee is ready because the timers, thermometers, and automatic machines tell them so.
- Traditional coffee is about quality while
- Third-wave coffee is about appearance.
- Latte art is an unnecessary distraction if serving traditional coffee.
- Latte art is an added detail if serving third-wave coffee.
- Traditional cafes are about character while
- Third-wave cafes are about perfection.
- When using a traditional machine, no need to wipe the portafilters between shots. Like a well-used Japanese teapot, the buildup of coffee grind adds depth to the espresso.
- When using a third-wave machine, consistency is integral.
- Traditional coffee is about efficiency while
- Third-wave coffee is about sterility.
- Traditionalists have streamlined the coffee-making process.
- Third-wavists have accentuated the coffee-making process.
- Traditional cafes are about economy while
- Third-wave cafes are about extravagance.
- Clients of traditional coffee shops believe that the same, simple coffee is better. Too many choices over-complicates the cafe experience.
- Clients of third-wave coffee shops believe that a variety of choice benefits the cafe experience.
All in all, neither is better than the other. They both offer a unique cafe-going experience.
Now, go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge! And as always, thank you for reading and joining me on this #internationalcoffeejourney