Before I go into what I see as the problems with specialty coffee, I will provide some background on myself. In addition to being the publisher of INeedCoffee, I am a huge fan of going to coffee shops. In the last ten years, I have been to several hundred different cafes, mostly in Seattle but also in the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Vancouver, and Victoria.
I’ve seen the rise of third-wave coffee and I’ve loved the journey. In Seattle, I organize a Meetup group that does nothing but explore the coffee scene. We’ve had over 1,000 Meetups in the last 11 years visiting over 350 different coffee venues.
In other words, I am a huge fan. Although I do not work in the coffee industry directly, I consider my role both here on INeedCoffee and with the Coffee Club of Seattle as that of an ambassador. I want to help coffee fans on their journey of discovering more about coffee.
As much as the coffee industry has improved in the last decade, I feel there is room for improvement. Here are a few ideas.
1 What’s in the Hopper?
As an espresso drinker, I think the greatest thing to happen to coffee shops in the last decade has been the rise of “the choice”. Many coffee shops now carry more than one espresso option or do a rotating single origin espresso. Maybe even both. The offerings could change daily or weekly. The cafe might even be a multi-roaster, where not only does the region of coffee change, but so does the roaster.