Eduin – Colombian Microlot: Our Newest Roast

Here at Achilles Coffee Roasters, we are constantly searching for the world’s best coffee beans. Often times that means working with independent farmers and co-ops in areas that are a little off the beaten path. It’s this dedication to quality that led us to find Eduin and his Microlot coffee beans.

What is a Microlot?

One of the best ways to describe a microlot is by using an analogy of an apple orchard. Imagine that you’re growing apples and most trees are producing great tasting apples, but one spot on your farm produces apples that taste even better. These apples are juicier, crispier, and it’s very easy to notice how much better these apples are from the others. So you fence off these apples and start giving them special attention to grow even tastier than before. Now these apples not only taste better, but they can also be sold at a premium to special buyers.

That is the basic idea of coffee microlots. A microlot is not just a small lot of coffee. The term also implies that there has been research and experimentation by the farmer or co-op into producing a coffee with exceptional characteristics.

About Eduin & His Farm

Eduin is an ambitious, modest coffee farmer native to the Herrera community, a very isolated area of southern Tolima. The area is one of the more impoverished of Colombia, due to its violent history of insurgent and criminal armed groups that continues even today.

Eduin on his farm in Colombia

Though his farm consists of 1.5 hectares, he is determined to make the small amount of coffee he produces as good as possible. Eduin has a young, growing family, and sees specialty coffee as the way to provide with only a tiny piece of land.

Coffee Growing on Eduin's Farm
Eduin’s Coffee Growing

For Eduin, the risky bet has paid off and allowed him to achieve specialty cup quality even with his limited on-farm infrastructure. Since December 2017, Eduin has been earning nearly twice the Colombian commodity price for his coffee by working with roasters like us.

About the Roast

For this coffee, we decided to do a roast that is between light and medium. This allows all of the bright flavors of a light roast to shine through while still maintaining a deeper base of a medium roast. The tasting notes are Strawberry Jam, Brown Sugar, and it has a Citrus Acidity.

Eduin’s roast is now available online and in-store so you can try the microlot difference for yourself.

The History of the Latte

Traditional Latte Art
A Latte with Latte Art

Whether you call it a caffe latte, cafe au lait, or cafe con leche, the Latte is a drink that has stood the test of time. It has become one of the quintessential drinks of the modern coffee shop, but how did it get there? The history of the latte is a long and fascinating tale with as many layers as the art that traditionally tops them.

First, let’s begin with what is a latte? The modern latte is a combination of, typically, a double shot of espresso mixed with steamed milk. They can be made hot or iced and come in a variety of flavors. It is a simple, delicious drink that fuels many people around the world each morning. What we now know as a latte would confuse many of its original drinkers.

Early History of the Latte

Europeans have been mixing coffee and milk since at least the 17th Century. The term “caffe e latte” was first used by William Dean Howells in his 1867 essay “Italian Journeys”. At this point in history, coffee is starting to become a worldwide sensation, but the brewing methods were still very primitive as espresso machines had not been invented yet.

The Invention of Espresso

To understand what they were drinking, let’s look at a brief history of the espresso machine. Italian coffeemaker Illy defines authentic espresso as, “A jet of hot water at 190°-200°F passes under a pressure of nine of more atmospheres through a .25 oz cake-like layer of ground and tamped coffee.” The first patented espresso machine dates back to 1884, but this machine was only able to create a pressure of 1.5 atmospheres. 

Although there were many improvements made over the years, this issue would not be solved until the 1940s. Milanese cafe owner Achille Gaggia changed the game by adding a spring-piston lever to be operated by the barista. This is where the phrase “pulling a shot” originated and is still widely used today though the levers have been abandoned. This also lead to the discovery of crema. Consumers were initially suspicious of the “scum” floating on top of their coffee until Gaggia began marketing it as “caffe creme”, suggesting that the coffee could produce its own cream because of its high quality. There were a few more innovations over the years, but nothing that would impact the drink on such a massive level for a few decades. 

Espresso with Natural Crema
A Freshly “Pulled” Espresso Shot with Rich Crema

The Reinvention of the Latte

Steam wands had been added to espresso machines as early as 1903, but they had just been used to heat and create texture in the milk. In the 1980s, baristas from Seattle, Washington began to “paint” with the highly textured milk and create art to top the drinks. Over time these designs were popularized and spread throughout the world. It is now common practice to finish any steamed drink with latte art.

The latte has seen many changes over the years, but the fundamentals of coffee and milk remain the same. We likely haven’t seen the end of the evolution of the latte. In the age of social media, coffee trends change and spread faster than ever. The only thing we can be sure of is this traditional drink will continue to adapt with the times.

Your Coffee Experience is Design Driven | Coffee Shop Design Trends

Coffee Shop Design Trends

Search ‘coffee shop’ on Instagram or Pinterest and you will discover an eclectic world of design trends. Where we buy and consume our coffee has become an important third place, not only in the U.S. but around the world. The first place is home. The second place is work. The third place is where we relax and find community, the anchors of our society. A recent study found millennials are spending more on coffee than they are saving for the future. No doubt this trend contributes to the growing number of coffee shops opening around the country. As a result, more time spent in the cherished third place.

Every day new people are turned on to the specialty coffee shop experience for the first time. However, it is not a new concept. Constantinople, modern-day Istanbul, is cited as the birthplace of the coffee house in 1555. Even then it was a social center where people, mostly men, would gather to drink coffee, converse, read and listen to music. Almost, 450 years later not much has changed. Well, the customers are more diverse, arguably the coffee is better and the design is as important as the espresso.

Coffee is Design-Driven

It is hard to pinpoint exactly when Specialty coffee shops became design-driven. There was always an emphasis on equipment, but with a minimalist build out. The focus was truly on the coffee. Then there was a pivot around 15 years ago when design took the wheel.

Simplicable defines design as ‘the practice of creating form, function, and experience.’ When coffee shop design adopted this approach a lot changed.

While the funky, bohemian, neighborhood coffee shop with old thrift store couches, bookshelves, magazines and chess boards still exists, it’s third wave specialty coffee cousin evolved and stepped up in a big way.

Coffee Shop Design

In the highly competitive coffee industry, the contemporary design concept rules. The couches have been replaced with stools and stone counters. The corner lamps, replaced by custom made light fixtures hung from high ceilings.

Books have been replaced by laptop computers plugged into a nearby receptacle. In fact, some coffee shops like Ritual Coffee in San Francisco have no receptacles in order to discourage the masses from using the third place as an office.

Open Space Design

Coffee Shop Design Trends Counters High Ceilings.
Less is more in contemporary design, except when it comes to open space. The latest coffee shop design trends place an emphasis on layout design and incorporate the best use of space to create an open relaxed feel. How do you create a big open feel in a 1000 sq ft coffee shop? Seating around the edges leaves the center of the room open. Throw in high ceilings and suddenly 1000 sq ft feels like 2000 sq ft.

Optimizing seating space is crucial and specialty coffee shop design trends reflect it. The four top with one person seated with a laptop is a relic of the past. Counters with stools and the occasional two top can accommodate more bodies with less space.

The Counter as a Gathering Place

In the past, the counter was used for ordering only. Customers ordered, paid, and then likely sat down at a table with hardback chairs. Now, it is not uncommon to find the counter as an island at the center of the coffee shop experience. It resembles a bar where guests can take a seat, have a drink and watch the baristas do their thing.

Tile Design

Tile installations are very hot. The white subway tile backsplash behind the counter was just the beginning. Coffee shop design takes some very interesting directions with tiled walls, counters, and even floors. Creative use of tile size and shape creates a fun atmosphere. As we all spend more time in the third place, design plays a more crucial role.

Equipment Design

Cars are the classic American status symbol. But in the specialty coffee world, the coffee equipment, particularly the espresso machine, communicates the status of the coffee shop. The coffee equipment on the counter plays a huge role in the design of the shop. Walk up to the counter at a new specialty coffee shop and the espresso machine is proudly displayed. Probably a shiny La Marzocco or Synesso machine which can range up to $20k+. That’s right, these machines are the luxury sports cars in the coffee shop world.

Baristas understand the importance of quality equipment. If a specialty coffee shop wants to attract and attain talented baristas the shop needs to be outfitted properly. This includes coffee and espresso grinders and brewers. It goes without saying that quality equipment produces a superior product, but also improves design aesthetic and workflow.

Functional Design

Although there are common themes among coffee shop design trends, ultimately the design should be functional, a response to people’s needs. At the coffee shop, there are three end users, the customer, the barista, and the owner. Design should take into consideration the needs of all users, solve problems and create a better experience.

Innovations to Recycle Spent Coffee Grounds

Innovations to Recycle Spent Coffee Grounds

The coffee industry creates the second most traded good in the world, coffee. An estimated 90% of brewed coffee ends up as Spent Coffee Grounds (SCG). Up until recently, companies have been sending their grounds to the landfill. To maintain coffee’s immense presence in daily life, we must understand the impact the industry has on our environment and learn to recycle spent coffee grounds in new and innovative ways.

Maybe Familiar with Methane?

Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is the primary component of natural gas. Methane comes from the burning of fossil fuels, digestive processes of animals, and decomposing waste. In addition, landfills create the third biggest source of man-made methane emissions. Compared to carbon dioxide, methane is 30 times more harmful. Organic materials, or compostable items, comprise the largest component of municipal solid waste.

Coffee Can Absorb Methane Recycle Spent Coffee Grounds Achilles Coffee Roasters

Researchers in South Korea are utilizing the absorbency qualities of coffee grounds. Christian Kemp shows that spent coffee grounds have the capability to store large amounts of methane. Scientists combine the coffee grounds with potassium hydroxide, or lye. Then, they activate the mixture by heating it to 800 degrees Celsius. In less than a day, the team created a material that captures large amounts of carbon and methane. And, seeing as spent coffee grounds are everywhere, the materials are inexpensive. Coffee is a great absorber, allowing steps like filtering and washing in other methods to be eliminated. Recycling spent coffee grounds also makes a faster alternative to other carbon captures.

Kemp has shown that the same method could be used in natural gas-powered vehicles. The coffee ground mixture stores methane at low pressure, making it ideal to remove gas emissions from vehicles. This process creates the potential to eliminate the need for a gas tank.

Water for Coffee, or Coffee for Water?

In Italy, scientists from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia are using coffee sponges to filter heavy metals from water. Despina Fragouli and her team added sugar and silicone to spent coffee grounds. This created a sponge-like product. When soaked in water, the sugars escape so that the coffee can bind to metal ions in the water. After testing, researchers could conclude that the coffee sponge had the same efficiency as any commercial water filters on the market.

“It’s very important that we find new resources to make polymers-materials that are reusable and that can replace the petroleum-based materials we currently use.”Despina Fragouli

Coffee Doesn’t Just Fuel Us

In the United States alone, people drink about 400 million cups of coffee a day. That creates a lot of spent coffee grounds that could be repurposed. A U.K. based company called Bio-bean is reusing the coffee grounds to make biofuel. Each year, the U.K. wastes 500,000 tons of coffee grounds. First, Bio-bean combats this problem by partnering with existing waste management companies. These partners collect grounds from numerous locations and transport them to Bio-bean’s factory. There, workers recycle spent coffee grounds by extracting the oils and combining them with other fats. Then, Argent Energy creates biodiesel from these oils and combines it with mineral diesel. The B20 biodiesel formula provides 10-15% less CO2 emissions than regular diesel. Through Bio-bean, fleets of buses in London now run on the B20 biodiesel made from coffee.Recycling Spent Coffee Grounds into Biodiesel

Bio-bean makes a whole lot more than biodiesel from spent coffee grounds as well. They make coffee logs as an alternative heat source. These eco coffee logs are used in stoves and open fires and contain 20% more energy than wood. The company also makes biomass pellets. Scientists form these pellets from a byproduct of making the B20 biodiesel.

“The company is even exploring the possibility of selling these pellets back to coffee shops to be used to roast coffee or boil water, which would create a true circular economy, with waste becoming the input power for the production activities that created it.”-Duncan Pike,Roast Magazine

Coffee Grounds Recycling Loop

In 2007, Japanese government enforced a law that businesses in the food industry must reduce or recycle 50% of their food waste. This created many questions for the coffee giant Starbucks. So, Starbucks gathered a team, led by Yoshihito Nakagawa, to find a solution. The team conducted extensive research and decided to recycle the spent coffee grounds as feed for cattle. The company Menicon designed a lactic acid bacteria to break down coffee grounds turning it into cattle feed. This feed contains antioxidants from the coffee which helps prevent infections. The antioxidants also improves milking efficiency in cows. On the other end, Starbucks goes further by buying back the milk from the cows they created feed for.

When Starbucks doesn’t use spent coffee grounds for cattle feed, they use them to make fertilizer. In a matter of 5 years, the coffee giant recycled 1,300 tons of coffee back into the food system. Ultimately, the Japanese food law allowed about 82% of food waste to be reused. Moreover, through the help of larger companies like Starbucks, the food industry can help create more sustainable resources.

Recycle Spent Coffee Grounds at Home

Unfortunately, these companies use larger factories and advanced technologies to create these products from coffee. However, you can find ways to recycle spent coffee grounds on a smaller scale. Consumers easily tend to their own compost piles in the comfort of their own yards. Also, innovators create body scrubs, flea repellent, and even meat tenderizers. Therefore, consumers as well as larger companies can continue to contribute to a greener world by recycling spent coffee grounds.

Flat White vs Cappuccino Do You Know the Difference?

Flat White vs Cappuccino

So, what’s The Difference Between Flat White and Cappuccino? Lately, there has been a lot of talk and debate over two very traditionally different drinks that are slowly becoming very similar.

As the Third wave of coffee is crashing over the world there are a lot of changes being made to classic coffee methods and ideals, from brewing, to technique and the ethics behind the whole coffee experience. We have seen new styles being introduced to coffee for the better half of the last decade. One of the most noticeable changes has come from the many new drinks that involve coffee. Baristas and new coffee shops popping up everywhere are now mixing their coffee with things like tonic water, ice cream and of course milk!

Shot of Espresso Cappuccino Flat WhiteHistory of Flat White and Cappuccino

So lets take a look at two very popular drinks, A flat white and a cappuccino drink. In most third wave coffee shops you’ll find one of these two and or maybe both.


The history of these two drink couldn’t be more different so lets start with the cappuccino. The cappuccino is an age old drink that dates back to the 1900s this drink has been a staple morning drink for many Europeans. The tradition is to have a cappuccino served in a 5-6 oz cup with espresso milk the a semi-thick layer of foam that has been aerated slightly longer to softly lay over the top of the drink. A clear separation between the foam and the espresso.

Flat White

The flat white was first brought to light in the 1980s in Australia and New Zealand. There’s no doubt that the drink draws inspirations from the much older cappuccino but with its own twist. A flat white will more commonly have less foam. In fact the milk will be mirco-foamed for a more silky mixture of milk and espresso. Think of it as a cappuccino sized latte.

There are many baristas alike that have chosen a side saying the Flat white has a stronger flavor with perfect mix of milk and espresso. Others saying that the cappuccino is the drink that best mixes espresso and foamed milk. Sometimes the only difference for some is the vessel that the drink is served in. The more experience you have with either of these drinks you will see a common theme being that the milk is almost always foamed longer for a cappuccino than a flat white.

Next time you go into a specialty coffee shop maybe see for yourself what the differences are between a flat white vs. a cappuccino?

Fitting Fruit into Your Morning Coffee Ritual

Fitting Fruit Into Your Morning Coffee Ritual

We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but why? According to the USDA, the optimal recommendation for fruit intake is 5 servings per day. Leading busy lives, it can be difficult for people to maintain those 5 servings each and every day. Therefore, here are a couple reasons why it’s so important to fit fruit into your morning coffee ritual.

Fueling Antioxidant Power

So, why exactly is it that 5 servings of fruit per day is recommended in a healthy diet? Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants that people get in the western world. Antioxidants themselves are chemical compounds that help to prevent numerous diseases like diabetes and heart disease. However, there are numerous antioxidants, and coffee only has one type. This is where fruit comes in. For a healthy diet, it’s important to ensure you’re getting a variety of fruits and vegetables because each one has different nutrients and antioxidants.

For example, the antioxidant level of oranges, measured by ORAC value is 1819, while bananas are only 725. Apples have a high antioxidant level ranging from 2500 to 4300 depending on the type of apple. According to ScienceDaily, Red Delicious apples contain the most antioxidants out of all the variety of apples.

Coffee Complements Fruit Benefits

There are numerous reasons why fitting fruit into your morning coffee ritual is beneficial. Due to their high water and fiber content, fruits keep you fuller longer. Fruits are also low in calories, making the combination promote weight loss. Apples and citrus fruits specifically, tend to give you a better sense of satiety than other fruits. Again, this shows the importance of creating variety within your daily fruit intake.

Including fruit in your morning coffee ritual can boost sources of antioxidants

Orange 101

Although the origin of oranges is unclear, it is said that they have been seen cultivated in Asia thousands of years ago. The most common benefit of oranges and other citrus fruits is the high vitamin C content. One large orange contains all of your daily needs for vitamin C in one serving. Oranges are also a great source of thiamin (B1), potassium and folate. All of which are great as disease fighting agents.

Banana Boosting Benefits

Get more antioxidants at your local coffee shop with your morning coffeeFitting fruit into your routine can be easier if it helps you get through the day. Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan, vitamin B6 and potassium which all help boost your body’s energy levels. The fiber and starches in bananas regulate blood sugar levels in the body. These components also promote healthy digestion by feeding the bacteria in your gut. For Type 2 diabetics bananas are also a good choice because they help with insulin resistance. Even though bananas contain many nutritional benefits, the sugar content may create some adverse effects. However, eating a banana is better than not eating anything at all.

All For Apples

Include fruit with your morning coffee and get more antioxidantsThe main benefit of including apples in your diet is the antioxidant power that they give. Apples have some of the highest antioxidant levels alongside berries. They are high in fiber, water and carbohydrates which helps you feel full longer promoting weight loss. Another great benefit of apples is their aid in preventing cancer. This is in part due to their antioxidant power. Apples can create adverse effects for people with digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, avoiding FODMAP foods. These foods contain simple carbohydrates which are difficult for people with digestive problems to digest. However, if you don’t have problems such as this, fitting fruit into your morning coffee ritual can be extremely beneficial.

Fight For Fruit

With benefits that help to prevent numerous diseases, it’s almost a no-brainer to eat more fruit. However, in the Western world people commonly live more on-the-go lifestyles which can be a barrier to eating as much as we need. But, if it’s kept in mind all of the benefits of these foods and how they can affect you on a daily basis, hopefully more people will begin to fit fruit in their morning coffee ritual.

The Art of the Barista San Diego Coffee Culture

The Art of Being an Expert Barista

You’ve probably been to a cocktail bar and been served by one of those incredibly skilled bartenders — the people who can simultaneously mix great drinks and put on a performance. But did you know that it’s not just bartenders who do this? Baristas, the artisans of the espresso machine, do the same, in little-known competitions called throwdowns. In fact, we have a Thursday Throwdown every week here in San Diego, where baristas from across the city display their well-honed abilities.

Achilles-Coffee-Roasters-San-Diego-1Barista Fundamentals

There’s one ability that ranks above all others: making a good espresso. As espresso shots form the basis of all your lattes, cappuccinos, and many other drinks, so it’s crucial to be able to get it right, every time. A good barista knows pressure to tamp the espresso grounds in the portafilter, the correct amount of water, temperature and time to pull the espresso shot.

The World Barista Championship

So if the espresso is the foundation that all baristas need to know, then what skills does it take to make it at the top level? Well, competitors at the World Barista Championship, now in its 17th year, are tasked with preparing four espressos, four milk drinks, and four original signature drinks, in a 15-minute performance set to music. These baristas are then judged on five criteria:

Technical skill
Overall presentation

This competition format allows baristas to demonstrate both their ability to flawlessly execute the fundamentals, but also their knowledge and innovation in creating new and unique coffee drinks. Berg Wu, the 2016 World Champion, created a drink with an orange and honey reduction, Earl Grey tea and espresso, before infusing it with mandarin essential oil through an aromatizer. It remains to be seen if anyone can top this at the 2017 World Championships this November in Seoul, Korea.

Barista Latte Art

The most visible skill on display is the latte art. If you’ve ever been served your coffee, looked into your micro-foam and seen a heart, a rosette, or a tulip, then you’ve seen barista latte art.

These simple designs are known as Free Hand Pours, where the barista uses only their steady hand and trusty milk pitcher. In the Barista World Latte Art Championships, however, things get more creative, as competitors are also judged on a Designer Pour, for which they are permitted to use a stylus and textured milk to draw with.

In the World Championships, these pours are judged on their symmetry, creativity, visual appeal, and difficulty. If that reminds you of olympic sports like gymnastics or ice-skating, then you’re exactly right — and like these athletes, latte artists are also judged on their professionalism, ability, and stage presence.

Community Gardens and Farms – Achilles Coffee Partners with Food2Soil

Achilles-Coffee-San-Diego-Food2SoilAchilles Coffee Roasters is proud to contribute to local San Diego community gardens and farms through our partnership with Food2Soil, a collective of restaurants and gardeners seeking to make better use of waste products in the food and beverage industry. We’re making every effort we can to get to Zero Waste, through composting, recycling, and/or reusing everything possible at our two locations.

Composting Spent Coffee Grounds

All of our spent coffee grounds are saved in repurposed buckets and Food2Soil picks them up once a week. Once our coffee grounds leave our locations, Food2Soil distributes them to local San Diego composts, gardens and farms. These partners then work our grounds into their composting bins, turning our grounds into nitrogen-rich compost.

When added to compost, coffee grounds increase the acidity of the mixture as well as add much-needed nitrogen to a finished pile of compost. The nitrogen-rich compost that Food2Soil’s composting partners create gets distributed to local urban farms, community gardens, and urban agriculture organizations.

San Diego Community Gardens and Farms

The produce that is grown from the local farms that use Food2Soil’s compost eventually makes its way back into local San Diego farmers markets and restaurants, closing the loop from waste products to nutritious, flavor-filled local produce. This is important to us because Achilles Coffee is committed to sourcing local produce, eggs, meats, dairy and bread whenever possible.

We hope that our small steps to close the loop as much as possible will start a chain reaction in both the local San Diego roaster industry, as well as in the San Diego food and beverage industry as a whole.

Sustainability in the Restaurant Industry

While we focus on making outputs from Achilles Coffee more sustainable by partnering with Food2Soil, we’re also doing everything in our power to source local, organic, and sustainable ingredients for both our food and drink. It’s our goal to make sure that both the inputs and outputs of our business are as local and sustainable as possible. This serves two purposes:

  1. We reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible
  2. We contribute to other local San Diego businesses by both sourcing ingredients from them, and then returning our compostable waste back to community gardens.

We can’t control what happens to resources once they leave our store, but we do everything we can to make sure what comes into our store is environmentally sound. It is our goal to replace the plastic cups and straws we use with products made from plant based materials. We hope to roll this out at our two locations in 2018.

If all local businesses take simple steps to reduce, reuse and recycle and source from local suppliers, together we’ll make progress towards a more sustainable and connected local business environment, which is one of our core values at Achilles Coffee Roasters.

The History of the Espresso Machine – The Purest Form of Coffee

Coffee In Its Purest Form

For many coffee aficionados, espresso is coffee. They consider it the purest form of the coffee bean. But what is espresso and how did it become so popular today? Most people know of it due to the proliferation of artisanal coffee shops, but couldn’t define what espresso is if you put them on the spot. The history of the espresso machine and espresso dates back to 19th century Europe.

Espresso is a method of preparing coffee. Specifically, it is a method where highly pressurized hot water is forced over finely ground coffee. This produces a concentrated coffee drink with a distinctly strong flavor.History of the Espresso Machine - Coffee in its Purest Form

Because good espresso is the product of a consistent and high-quality process, it required the invention of an entirely new machine to produce. The first espresso machines began to pop up in Italy in the 19th century.

Even back then, coffee was big business. In Europe, cafes were spreading all across the continent. However, brewing coffee was still a slow process. It would sometimes take 5-10 minutes for a fresh cup! Being the impatient creatures that we are, inventors thought to create a steam machine to reduce the time it took to brew a cup.

The Invention of the Espresso Machine

The person who invented the espresso machine was Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy. He received a patent for it in 1884, but it didn’t become popular due to the fact that it was only used for the Turin General Exposition and wasn’t widely available. Aside from the fact that he held the first patent for an espresso machine, Moriondo doesn’t have much to do with the history of espresso.

That honor is reserved for two men: Luigi Bezzerra and Desiderio Pavoni.

Luigi was a liquor producer and the inventor of the single-shot espresso in the early 20th century. He took Moriondo’s machine and made multiple innovations to it, most of which are still present on modern-day espresso machines. Two of these include multiple brewheads and a portafilter.

Pavoni’s contribution to the espresso machine begins when he purchased Bezzerra’s patents in 1903. After purchasing the patents, he added to the design, including a pressure release valve. This innovation was more for the baristas than it was for the customers, as it prevented them from being splashed with hot coffee.

Espresso is Born

This is where the word “espresso” came to prominence. Pavoni decided to market this new process for coffee as espresso, meaning “made on the spur of the moment.” As the Pavoni machine became more popular, copycats began to pop up throughout Italy. It’s no surprise – these machines were able to produce at least 100 cups of coffee every single hour. That is a massive speed increase compared to old methods.

Espresso machines would go on to be improved upon in major ways more than a few times. In 1961, a motorized pump was added so the machine no longer had to rely on the strength of the barista. Espresso machines continued to become smaller, more efficient, and more affordable, leading to their expansion out of Italy and into other parts of Europe and America.

The history of the espresso machine is long and storied, but what it did for coffee is the exact opposite. It allowed for the quick production of a concentrated, delicious cup of coffee.

What is the Third Wave Coffee Movement?

Third Wave Coffee Movement

You’ve probably noticed the third wave coffee movement happening around you already, without even realizing that’s what you’re seeing. Increasing numbers of small shops, many of them with the name Roasters in their titles, have opened in neighborhoods across the US. Generally speaking, they tend to be Spartan in appearance, lots of exposed stone or natural wood, overhead Edison lightbulbs and any number of glass or steel contraptions behind the bar. If you’ve walked in, then you’ve noticed that these shops have their own lingo and practices: they talk about different types of roasts, single origin beans, and frequently have a list of adjectives on their menu for each discrete coffee that they brew, adjectives that might seem more at home in a wine-tasting workshop than in a place where you’re picking up your morning brew. And surely you’ve noticed the lattes, where there was once maybe a large blob of thick foam atop your drink, there are now delicate, artistic designs drawn in milk, a heart, a fern, or a tulip.

So what’s going on here? Obviously, the third wave movement of coffee consumption is about more than the aesthetic signifiers listed above, so what is the third wave actually about?

As the name “third wave would imply, it’s actually the third of its kind to come along. The first wave movement of coffee (retroactively named, obviously) refers to the time in which coffee became a widespread American drink, the morning beverage of choice, brewed at home, and readily available on the shelves of most local grocery stores. Think Folgers and Maxwell House coffee. This happened for a few reasons, but developments and innovation in the shipping industry had a lot to do with it.

The second wave of coffee refers to the period of the proliferation of coffee shops across the country, Peet’s in Berkeley is often credited with kicking off the second wave. During the second wave coffee movement, customers were introduced to espresso and the variety of drinks that are espresso derived lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, and macchiatos, to name a few. Coffee shops became places to spend time and socialize, European-style.

Third-Wave-Coffee-Movement-Achilles-Coffee-Roasters-San-Diego-EspressoAnd now we’ve reached the third wave. Third wave coffee, often referred to as Specialty Coffee, was really spearheaded by coffee shops and roasters like Intelligentsia (out of Chicago), Stumptown (Portland), and Counter Culture (North Carolina). In third wave coffee, coffee is treated like a premium product like wine or craft beer. People pay careful attention to its origins and beans are roasted so that the roast highlights the unique qualities of each bean, rather than roasting to create a uniform black coffee taste. This attention to detail carries over to the way the coffee is brewed in third wave shops as well. Baristas are educated and trained to properly pull shots of espresso. In addition to batch brew, coffee is often prepared by the cup such as pour over, with attention to the grind of the coffee, the temperature of the water, and the brew time. This all takes place so that you, the consumer, can truly appreciate the unique cup of coffee in your hands!