For Roasters & Retailers

Trish Rothgeb Coined ‘Third Wave’ — And Is Now Looking Toward Coffee’s Future


When Trish Rothgeb coined the term “third-wave coffee” in 2002, she didn’t know it would be used to define an entire era in the coffee industry. Rothgeb was living in Oslo at the time, having worked as a barista and roaster for nearly 15 years in her native Bay Area. But what she witnessed happening in the Scandinavian coffee shops around her in the early aughts was different.

In California, the clear leader in coffee had always been a 1960s upstart out of Berkeley called Peet’s, which carved out an identity as a coffee destination — a place where customers came to purchase dark-roasted beans from big, clear drawers and learn about coffee merchants.

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