Coffee or Record Labels – A fork in the road?

Written by Amy | 2 Comments

For the past year or so the coffee industry has been moving into “The Third Wave” while Starbucks jumps into yet another market.

The first wave in the coffee industry occured with the intial introduction of coffee and expanded in North America after WWII. Remember, freezed dried coffee?

The second wave happened with the introduction of espresso drinks, specialty coffee and coffeehouses popping up on every street corner, including Tazza D’Oro.

The Third Wave is why we are so excited. Some say the first two waves allowed us to drink the coffee, get hyped on the caffeine buzz and experience the notion of a coffeehouse. But this wave is all about the COFFEE. Our coffee roaster, Batdorf and Bronson, deals with sourcing and purchasing coffee much like some of the finest vineyards deal with producing some of the world’s best wines. With each new crop comes new flavors and characteristics – Batdorf and Bronson roasts the coffee based on best palette for that coffee lot. By the way, Batdorf and Bronson has been purchasing and roasting some of the finest coffees in the world for TWENTY YEARS!!!

So what does the Third Wave mean for an espresso bar like Tazza D’Oro? Not record labels! Late in 2005/early 2006 I made a trip to Olympia, WA to meet with the folks at Batdorf and Bronson – we talked about this new wave. At that point I knew I needed to make a decision – business as usual, which is good, or take Tazza D’Oro, our staff and myself to the next level. Since that time I have made two additional trips to Olympia for training and Oliver came to Pittsburgh in February to train our staff. We will continue with the training.

As a Third Wave espresso bar we are committed to preparing the coffee and espresso with the same vigilance as the coffee farmer who grows the crop and our roaster who roasts the beans to perfection. We will take all the time and energy necessary to prepare and serve all that is good about the coffee to our customers. It only makes sense, don’t you think? We will soon talk a lot more about our roaster’s Fair Trade, Sustainability, Partnerships, and Shade Grown coffee practices. We would not be running a responsible business if we did not keep our end of the deal and deliver a great cup of coffee or espresso!

Stay tuned…more great information to come. And we want your questions and comments.


  1. Chris mayhew

    You guys have run a top notch place from day one. It’s great to see you guys taking it to the next level. You guys will rock the house.

  2. Eric Kaun

    Nice to have a great coffee shop, so close to home, that has a proper set of priorities! There’s no better coffee shop to take the customers to the next level – I’m so glad you’re doing what you’re doing.

    (Starbucks is clearly just testing the nonsensical boundaries of abstract “branding”: what varieties of crap can we sell using only the power of our name? Not what I’d call a focus on the customer…)