In March 2008, Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold of the LA Weekly defined the third wave of coffee by saying:
"The first wave of American coffee culture was probably the 19th-century surge that put Folgers on every table, and the second was the proliferation, starting in the 1960s at Peet's and moving smartly through the Starbucks grande decaf latte, of espresso drinks and regionally labeled coffee. We are now in the third wave of coffee connoisseurship, where beans are sourced from farms instead of countries, roasting is about bringing out rather than incinerating the unique characteristics of each bean, and the flavor is clean and hard and pure."
In Springfield, Missouri Third Wave Coffee is quintessentially TheCoffeeEthic and Brick&Mortar Coffee.
I'm not so comfortable classifying anyone else in that category. I might be leaving someone out...but really...how many good coffee roasters do you need in a town. Two great ones are enough.
If you've never really tried Third Wave Coffee, go treat yourself to a cup of single origin coffee or a Latte that has been cared about and worried over since before it sprouted out of the ground.... and every step from the ground to your cup.