3rd Wave Cafes : 14 different Seattle cafes in 1 day

What does it take to be a "3rd Wave" cafe?  Read this post and find out what some of the best in Seattle are doing. 


 On December 6th, a group from Fratello Coffee and Slayer Espresso met in Seattle for 1 day.  In this 10 hour day we visited, reviewed and tasted a lot of amazing products.  When originally planning this trip to we had 2 goals.  The main purpose of this trip was to visit the Slayer Espresso's studio to witness their break through in brewing technology and to experience their ability to develop new characteristics in its espresso brewing techniques.  It is too new for me to talk about this, so I won’t......

Our second purpose was to educate ourselves with a few of the great Seattle “3rd Wave café’s” and to bring this knowledge back to Calgary to help our café’s in elevating their skills in offering excellence to their customers.  With the knowledge of new competition coming to our back yard we felt that this was the best way to help prepare our clients for what the new standard of running a café will be, and what it will take to compete on these new levels.  We know that many people don’t have the time to fly to Seattle/Vancouver them selves, so we decided to bring Seattle to them.  My next plan is to do the same thing for Vancouver.  

14 cafes were chosen, all different and all excellent in what they are doing.  This tour consisted of Chris and Jason Prefontaine, Eric Perkunder, Trent Breitkreutzt and my self.  I decided to document this trip, but please keep in mind that I am not a journalist, I am a professional coffee cupper and roaster, who simply loves coffee.  The views below are my opinion only!! 

Below are some notes and observations I made while visiting these great cafes.  I hope that this will be helpful in setting a new direction for those cafes that are looking to improve with what they are currently doing everyday.  


Belo, Ethiopia - trip to the village we sponsor

Here is a video of a village we @ Fratello have been sponsoring for the last 4 years. This was our first visit, and we hope to visit our friends in Belo again this August '08 after we attend the Rwanda Cup Of Excellence.  Check it out.

Nicaraguan Fina El Limoncillo Pacamara Peaberry - Direct Trade

Starting March 1, 2008 you will be able to purchase this incredible Direct Trade coffee from Fratello Coffee Co.   We haven't been this excited about offering our clients a coffee since the first lot of Cup of Excellence we won.


This coffee cupped out at a 89.5, but if you were to include the look of the beans when scoring, this coffee would have been well into the 90's.    These giant beans give this coffee a very unique look.  We found that this coffee gave us a spicy orange and fresh pine aroma which was complimented by the thick & syrupy mouth feel.  Flavor notes of black-bing cherry, candied cloves and apple pie are brightened with the delicate grapefruit acidity.

Finca El Limoncillo - General farm information

This farm got its name from the unusual growth of lemon trees that were originally found here.  This is arguably their most beautiful farm (out of 5).