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Third Wave Coffee Still a Growing Trend in New Orleans

Movement is being pushed by Solo Espresso, Church Alley and more hot spots.

Inside Spitfire Coffee
Inside Spitfire Coffee

This week Sarah Baird nabs the Gambit cover story, with her look at New Orleans' growing third-wave coffee movement.  What is third wave?  Basically, a way to describe small-production coffee shops that place attention on quality bean selection/ farm-to-cup microroasters (or in-house roasting), and slick handcrafted concoctions including "pour overs, cortados and Japanese Oji drips" that highlight the flavor of coffee sans milk, sugar, or sizzurp.

Baird reports that the 'new wave' of notable coffee pioneers in town are Laura Fink of Cherry Coffee (inside Stein's), Lauren Morlock of Solo Espresso, Renee Blanchard of Church Alley Coffee and Jane Srisarakorn of Arrow Cafe, though HiVolt, Spitfire, and more places get a shout out in Baird's article. As does Zephyr Green Coffee Importers (642 Julia St.) where you can partake in coffee cupping, "evaluating a coffee's aroma and flavor profile through smell and taste."

So what's next for the movement? Per Baird:

The next five years likely will see today's wave of espresso bars attempting even deeper personalization of their product, following the in-house roasting path set by French Truck Coffee and Hey! Cafe. Instead of sourcing from microroasters across the nation, baristas who roast in house would have complete control over the product they serve from bean to cup.

Also of note: This summer, Cherry Coffee will be moving into a "permanent home - a spacious former firehouse on Annunciation Street," which kind of sounds like the former Dijon space. UPDATE: The Cherry Coffee location will be at 877 Laurel, near Wisner Playground, according to an inside source. And this Thursday, Spitfire Coffee hosts the first-ever Thursday Night Throwdown in New Orleans, wherein baristas will battle in a latte art competition. Sign up at 7:30 p.m. Starts at 8:30 p.m.

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