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There’s a story behind every cup

What goes into a cup of coffee? It's time to find out.



The Waves of Coffee

Over the years, the coffee industry has gone through three major "waves". Each has changed how people grow, roast, brew, and drink coffee around the world.


Coffee as Commodity

The first wave started at the turn of the 20th century with an increase in coffee consumption around the world. Coffee became more affordable and accessible through innovations like instant coffee and vacuum packing.


Coffee as Experience

The second wave saw a broad increase in coffee quality and introduced the idea of the coffee shop experience. Chains like Starbucks emerged, introducing the world to baristas, cappuccinos, latte art, and more.


Coffee as Connection

Third wave speciality coffee is grounded in understanding and appreciating the process of making quality coffee, putting greater focus on the farmer and origin of the beans, whilst providing insight into the coffee journey itself - from seed, to cup, to you.


The Coffee Belt

A horizontal band that circles the globe between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Coffee Belt includes equatorial countries with tropical climates that are perfect for growing coffee.


Power Plants

You might know that there are two main coffee species: robusta and arabica. Robusta contains more caffeine, while arabica has a more complex flavour. What you might not know, however, is that there are thousands of different varieties which all have their own differences. These include Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, and the unique and exclusive Gesha.


Growing Green

Sustainability is a key priority for speciality coffee consumers and third wave roasters. Common sustainability certifications include Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance; concepts like ethical sourcing and direct trade are also becoming increasingly important.

Coffee Leaves

Ripe for the Picking

Coffee actually grows as a fruit, harvested at different times around the world. Thankfully, because it's grown globally, we have access to coffee all year round. As coffee cherries ripen, they gradually turn from green to red, yellow, orange, or pink.

Coffee berries
Coffee Beans
A coffee shovel with beans in it.

Seeds of Greatness

Once harvested, the cherries go through a number of different stages - processing, drying and milling - to become coffee beans. In their raw form (known as "green coffee"), they are hard and have a grassy flavour. However, as green coffee is roasted, it softens and its flavours and aromas emerge.

Coffee Roasting

Unlocking the Flavour

Roasting breaks down the structure of the coffee bean, causing it to lose moisture, become more brittle, and release its natural aromatics. At around 385°F or 196°C, the pressure and steam within causes the bean to split with an audible "crack" (known as "first crack"). This happens again at around 435°F or 224°C ("second crack"). The process of roasting unlocks the flavours within the coffee.

Coffee bean trier
An Espresso Machine Group Head, ready to brew coffee.

Ground Rules

Ideally, coffee should be ground just before you brew it. When you expose it to oxygen, ground coffee loses its delicate aromas and flavours in a matter of minutes. That's why cafés grind fresh for each shot.


The 4 Keys Formula

You’ve come this far, now it’s time to complete the story. The secret to Sage’s machines is the 4 Keys Formula: the ideal dose of 18-22g for rich, full flavour; optimal 9 bar pressure for an irresistible body; precise 93°C water temperature for a perfectly balanced extraction; and powerful steam that’s calibrated for silky-smooth microfoam. The result? Third wave speciality coffee at home.


4 keys formula for specialty espresso

Sage's Barista Pro Espresso Machine
Breville's Barista Pro Espresso Machine

Now try it at home

Espresso Essentials

Our video tutorials will guide you to understanding and making great tasting espresso coffees, at home.

Filter Fundamentals

Learn how to brew delicious drip filter coffee at home by watching our video tutorials.

Third Wave