Starbucks, the epitome of second-wave coffee, keeps trying to push forward into the third-wave movement. The third-wave coffee movement built itself around the idea that transparency and knowledge will produce better coffee, and Starbucks has now offered up an instructional tool in the form of its Coffee Passport app to its drinkers. The Starbucks Coffee Passport has been around since the ‘90s, previously as a pocket-size guide that baristas were encouraged to carry with them use to write down notes about coffees they tasted, usually at company cuppings.
Starbucks explains it thusly :
Partners sampling Starbucks Sumatra Coffee, for example, browse information about the coffee – including growing region and flavor notes – and add their own comments. A partner could write that the coffee tastes “earthy and herbal” or “full bodied and smooth.” When the entry is complete, the partner applies a Sumatra stamp, or sticker, to the paper passport.
Now it’s an app available to anyone with a smartphone, and it has handy guides like the “Four Fundamentals of Brewing,” “Coffee Characteristics” and a glossary. You can still use it to write down notes about Starbucks coffees that you taste and earn “stamps.” Now, all that remains to be seen is if anyone will use it.