Third Wave Wichteln is back for a fifth year! The Sprudgie award-winning international specialty coffee swap née gift exchange that saw over 2,000 participants from more than 60 countries is now open for registration.
For those unfamiliar with Third Wave Wichteln, it is basically an international Secret Santa, but with coffee. Each registered person receives the name and address of a person for whom they must send a bag of specialty coffee of their choosing. The recipient is guaranteed to be from a different country than the sender, which means that you, as both a sender and recipient, will receive coffee from a country not your own.
But you can’t just send any old bag of coffee you grab from the grocery store; there are rules. The coffee must be single origin “third wave” coffee, no more than five days off roast when purchased, whole bean, filter coffee (no espresso roasts). Other than that though, it’s dealer’s choice. In the past two years of participating, I have received a Colombia from Workshop Coffee in London and a specialty-grade Robusta from India roasted by Brisman Kawowy in Poland.
Be forewarned, the execution of a successful Wichteln requires putting faith in the common decency of a fellow human as well as the integrity of international shipping. This could mean ship times of close to a month or even worse, getting no coffee at all, and without much recourse. But if you’ve got the $30-40 to put at modest risk—most of the exchanges go off without a hitch—then throw your name in the proverbial hat.
Registration for Third Wave Wichteln is open until December 20th. For a full list of rules and to sign up, visit their official website. And if you happen to find that you are gifting coffee to one Zac Cadwalader, please note that he enjoys washed high-elevation Ethiopias but will gladly take a nice Burundi or Rwanda.
*top image via Third Wave Wichteln