For some the world of coffee is more than just a mere drink…it’s an obsession. If you have a deep love of all things coffee then you know that the topic of coffee is diverse. That elusive fruit known as the coffee bean has a long history and plentiful areas of discussion. From brew methods, to beans, to where your coffee is grown, there’s a lot to learn about coffee.
Consider this: Coffee, the beverage that most of us are so used to drinking on a daily basis – multiple times a day – is a product produced in about 70 different countries around the world. Coffee is the most highly traded commodity in the world! Every minute of every day someone is growing, processing, exporting, importing, roasting, making, or drinking coffee.
Here are a few books, listed in no particular order, to help expand your knowledge of the elusive coffee bean and take you from hobbyist to connoisseur. All are available on Amazon or at your local bookstore. Pick one up and if you are in the area, stop by the Grim Bean Coffee Company stand located at The Markets at Hanover. Mark would love to talk to you about what you have learned.
Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast
In case you thought your morning cup of joe had little impact on foreign policy Uncommon Grounds proves otherwise. The book takes a look at the history and economics behind the heavily traded commodity of coffee. Well worth the read to get a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the coffee industry.
God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee by Michaele Weismann
This title is a bit dated having been released in 2008 but still a great read. Weismann sets off to explore what it is that drives people to pay for their high-priced daily cup of cappuccino. A lot has changed in the coffee industry since the release of this book, but it still takes a very insightful look at the inner workings and early days of the specialty coffee business in the US.
The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing by James Hoffman
James Hoffman is the mind and pen behind the popular blog Jimseven. He is also the co-founder of London’s Square Mile Coffee Roasters. The guy knows his coffee beans! “I believe that understanding something more can make it more enjoyable, and I wanted to make more of coffee accessible rather than make it more mysterious and exclusive.” The book is chock-full of maps and insight on the various world regions where coffee is grown. He also looks at how the industry has grown and provides a few coffee brewing techniques as well.
Coffee Obsession by Annette Moldaver
Think you know everything there is to know about coffee? Read this book, and you’ll quickly learn how much you didn’t know! Filled with maps, diagrams, tips, and techniques, Annette brings the massive world of coffee into focus for all readers.
Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The Untold Story of Coffee from the Cloud Forests of Ethiopia to Your Cup by Jeff Koehler
This book tells the story of the history, origins, and threats against the future of the coffee industry. Author Jeff Koehler is the award-winning author of Darjeeling and shifts his focus from tea to coffee in Where the Wild Coffee Grows. He specifically looks at the forests of southwestern Ethiopia, the home of the original Arabica coffee bean.
Left Coast Roast by Hanna Neuschwander
By left coast, Hanna means West Coast, and in this book, she examines some of the iconic roasters of the region. Packed with beautiful illustrations, this book is a great look at the craft coffee movement that can trace its roots back to the West (or left) Coast.
How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean by Lani Kingston
Read this book and you will quickly learn there is so much more to making a cup of coffee than throwing some grounds in your coffee maker. To be a true aficionado, you need to have some understanding of the science behind the bean. This book covers how to grind and brew beans to obtain the best possible flavor. Filled with step-by-step illustrations, this book is for those who will settle for nothing less than the perfect cup of coffee.
The Birth of Coffee by Daniel and Linda Rice Lorenzetti
By now, you probably understand that your coffee doesn’t come from the store. It follows a path and often a long journey from its origin country to your coffee cup. This book takes a firsthand look at the communities and cultures where coffee beans are farmed.
I Know Coffee: Harvesting, Blending, Roasting, Brewing, Grinding & Tasting Coffee by Jessica Simms
This book is designed to walk you through everything you need to know about coffee from the seed to the cup. Jessica includes a look at the major differences of the coffee beans from Africa, Asia and the Americas. Harvesting, processing and drying methods are explored and look at how each can impact the flavor of the final product. The often-overlooked methodology behind grinding and brewing is covered. The book closes with how you can train your palate to pick out the distinctive flavor notes.
Everything but Espresso by Scott Rao
Is your love of coffee bordering upon a geek like obsession? This book is right up your alley! Brewing coffee is not just an art; it’s a science. Learn about the measurements, ratios, water chemistry and what exactly makes or breaks the perfect cup of coffee. By the time you complete this book, you’ll be able to brew awesome coffee every time.
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