7 Books Every Coffee Lover Needs To Read (pt.2)

Well the people have spoken!

I thought I was being generous in choosing 7 books that I felt every coffee lover needed to read. But you reached out through DM & email and said there were even more books that should be an essential part of a coffee lovers library.

So here are 7 more books that you should get your hands on.

Water For Coffee – Colonna-Dashwood & Hendon

waterforcoffeeIf you can get your hands on this book…do it! There was no other book that was recommended more to me than this one after my first post. But after searching online I couldn’t find a single site in Canada/USA that carried the book.

There is no way to downplay how important water is to the process of brewing coffee. Here’s what the European SCA site has to say about Water for CoffeeWater can transform the character of a coffee. It can accentuate its acidity, or wipe it out entirely. It can increase or decrease body and much more. It affects the way we roast and the way we brew. 

Why? Chemistry (and a little bit of physics). This book explores the chemistry of water and the effect it has on coffee. Aiming to equip you with the tools to allow you to predict – with a given water – how a coffee will taste.

So if you are lucky enough to find one in store, or see one online…GET IT. And then maybe sent it to me once you’re done reading it, deal?

Uncommon Grounds – Mark Pendergrast

uncommongroundsOriginally published in 2010, and now recently updated in 2019, Uncommon Grounds is yet another incredible book that offers the definitive history of one of the world’s most popular beverages! This was another book that came highly recommended by many of you after my first blog post.

This book takes a closer look at the massive shifts in the coffee culture over the past decade, especially the rise of the specialty coffee industry. If you’re looking for a book that gives the reader an in-depth look into coffee culture this is one you don’t want to pass up on. This book is geared more towards those who are already fairly far down the rabbit-hole of specialty coffee. But if you’re eager to read and learn and don’t mind a more historically-focused book this will be enlightening.

God in a Cup – Michaele Weissman

god in a cupI love the write-up for this book: If you love a good cup of coffee-or a great adventure story-you’ll love this unprecedented look up close at the people and passions behind today’s best beans. When highly prized coffee beans sell at auction for $50, $100, or $150 a pound wholesale (and potentially twice that at retail), anything can happen. In God in a Cup, journalist and late-blooming adventurer Michaele Weissman treks into an exotic and paradoxical realm of specialty coffee where the successful traveler must be part passionate coffee connoisseur, part ambitious entrepreneur, part activist, and part Indiana Jones.

I think the pursuit of that “one amazing cup of coffee” is what drives so many of us who love specialty coffee. We all remember those coffees that blew our minds. We all seek that God-shot of espresso, or that perfect-pour-over. Weissman provides unique historical information, fun-facts, and also great tips to ensure your home brewing journey is as good as it can get.

The Professional Barista’s Handbook – Scott Rao

pro-barista-handbookOriginally I couldn’t find this book for retail anywhere, but lucky for you the folks at Eight Ounce here in Calgary now have this in stock. Scott Rao is a well recognized name when it comes to many aspects of brewing coffee. This book has it all. Want to learn about espresso extraction? Grinding? Tamping? This book even tackles milk steaming and pouring milk-patterns, freezing coffee, and the fundamentals of ensuring your water is best suited for your brew method.

Scott Rao even has a short section on the essentials of tea, and how to brew a great cup of this other beloved hot-beverage. There isn’t much that this book doesn’t cover. That’s probably why it’s one of the most well-known and well-respected books among those in specialty coffee. I must confess I haven’t read it yet, but simply from the many reviews, comments, and praise this book has received I knew it needed to be on this list.

Coffee Gives Me SuperPowers – Ryoko Iwata

superpowersI had seen this book at my local book store a bunch of times. I finally picked it up and it’s a really fun & funky book. It’s a light hearted approach to understanding coffee and its role in culture, and its physiological affects on our body.

As the reader you can expect page after page of colourful infographics, and unique talk-points to bring up with friends and family. Wanna learn what happens to your brain when you drink coffee vs. when you drink beer? Yup, there’s a whole section devoted to that. This one belongs on your coffee table and will the talk of your next get together among friends.

Craft Coffee – Jessica Easto

craftcoffeeDon’t just take my word for why this book should be in every coffee-lover’s hands. Craft Coffee by Jessica Easto was named a top food & drink book of 2017 by Food Network, Wired, Sprudge, and Booklist! With accolades like these you might as well just go out and buy this now.

What is unique about “Craft Coffee” is that it doesn’t focus at all on espresso, but rather it seeks to look solely on the pour-over side of things. Easto looks at brewing coffee on 10 different brewing devices so that any home-brewer can hone their skills in a sea of confusing and conflicting data.  Readers can navigate through chapters focussing on Brewing Basics, Choosing Hardware, Buying Coffee and more. So if you love a good pour-over, or you’re looking to take you brew game to the next level this is probably the book you want to get.

The Monk of Mokha – Dave Eggers

monkThis book isn’t exactly like the others. The story of coffee has roots that run deep in the country of Yemen. This book isn’t a how-to brew guide…rather it tells the true story of a young man named Mokhtar Alkhanshali.

A quick glance at the synopsis of this book will tell you “Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, until a statue of an Arab raising a cup of coffee awakens something in him. He sets out to learn the rich history of coffee in Yemen and the complex art of tasting and identifying varietals…A heart-pounding true story that weaves together the history of coffee, the ongoing Yemeni civil war, and the courageous journey of a young man–a Muslim and a US citizen–following the most American of dreams.”

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So there you have it again. I hope that this has been helpful. Let me know if you end up picking up any of these books. I’d love to know what you think.

Stay Caffeinated,

Tyler

 

 

 


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