Writing about coffee and making great tasting coffee doesn’t come easy. It takes lots of practice and patience, but mostly love for the coffee you are making.
But there’s another thing I do in order to get to know all the information I need and be inspired, and guess what that is:
There are plenty of books that can introduce you in the world of coffee, from the history, to roasting and making of the coffee.
Actually, there are so many, the choice is overwhelming.
That’s why I put together this list, so every coffee lover will find what they need exactly.
So, make yourself a cup of coffee, and enjoy the reading!
1. The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman
For everyone who wants to understand more about coffee and its wonderful nuances and possibilities, this is the book to have.
Coffee has never been better, or more interesting, than it is today.
Champion barista and coffee expert James Hoffmann examines the key factors, looking at varieties of coffee, the influence of terroir, how it is harvested and processed, the roasting methods used, through to the way in which the beans are brewed.
Country by country – from Bolivia to Zambia – he then identifies key characteristics and the methods that determine the quality of that country’s output.
Along the way you will learn about everything from the development of the espresso machine, to why strength guides on supermarket coffee are really not good news.
This is the first book to chart the coffee production of over 35 countries, encompassing knowledge never previously published outside the coffee industry.
2. Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jesica Easto
A comprehensive guide for coffee enthusiasts to improve their brew at home
The book itself is written by coffee enthusiast, too.
This book will provide you with all the information you need to discover, what you like in a cup of specialty coffee—and how to replicate the perfect cup day after day.
From the science of extraction and brewing techniques to choosing equipment and deciphering coffee bags, Craft Coffee focuses on the issues—cost, time, taste, and accessibility—that home coffee brewers negotiate and shows that no matter where you are in your coffee journey, you can make a great cup at home.
3. The Coffee Recipe Book: 50 Coffee and Espresso Drinks to Make at Home by Daniel Lancaster
50 recipes to brew your perfect cup at home
Whether it’s a morning drip or an evening espresso martini, amazing coffee is a work of art.
The Coffee Recipe Book is your guide to understanding how everything comes together for an artisanal coffee drink.
With 50 different recipes ranging from classic cappuccino to specialty lattes, there’s a delicious option for everyone.
Easily match the expertise of your favorite cafe, with the perfect mix of the techniques and tools needed to give your daily grind a good home.
4. The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Drop (Bazaar Book) by Nina Luttinger
Facts and figures of the coffee industry, from crop to cup
This updated edition of The Coffee Book is jammed full of facts, figures, cartoons, and commentary covering coffee from its first use in Ethiopia in the sixth century to the rise of Starbucks and the emergence of Fair Trade coffee in the twenty-first.
The book explores the process of cultivation, harvesting, and roasting from bean to cup; surveys the social history of café society from the first coffeehouses in Constantinople to beatnik havens in Berkeley and Greenwich Village; and tells the dramatic tale of high-stakes international trade and speculation for a product that can make or break entire national economies.
It also examines the industry’s major players, revealing the damage that’s been done to farmers, laborers, and the environment by mass cultivation—and explores the growing “conscious coffee” market.
5. Coffee: A Global History (Edible) by Jonathan Morris
For both food and coffee lovers
Morris discusses who drank coffee, as well as why and where, how it was prepared and what it tasted like.
He identifies the regions and ways in which coffee was grown, who worked the farms and who owned them, and how the beans were processed, traded and transported.
He also analyses the businesses behind coffee – the brokers, roasters and machine manufacturers – and dissects the geopolitics linking producers to consumers.
Written in an engaging style and featuring wonderful recipes, stories and facts, this book will fascinate foodies, food historians and the many people who regard the humble coffee bean as a staple of modern life.
6. The Coffee Dictionary: An A-Z of coffee, from growing & roasting to brewing & tasting by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood
Everything you need to know, from sourcing to brewing
With hundreds of entries on everything from sourcing, growing and harvesting, to roasting, grinding and brewing, three-time UK champion barista and coffee expert Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood explains the key factors that impact the taste of your drink.
Illustrated throughout and covering anything from country of origin, variety of bean and growing and harvesting techniques to roasting methods, brewing equipment, tasting notes – as well as the many different coffee-based drinks – The Coffee Dictionary is the final word on coffee.
7. The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change
by Jon Gordon and Damon West
A life-changing lesson of the coffee beans, inspiring tale.
The Coffee Bean is an inspiring tale that follows Abe, a young man filled with stress and fear as he faces challenges and pressure at school and home.
One day after class, his teacher shares with him the life-changing lesson of the coffee bean, and this powerful message changes the way he thinks, acts, and sees the world.
Abe discovers that instead of letting his environment change him for the worse, he can transform any environment he is in for the better. Equipped with this transformational truth, Abe embarks on an inspirational journey to live his life like the coffee bean. Wherever his life takes him, from school, to the military, to the business world, Abe demonstrates how this simple lesson can unleash the unstoppable power within you.
A delightful, quick read, The Coffee Bean is purposely written and designed for readers of all ages so that everyone can benefit from this transformational lesson. This is a book and message that, when read and shared, has the power to change your life and the world around you. You just have to decide: are you a carrot, egg, or coffee bean?
8. The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change
by Jon Gordon and Damon West
The history of coffee and how it transformed our world
Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks.
Mark Pendergrast reviews the dramatic changes in coffee culture over the past decade, from the disastrous “Coffee Crisis” that caused global prices to plummet to the rise of the Fair Trade movement and the “third-wave” of quality-obsessed coffee connoisseurs.
As the scope of coffee culture continues to expand, Uncommon Grounds remains more than ever a brilliantly entertaining guide to the currents of one of the world’s favorite beverages.
9. The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee by Tristan Stephenson
Coffee history, coffee culture, coffee recipes… essential for coffee enthusiasts
This is the ultimate guide to the history, science and cultural influence of coffee according to coffee aficionado and master storyteller Tristan Stephenson.
You’ll explore the origins of coffee, the rise of the coffee house and the evolution of the café before discovering the varieties of coffee, and the alchemy responsible for transforming a humble bean into the world’s most popular drink. You’ll learn how to roast coffee at home in the fascinating Roasting section before delving into the Science and Flavour of Coffee and finding out how sweetness, bitterness, acidity and aroma all come together.
Discover how espresso and milk are a match made in heaven, yielding such treasures as the Latte, Cappuccino, Flat white and Macchiato; you’ll also find out how to pour your own Latte art. Other Brewing Methods features step-by-step guides to classic brewing techniques to bring the coffee to your table, from a Moka pot and a French press to Aeropress and Siphon brewing. Finally, why not treat yourself to one of Tristan’s expertly concocted recipes. From an Espresso Martini to a Pumpkin Spice Latte and Coffee Liqueur to Butter Coffee, this really is the essential anthology for the coffee enthusiast.
10. Coffee Obsession by Anette Moldvaer
Step-by-step guides to make classic and contemporary coffee drinks at home
Perfect your barista technique with over 100 global coffee recipes from chai latte to ristretto.
Take a journey from bean to cup with Coffee Obsession, which shows you how to make iconic coffees through step-by-step barista training. From the techniques of roasting, grinding, tamping and brewing to how to make a cappuccino, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make the perfect coffee and about the beauty of latte art.
Over 100 recipes include brews to suit every taste, from contemporary favourites such as the flat white to classic choices such as the ideal Irish coffee recipe. From french presses to cloth brewers you’ll explore all the different equipment you need to create fantastically flavoured coffee, along with a guide through the flavour wheel and “cupping” tasting notes.
You’ll also go on a voyage through the life of a coffee bean and learn the ideal harvest seasons and roasts of each different bean, all combined with mouth-watering flavour profiles. Coffee Obsession is perfect for coffee lovers who want to make the best cup of coffee in the world in their own home.
11. Coffee Art by Dhan Tamang
Learn how to make incredible coffee-top designs from the world’s leading latte artist.
Starting with basic skills and patterns, readers will learn how to create the crema (the froth that acts as a canvas in the coffee cup) and how to produce the hearts, rosettas and tulips that will be used as the basis to form more complicated artworks.
There are 60 designs to try, including The Swan, The Unicorn, and frothy 3-D babyccino animals.
Dhan Tamang is a world-renowned latte artist particularly known for his use of colour, and now you too can create impressive multicolored designs following Dhan’s step-by-step instructions.
12. The Coffee Roaster’s Companion by Scott Rao
For serious coffee roasters
The Coffee Roaster’s Companion is the world’s first professional-level how-to book about coffee roasting.
Scott Rao has consulted for many of the world’s finest roasters, and now he has put his expertise in a book accessible to roasters everywhere. No serious coffee roaster should go without this book.
Scott Rao is the author of several best-selling coffee books, including:
13. The Craft and Science of Coffee by Britta Folmer
The coffee plant from its origins in East Africa to its current role as a global product that influences millions of lives though sustainable development, economics, and consumer desire.
For most, coffee is a beloved beverage. However, for some it is also an object of scientifically study, and for others it is approached as a craft, both building on skills and experience. By combining the research and insights of the scientific community and expertise of the crafts people, this unique book brings readers into a sustained and inclusive conversation, one where academic and industrial thought leaders, coffee farmers, and baristas are quoted, each informing and enriching each other.
This unusual approach guides the reader on a journey from coffee farmer to roaster, market analyst to barista, in a style that is both rigorous and experience based, universally relevant and personally engaging. From on-farming processes to consumer benefits, the reader is given a deeper appreciation and understanding of coffee’s complexity and is invited to form their own educated opinions on the ever changing situation, including potential routes to further shape the coffee future in a responsible manner.
14. The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman
Step by step how to roast beans at home using standard kitchen tools—just like he did when starting out.
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee explains this new world from farm to cup, exploring the bounty of beans available and the intricate steps that go into sourcing raw coffee from around the globe.
Blue Bottle founder James Freeman coaches you through brewing the perfect cup of coffee, using methods as diverse as French press, drip, siphon, and more to produce the best flavor.
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee also introduces a home technique for cupping, the industry method of tasting coffees for quality control, so you can hone your taste and share your meticulously roasted coffee with friends.
With more than one hundred stunning photographs showing coffee’s journey from just-harvested cherry to perfect drink, this distinctive and deep guide to the new breed of amazing coffees from one of the top artisan coffee makers will change the way you think about—and drink—coffee.
15. The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen
The way coffee wired the world before Internet
In this captivating book, Stewart Lee Allen treks three-quarters of the way around the world on a caffeinated quest to answer these profound questions: Did the advent of coffee give birth to an enlightened western civilization? Is coffee the substance that drives history?
From the cliffhanging villages of Southern Yemen, where coffee beans were first cultivated eight hundred years ago, to a cavernous coffeehouse in Calcutta, the drinking spot for two of India’s Nobel Prize winners . . . from Parisian salons and cafés where the French Revolution was born, to the roadside diners and chain restaurants of the good ol’ USA, where something resembling brown water passes for coffee, Allen wittily proves that the world was wired long before the Internet.
And those who deny the power of coffee (namely tea drinkers) do so at their own peril.
16. I Love Coffee! by Susan Zimmer
Advice and techniques from an expert
In I Love Coffee! coffee connoisseur Susan Zimmer shares expert advice and techniques, from how to brew the perfect cup and how to make a basic cappuccino without a machine to a World Barista Latte Art Champion’s tips for making masterful latte art designs.
It is brimful with a wealth of coffee understanding from the “ground” up, from bean to cup, including international coffees and brewing techniques best suited to a variety of preferences, all topped off with plenty of problem-solving tips and delectable full-color photographs.
* I Love Coffee! features over 100 easy-to-make coffee drinks, including the Black Forest Latte, Sugar-Free Java Chai Latte, Iced Orange Mochaccino, Tiramisú Martini, and Candy Cane Latte.
* I Love Coffee! brings the passion for coffee into your home with a creative variety of hot and cold drinks.
17. You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski
Poems from a big writer and coffee lover
The cup is full, it’s early morning, and you’re just looking for a book to read while savoring your coffee.
Enter Charles Bukowski, the gruff poet and cult underground writer who penned the collection of poems, You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense.
Yes, there’s a poem titled “Coffee” in the anthology but the entire scope complements a strong black coffee, as Bukowski comments on neighborhood cats, his youth, and more with over 130 quick-hit poems, all at once tender and rough, as coffee should be.
Final Words From Me
Lots of these books have helped me improve my coffee preparation, gave me ideas for something new, and I’ve learnt more about the coffee bean itself.
Even though I haven’t read all of them, they are definitely on the waiting list.
How about you? Which one is your favorite?
Tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. And if it’s not in this list, I will be happy to add it.
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