I’m often asked about where to read about coffee and coffee shops, and I’ve written a few book reviews on here, plus a blog post about some of the books out there. There’s a huge range of literature out there related to coffee, coffee cultures, coffee shops, and there’s more becoming available all the time. This post highlights ten of the books I’ve read this year that I’ve found interesting and useful (not all released in 2017).
New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History by Erin Meister (2017)
This book which has been nominated for a 2017 Sprudgie award for ‘Best Coffee Writing’ explores the story of coffee in New York, showing how the history of coffee and the city itself are intertwined. I wrote a short review of this book back in October.
An A-Z of coffee from growing and roasting to brewing and tasting from the UK Barista champion and also co-author of Water for Coffee. There are a lot of terms used in coffee related to the varieties, preparation methods, equipment to how it is sourced. This helps demystify some of the language you might come cross.
Where to Drink Coffee by Avidan Ross and Liz Clayton (2017)
A global insight into some of the worlds best coffee shops according to 150 baristas and coffee experts. It’s not a book to read cover to cover, and the coffee shop landscape changes so much this really is just a snapshot of interesting cafes around the world.
London Coffee by Lani Kingston and David Post (2017)
This book explores the history of coffee and coffee shops in London showing how the London coffee scene has developed into what it is today, covering a range of the key places and people that have created it.
Everything but the coffee by Bryant Simon (2011)
A book which explores the Starbucks company, and how it ingrained itself into the lives of the American population. For more on my thoughts on this book, see this blog post.
How to make coffee: the science behind the bean by Lani Kingston (2017)
This book explores the chemistry of coffee and the scientific principles (written for non-scientists) behind it. It covers the bean, the chemistry, roast and grind, brewing, extraction and balance, coffee and technology providing insights into the science behind how to make your favourite coffee beverage.
Coffeography by Stephen Leighton (2017)
While many other coffee related books focus on the coffee itself, this one takes a different approach to illuminate the people behind the coffee. Drawing on the authors experience in HasBean Coffee the book includes a series of profiles of different producers he has worked with, exploring their stories. If you have an interest in coffee, its important to remember the people who make it all possible, and this book does a great way of doing this – particularly if you’re a fan of HasBean Coffee.
What I know about running coffee shops by Colin Harmon (2017)
This book also nominated for a Sprudgie award for ‘Best Coffee Writing’, written by the founder of 3FE in Dublin is a compendium of advice about running coffee shops. Even if you never intend on opening a coffee shop it gives a lot of insights into how coffee shops work, and the complexities involved too – from choosing the location to how to hire people. I wrote a brief review of this book back in June.
The Best of Jim Seven by James Hoffman (2017)
A collection of blog posts from 2004-2015 written by James Hoffman, co-founder of Square Mile Coffee and author of the ‘World Atlas of Coffee’. Even if you’ve read some of the jimseven blog before it’s interesting to read in book form to see how the issues in the coffee industry have changed over time. Covering issues from the espresso, coffee brewing, coffee business to coffee careers, this compilation provides a narrative of issues in the coffee industry during this time period. I wrote a brief review of the book highlighting how it has been useful in my research back in July.
Paris Coffee Revolution by Anna Brones and Jeff Hargroves (2016)
Paris is a city considered to be rich in café culture, and coffee history, but with a more recent development of a specialty coffee culture. The book explores the history of café culture in Paris before considering how it is beginning to be transformed by the development of specialty coffee businesses, and how the Parisian approach to coffee is being transformed. I wrote a more detailed review of the book back in August.
2017 has been a year with lots of coffee books appearing, and with such a growing interest in coffee and coffee shops, this trend is likely to continue in 2018; two I’m look forward to in particular are The Philosophy of Coffee by Brian Williams, and the second edition of Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, Beverage, and the Industry edited by Robert Thurston, Jonathan Morris, and Shawn Steiman. The books covered here are just 10 that I managed to find time to read, with lots of others joining my bookshelves. Did you have a favourite coffee book that you read this year?