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Top Picks in Coffee

Of over three hundred books I have read about coffee, these are my picks of the very best. Each book, written by an industry expert, has a wealth of unparalleled, practical knowledge. For other books on coffee, espresso, the coffee market, or starting your own coffee business, use the links to the left. For a wealth of information available on the web, peruse the Coffee Research Institute web site via the links at the top of the page.

Coffee Basics : A Quick and Easy Guide by Kevin Knox. This is the first book I read about coffee, and probably one of the best overviews of coffee ever written. Kevin Knox was the Specialty Coffee buyer for Starbucks®, and he uses his experience to describe in precise detail how to prepare an excellent cup of coffee. Do not let the title be deceiving. This book is much more than basic. I highly recommend this book to anyone new to this industry or simply desiring to learn more about coffee.

Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival by Kenneth Davids. A must! Every person who enjoys coffee must read this book. This is a comprehensive book about home roasting and is responsible for my conversion to drinking only freshly roasted coffee. The book is slightly dated since its pages have inspired a number of retailers to produce home roasters and sell unroasted coffee, but the general information provided on roasting coffee at home cannot be found elsewhere.

Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques by David Schomer. This book is currently the best book available for describing espresso preparation. I recommend it highly for any barista or coffee shop owner. The price is inexpensive, but some of the techniques are difficult to learn without watching somebody. Please check the espresso section of this web site for details on some difficulties I had implementing some of the techniques. In the meantime, order this book!

Wine Tasting: A Professional Handbook (A... by Ron S. Jackson. OK so it's not about coffee, but I find it to be one of the best books written on general tasting principles. The wine industry is years ahead of the coffee industry in terms of understanding the constituents responsible for taste. It is perfectly reasonable to extend the theory discussed in this book from wine to coffee. I find it to be an invaluable source of information about beverage tasting principles.

The Devil's Cup: Coffee, the Driving... by Stewart Lee Allen. This book describes the history of coffee in a more entertaining way than I have previously seen. Allen traveled the world, following the same path that coffee traveled as it spread from Ethiopia. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to cultivate their understanding of coffee's influence on history.


Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee... by Mark Pendergrast. An excellent book about coffee history and the coffee market. This book takes a more modern approach than the Devil's Cup, and reviews the more recent history of coffee. This book is extremely well written, and is probably the most comprehensive book about coffee history available.

The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry... This book is one of the best introductory books about coffee history that I have read. The facts within are intriguing and fun to read. This book is less detailed than Uncommon Grounds, but is easier to read and contains very useful information.

Coffee: Recent Developments by R. J. Clarke (Editor), O. G. Vitzthum (Editor). This book was written by two famous coffee science experts to detail recent developments in the scientific understanding of coffee. This book is highly scientific and is recommended only for coffee professionals and scientists.

Coffee Flavor Chemistry by Ivon Flament. This fascinating and thorough book details many of the chemical constituents found in coffee and their influence on flavor and aroma.





















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