9 Best coffee books: From brewing the perfect cup at home to the history of coffee
The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman, £15.44
This comprehensive book covers every aspect of coffee, from the discovery of the coffee plant, to what to look for when buying a coffee machine, and everything in between. Written by coffee expert, James Hoffman, the book is split into three sections. The first will teach you about the coffee fruit right through to how it’s traded. The second is where it gets geeky, from tasting to grinding and even how the water used for brewing affects your cup, and the final part looks at every coffee-producing country in the world. From Bolivia to the lesser known, like Yemen, here James maps all its regions and most interestingly, it gives the key differences between them. If you’re looking for a book to give you a complete overview of coffee, then this is it.
Coffee: It’s Not Rocket Science by Sebastian Racineus & Chung-Leng Tran, £14.39
Packed with more coffee knowledge than all of your coffee bore friends combined. This fun and beautifully illustrated book focuses solely on how to make great coffee at home, along with great tips o how to choose the the right coffee machine for you, lessons in latte art. Written by Sebastien Racineux, an engineering professor and barista, who invented the brewing technique “espressologie” and set up a training organisation of the same too, along with Chung-Leng Tran.
It’s perfect for coffee novices but even the most seasoned coffee lover will find it useful and informative, too.
The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen, £9.99
Part history book, part travelogue, The Devil’s Cup traces the impact that coffee has had on the world from its humble beginnings hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years ago and how it evolved to be relied upon by millions today. Starting in Ethiopia, journalist Stewart Lee Allen travels the world, from the cafe paved roads of Paris to America for its worst cup of joe, which all culminates in his mission to prove that coffee is the driving force of history. Throughout his wired journey, he writes in a both educational and funny way - it’s a winning combination.
Brewing Justice by Daniel Jaffee, £20.29
This book sets out to examine the ethics, effects, economics and sustainability of Fair Trade coffee. Brewing Justice is sobering, but also optimistic in its view. Daniel Jaffee is clearly in favour of more Fair Trade production, but he is also critical of its shortcomings. Coffee production is getting harder and harder for small scale farmers who are receiving a smaller and smaller slice of the global takings. As coffee lovers, we owe it to those farmers to inform ourselves and support sustainable coffee.
The Professional Baristas Handbook by Scott Rao, £34.76
When Scott Rao started out in the coffee industry he read every book on coffee that he could get his hands on. None of them were quite right, so he wrote his own. This is a practical guide for any budding professional barista, guiding you through the process of making great coffee in a cafe setting. If you have your own cafe and want to take your coffee offering to a new level, then this is the book for you.
Coffeeland By Augustine Sedgewick, £18.90
The story is one that few coffee drinkers know. Coffeeland centres on the volcanic highlands of El Salvador, where James Hill, born in the slums of nineteenth-century Manchester, founded one of the world's great coffee dynasties. Adapting the innovations of the industrial revolution to plantation agriculture, Hill helped to turn El Salvador into perhaps the most intensive monoculture in modern history, a place of extraordinary productivity, inequality and violence.
Onward: How Starbucks fought for its life without losing its soul By Howard Schultz, £14.99
In 2008, Howard Schultz, the president and chairman of Starbucks, made the unprecedented decision to return as the CEO eight years after he had stepped down. Concerned that Starbucks had lost its way, Schultz was determined to help it return to its core values and restore not only its financial health, but also its soul. Love it or hate it, Starbucks is a major player in the world of coffee, and their story is a fascinating one.
The daily Grind: How to open & run a coffee shop that makes money By Andrew & Claire Bowen,£14.99
If you’ve ever dreamt of opening your own coffee shop, then this is the book for you. Andrew and Claire have a wealth of experience from opening and running coffee shops across several locations. This is packed with sound advice, from the layout of your cafe, to the equipment you’ll need and how to market your newly opened business. Grab a marker pen (and obviously a coffee) and make that dream happen.
Coffee Art: Creative coffee designs for the home barista By Dhan Tamang, £7.72
We’ve all seen those picture perfect lattes with the beautiful tulip pattern in the froth. This book will help you learn how to do it yourself. With more than 128 pages of 60 designs from one of the world's leading latte artists Dhan Tamang, this book covers free pouring, stencilling, etching and also more complex designs. If you don't take a picture for Instagram, did it ever really happen!?