Best Coffee Books of All Time

The coffee industry has changed dramatically in the past few hundred years. There's a lot of information out there and a lot of coffee roasting knowledge that you can learn in order to widen your coffee obsession and experiences beyond just drinking it.

For those who love to read, there are lots of great coffee table books out there that are worth purchasing.

We've put together some of the best coffee books available on the market.

Whether it's a book for you, for a loved one, or simply for your coffee table, our knowledge will help provide you with the best resources for all things coffee-related.

1. The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing by James Hoffman

The World Atlas of Coffee (ISBN 0228100941)is a comprehensive look into the world of coffee. From beans to brewing coffee, James Hoffman explores the world's best coffee-growing regions.

The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann Second Edition (ISBN 0228100941)Helping any reader to gain an insight into how coffee production is conducted and how it makes its way into your favorite coffee cup.

There's plenty of information on brewing but its biggest selling point is that it's a global look at the coffee industry, widening the explorations that many coffee drinkers can go on when reading this book.

Specialty coffee has never been so interesting since James Hoffman started looking into this world. If you've been stuck on one type of coffee, then this book is a definite must-read.

2. The Craft and Science of Coffee by Britta Folmer

If you're a big fan of science and coffee combined, then you'll love Britta Folmer's The Craft and Science of Coffee.

With research and conversation from the scientific community, this book is made up of useful information that dives into the industry of coffee.

The Craft and Science of Coffee by Britta Folmer

Written by Dr. Britta Folmer whose role at Nestlé Nespresso was a Coffee Science Manager - sounds fun, right?

While this coffee book itself might be nearly $100 to purchase, there are many reasons as to why it justifies such a high price point. You get experts from all parts of the industry ranging from the farmers to the baristas to the academics of the roaster.

Some lives revolve around coffee and this real-world experience has created a book that shows the production of coffee as well as the economic impact from the industry itself.

3. God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee by Michaele Weissman

Even though it was published back in 2008, God in a Cup is still a must-have book for those who are looking to branch out and explore different bean varieties.

God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee by Michaele Weissman

Journalist Michaele Weissman goes on a narrative trip, exploring the world of coffee and the questions of how the humble bean can impact the world. From highly prized coffee beans selling for $50, $100, or $150 a pound in wholesale, coffee is a hot commodity.

Weissman's journey explores the nation's most popular coffee providers from Intelligentsia’s Geoff Watts to Counter Culture’s Peter Giuliano.

Looking into the new culture of coffee connoisseurship, particularly in America, the book offers an up-close look into the people behind the specialty coffee beans of today.

4. The Professional Barista’s Handbook by Scott Rao

Baristas have become a source of knowledge for all things coffee and are no longer seen as the person who just serves you coffee.

Scott Rao is a professional barista who wanted to write The Professional Barista's Handbook (ISBN: 1605300985) to help you, the reader, make the best coffee possible.

The Professional Barista’s Handbook by Scott Rao

Even though it's a fairly short book, the purpose and intent by Rao are to not overcomplicate the process with glorified roasting terms and pretentious quips.

It's packed to the brim though with relevant industry jargon and brewing methods that are used by the pros.

So whether you're trying to become a barista yourself or simply want to learn from the experts, then this is a must-have for notes on cupping, roasting, and the most important factor that contributes to the flavor development of coffee.

5. Starting Your Own Coffee Shop by Jessica Simms

There are some people out there that would love to create their own businesses and some try out their hand in the coffee industry. If you've always wanted to start your own coffee shop, then Jessica Simms' book is one to read

Starting Your Own Coffee Shop by Jessica Simms

This book covers all the basics when starting a new business, from drafting up a business plan to marketing. From what equipment you should invest into all of the relevant challenges that come with running a coffee establishment in general.

Even if you're not interested in starting a cafe, it does have interesting information when it comes to creating a business in general.

It's a business-orientated side of the coffee industry that you might not necessarily have much experience in. 

6. The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman

Created by the Blue Bottle Coffee roasters based in Oakland, California, this book is a great one for novice coffee drinkers.

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman

This one is a great book for those looking to expand their knowledge on the craft and science of coffee.

It also has advice on developing your barista skills, whether or not you intend to go into this specific career.

The book covers everything from the history and waves of coffee to tutorials and recipes shared by the best coffee experts. James Freeman, the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee writes the book with a passion for the coffee that you get in all forms.

7. The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen

The Devil's Cup answers the question of 'Is coffee the substance that drives history?'

There are fewer recipes as a result and more focus on retracing the history of coffee and how it's come to be what it is now in modern times.

The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen

Author Stewart Lee Allen has taken himself around the world to provide an insight into how coffee is made, produced, and served in all corners of the earth.

Funnily, he talks about tea drinkers being in denial and we have to agree that coffee is a beverage that should be enjoyed by even those who prefer a cup of tea.

8. Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast

Ever wondered if the cup of coffee you're drinking has had an impact on foreign policy?

Well, Mark Pendergrast certainly has and Uncommon Grounds (ISBN: 9781541699380) looks at the economics, history, and anthropology of coffee.

Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast

It's one of the favorites for any coffee lover and is a comprehensive resource for understanding the history and rich complexities of coffee.

Originally published in 1999, it continues to provide for newer audiences and those who are newcomers to the world of coffee.

9. Everything But Espresso by Scott Rao

As if one book isn't enough, Scott Rao is back at it again but with a book that's catered for those coffee geeks. Everything But Espresso (ISBN 9781450708708) is a book that focuses on everything other than shots of coffee.

Everything But Espresso Book (ISBN 9781450708708)

Brewing a good cup of coffee is one that many experts will say is both an art and science.

This book covers the measurements and ratios of a good brew. That way, you can get a good cup from the comfort of your own home!

Bottom Line on the Best Coffee Books

All these books offer a useful perspective to the coffee industry, whether it's a barista or coffee enthusiast journalist.

There are still lots of books out there that aren't mentioned on this list, so make sure you do further digging for more knowledge on coffee across all areas of the industry.

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