British coffee expert and 2007 World Barista Champion, James Hoffmann, has written a valuable reference work titled, The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing — Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed. (Firefly Books; Second Edition, Revised, Updated and Expanded, October 10, 2018, 272 pages.)
After an introduction to the history of coffee (the first coffee house was Kiva Han, which opened in 1475 in Constantinople), our coffee guide explains the stages and types of roasting, the basics of brewing, and where the beans originate.
The book is generously illustrated with color photographs that almost makes the aroma of coffee fill the reader’s nose. The wide variety of useful information will interest even the most casual coffee drinker and the heft of this book makes it the perfect coffee table book or holiday gift.
To his credit, Hoffman packs encyclopedic information in an organized and palatable format that begins with a breakdown of the many varieties of the coffee plant and how it is harvested. Then the author goes on to explain the many methods of roasting and brewing. Lastly, Hoffman lists and describes in illustrated detail the many countries around the globe where coffee is grown. His descriptions of the people in each region involved in the coffee trade gives the reader the true picture of the complexity and variety of this ancient brew.
Readers comments range from like to love, describing the book as “great gift for any coffee lover” to ”educational, thought-provoking, and substantial,” to “the definitive guide,” “A great resource” and “Just the perfect balance of simplicity and useful information!” with many five-star reviews from buyers.
So whether you’re a percolator user or a French press devotee, this book will provide enjoyable information from the historical to the practical.