Books about coffee

I'm sure that, when the Ethiopian shepherd who discovered coffee stopped dancing, his first thought was, "Hey, this is wonderful stuff! I'll call it coffee! Now I need to market it. First, I'll write a book....

Yep. And people have been writing about coffee ever since.

Here is a (need I say this?) partial list of books that have received favorable reviews in more recent times.

Espresso-from Bean to Cup
by Nick Jurich ©1991, Missing Link Press, Inc., Seattle.

This goes at the top of my list for two reasons. 1. It is totally unpretentious. Yuppies will find it dull reading-there are no designer labels or ego-stroking advertising-but the rest of us will find plenty of common sense and practical advice.

Reason number 2: It's all here. Everything you could ever want to know about espresso is in this book, from ratings of popular espresso machines and grinders, to the specifics of creating the golden 'crema' which tops a well-brewed shot of espresso. The book also includes a history of coffee, descriptions of various types of coffees, explanations of all the different ways of brewing coffee, a number of recipes for coffee drinks and desserts, and a list of recommended roasters and equipment purveyors in the United States. If you are new to the espresso game, you want this book.

Starbucks Passion for Coffee
A Starbucks Coffee Cookbook

©1994 by Starbucks Corporation, Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park

A smaller cousin of those large coffee table books, this attractive and elegant full-color book offers intriguing glimpses into the history of coffee as well as an explanation of the coffee growing process, a variety of coffee recipes and brewing tips, plus a large selection of recipes for desserts that go well with coffee. As far as I know, this book is only available from Starbucks. Tel: 800-782-7282; Fax: 800-754-0256 (both 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)


Oh, you want to know the story of that Ethiopian shepherd? You'll find a different version of that story in every book listed in this column.