It’s a cold, hard truth you’re about to face right now. Our ability to make coffee has moved far, far away from a cherished morning ritual and more towards a life or death situation. It’s no longer a “roast, watch, appreciate” scenario. It’s more like a “stumble with your eyes half-open and push a button” moment. Long-lost is the wholehearted appreciation for what coffee actually is, and not what capitalism has turned it into. Today, there is little understanding (or desire to understand) the whole story about what is in your cup.
Even if you’re drinking instant coffee—no judgments. (Actually, maybe a little—instant coffee has a few good uses, though, so hopefully you’re using it for a Dalgona). There’s a detachment from what we’re consuming. We either go out to a local café, or we have our machines do the work for us, which is all fine and brandy, but come on. Do you really need a reason? Fine. Understanding the story behind your morning cup will actually make your coffee taste better. Ok, maybe not. But it starts with a single step—or sip—and lucky for you, here are seven great coffee table books about coffee that you can read when you’re drinking, you know, coffee.
Brew: Better Coffee At Home
Let’s face it, when you’re making your pot of jolt juice, all you’re probably doing is scooping some random amount that you’ve guesstimated, pouring in to a specified water level that you think works, and drinking whatever your magical machine spits out. (And maybe that’s why you’re addicted to half-and-half and vanilla syrup, huh? After adding all that junk, it’s not even coffee anymore. It’s a Frappuccino that’s mimicking a melting glacier).
That’s why coffee expert Brian W. Jones has authored Brew: Better Coffee At Home. Because he wants you to understand that there is a right and a wrong way to make your coffee. This book isn’t just for newbies, either. You seasoned coffee veterans can get some legit tips, too. And if you’re also an individual that likes to partake in adult bevvies, then the included cocktails and recipes section will be right up your alley. Branch out from adding those creamy liquors like Kahlua, Bailey’s, or Amaretto and try something new—move past the chocolate martinis. Live a little.
World Atlas Of Coffee
Have you ever heard of The Bean Belt? It’s a latitudinal line that circles the globe, kind of like a belt that’s holding up the Earth’s pants. If she wore pants…actually, she’d probably be wearing a pantsuit, cause she’s a badass). Anyway, The Bean Belt is the geographic location that has the perfect climate for growing coffee. It passes through something like 70 countries, all of which grow the holy bean.
The World Atlas of Coffee, by java-jonsing author Joshua Miltonin (not melatonin) takes you not only on a written tour of these countries. Just like all excellent coffee table books, this one gives you bright, bold, highly-caffeinated pictures, so you know all the who, what, where, when, why, and how’s of the illustrious coffee bean. So while you’re sipping your brain gasoline, you can visually see and read about the coffee (that’s currently sacrificing its life for you so you can wake up) is from. Because chances are that you don’t really know (or haven’t really paid much attention) to where your Central American single origin is actually from.
The Coffee Book
Author Anette Moldvaer knows that not everyone enjoys reading pages upon pages of text with little or no images. If you like pictures, then this book is for you visual learners. The Coffee Book is going to be your new coffee compadre.
This is the ultimate guide for coffee drinkers that covers the basics of brewing, gives you the backstory of the beans and what they’re all about, visually shows you how to roast beans (yay for visuals), and even teaches you how to pull espresso shots, steam milk, and basically be your own barista. It also includes over 100 recipes that you can make at home. Who needs to go out to a café and pay inflated prices when you can just save the gas, money, and time and do it at home? That is, if you can commit to actually getting out of bed and doing all the work in the morning. Hey, practice makes perfect.
Real Fresh Coffee: How to Source, Roast, Grind and Brew Your Own Perfect Cup
You know what’s the next best thing to grinding your own coffee? Roasting it. And you know what’s even better than that? You (hopefully) guessed it: Sourcing your own green beans, which aren’t harvested from skinny pods that grow on vines (coffee grows on a shrubby tree and is the seed of a cherry). If you’re able to source, roast, and grind your own coffee, you’ll taste the difference in your cup and can be sure it’ll be a much more intimate and enlightening cup of noggin juice than, you know, running to the store and picking up some generic pre-ground Columbian Supremo. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But here, you’ll explore the exciting global scene; follow the progress of the humble bean from cultivation to coffee shop; and discover how to source, roast, grind and brew fresh coffee with confidence.
Real Fresh Coffee: How to Source, Roast, Grind and Brew Your Own Perfect Cup is brought to you by two coffee lovers—Jeremy Torz and Steven Macatonia. These guys also just happen to be in the coffee business and have won numerous awards for their stellar roasting capabilities (and they can write pretty darn well, too). This is the ultimate guide to creating your perfect cuppa, whether you’re a baby barista, a coffee fanatic, or just the average Joe (who drinks it to stay awake during the nine to five).
How To Make The Best Coffee At Home
Even if you follow the directions on the coffee packaging, your brew still doesn’t turn out properly. Why is that? Maybe it really is you (but maybe it isn’t?) Don’t go turning into a Negative Nancy just yet…There are so, so many variables when it comes to making coffee properly (and also consistently). But you’re in luck. James Hoffman—coffee guru and owner of Square Mile Coffee—wants to help make your mornings (or whenever, because sometimes a cup of jitter juice at five in the evening is a necessary thing) happier and more productive.
In his brand-spanking new release, How To Make The Best Coffee At Home, Hoffman covers everything you’ll need to make the perfect brain fuel at home, including the best (and not so best) equipment you should be investing in, how to grind them beans, coffee equipment basics, the differences between each of the coffee drinks (sneak peek: It’s all about ratios), and even, don’t get scared, roasting your own beans. Say what? This guy is invested in your coffee life. Isn’t it great when people you’ve never met are looking out for your wellbeing? Well, buy Hoffman’s book and return the favor.
Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home
This handy little book is just so hipster, it’ll never go in (or out) of style—that’s because hipsters have blended into society and turned us into one of them. Why do you think you’re interested in craft coffee literature? Craft Coffee: A Manual: Brewing a Better Cup at Home is a comprehensive work of hand-crafted writing that’s been carefully, uh, crafted by Jessia Easto and Andreas Willhoff.
It’s perfect for the coffee lover, but also is a really nice statement piece for your coffee table. If you’re all about the espresso—which has no X in it, by the way—then this book won’t make you happy because it’s all about coffee, and just coffee. This is all about the full-on eight fluid ounces, none of that “short doppio extra hot” junk. It talks about the science of extraction, brewing techniques, and how to actually read and understand what the heck some of these marketers are writing on their coffee packaging,’ cause seriously, sometimes they don’t make it easy. If you like cold-brew coffee, that’s covered in here, too.
Coffee Sommelier: A Voyage Through Culture and Rites of Coffee
Coffee is a ritual, and the first time you realize you require that cup of coffee in the morning—like, the first time you drink it, even if you don’t like it—is basically a rite of passage into adulthood. It’s also might become your new favorite addiction, so make sure that you’re not just living on only bean juice. Remember that although you’d like to think coffee spans multiple food groups, it does not. It will also never equate to bean salad, so don’t even try it.
On that note, author Fabio Petroni lays out everything you need to know about coffee, and then some. Coffee Sommelier: A Voyage Through Culture and Rites of Coffee, covers everything from growing to harvesting, roasting, preparation methods, and serving. If you’re big on historical tales, fables, and folklore, Petroni has included those as well. And then there’s how to cook with coffee. Oh yeah, baby. Nothing like a coffee tiramisu to start your day off right. Er, end your day on a good note? This anthology of coffee isn’t reserved for one single “class” of coffee consumer, it’s for everyone. Because coffee is an all-encompassing agricultural product that has literally changed the world. Who wouldn’t want to read about that?