Since its discovery in an Ethiopian
rainforest centuries ago, coffee has brewed up a rich and troubled
history, according to Uncommon Grounds, a sweeping book by business
writer Mark Pendergrast. Over the years, the beverage has fomented
revolution, spurred deforestation, enriched a few while impoverishing
the many, and addicted millions with its psychoactive caffeine. Coffee
is now the world's 2nd most valuable legal commodity, behind oil,
according to Pendergrast, who is also author of the book "For
God, Country, and Coca-Cola"
A good cup of coffee can turn the
worst day tolerable, can provide an all important moment of
can rekindle a romance," he writes. "And yet, poetic as its taste may
coffee's history is rife with controversy and politics." For example,
bankrolled Idi Amin's genocidal regime in Uganda and the Sandinistas'
in Nicaragua. Uncommon
Grounds provides some fascinating tidbits. More info and recipes...
Put your local coffee bar to
the test with Coffee Basics! With thousands of coffee bars and
restaurants serving an endless variety of blends, roasts, and brews,
specialty coffee drink has become as daunting a task as selecting a
wine. How can you distinguish between great coffee and great hype? Read
Basics: A Quick and Easy Guide. Kevin Knox and
Julie Sheldon Huffaker have filled this handy reference with hundreds
of industry truths and trade secrets.