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 second most valuable legal commodity, behind oil,
according to Pendergrast, who is also author of the interesting
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. Did
know that coffeehouses helped spawn the French and American
Or that coffee supplanted alcohol as a favorite breakfast drink in
in the late 1600s, and later became a patriotic American beverage after
the Boston Tea Party?
also details the rise and fall of regional
coffee brands in the United States, the role of advertising in the
the global economic impact of coffee prices, and the recent emergence
specialty-coffee retailers--Starbucks, for example. Finally, he
the social and environmental ramifications of coffee and highlights
attempts to encourage a livable wage and environmental protection in
nations such as Brazil. Pendergrast also includes an appendix on "how
brew the perfect cup." This wide-ranging book is a good read for those
curious about the history and context behind that morning cup of
as well as for those strictly interested in the business side of the
industry. Order Uncommon
Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by
and Run a Coffee Bar by Tom Matzen, Marybeth Harrison
An excellent book if you are
interested in starting a coffee bar or coffee shop.
Cocktails: Specialty Coffee Recipes and 'A-Whole-Latte' more! by S. M.
FIRST of-its-kind, this gourmet
coffee book even illustrates "How to Make a Cappuccino WITHOUT a
This inventive and witty book is brimful and ready to serve you with
coffee tips, unique techniques and trivia from "Beans and Machines" to
"Cream of the Cup"; from "Coffee-o-logy" to "Coffee and Your Health"
much, much more! A perfect year-round gift for all coffee lovers!
Cup: A Coffee Lover's Guide to Buying, Brewing and Tasting by Timothy
expert Timothy Castle
chronicles the coffee revolution in America and offers information on
from the bean itself to brewing and appreciating the perfect cup.