The Coffee Book

DK. Aug. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9780744033731. $25. REF
Dating back to the 15th century and encompassing 124 known species, coffee today is a big business. In this fascinating book, Moldvaer (cofounder and owner, Square Mile Coffee Roasters) concentrates on the only two species that are grown commercially: Arabica and Robusta. She summarizes coffee’s history and discusses the 70 countries best known for commercial coffee production. Other topics include production methods, grinding, brewing equipment, and proper brewing techniques, bean quality, storage, freshness, home roasting, and coffee-brewing equipment and methods. Much more than a coffee-table book, this enlightening, heavily pictorial work, originally published as Coffee Obsession, is loaded with full-color photos and illustrations including diagrams, charts, maps, and a flavor appreciation wheel to assist readers with coffee identification. Similar titles, such as Daniel Lancaster’s The Coffee Recipe Book: 50 Coffee and Espresso Drinks To Make at Home focus on recipes, while other books tend to look at roasting practices or business operations. Moldvaer takes a little from each topic, presenting the full coffee picture from beginning (growing the beans) to the final product (sample recipes). A helpful glossary, a detailed index, and 70-plus recipes round out the work.
VERDICT In-depth and accessible, this volume will fascinate coffee lovers wanting to learn more about the popular beverage, as well as those interested in learning about coffee varieties, brewing techniques, and recipes.
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