10 Best Coffee Books to Wake Your Inner Barista
Whether you’re new to brewing coffee at home and want to pick up the basics, or you’re a serious coffee enthusiast looking to explore new techniques, there’s a coffee book out there for you.
From books about coffee history to detailed science and cool recipes, here are the best coffee books to add to your home library.
1. The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman
Barista James Hoffman first made his mark when he took out the 2007 World Barista Championship, but he’s become better known as one of the most popular coffee experts on YouTube. The World Atlas of Coffee lives up to its name, offering a comprehensive look at the coffee-growing regions of the world, their unique histories, and the coffees they produce.
2. The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman
As one of the country’s biggest specialty roasters, it’s safe to say that the folks at Blue Bottle know their coffee. But while the brand’s products can include some seriously rare beans, this book is much more accessible. Founder James Freeman guides you through choosing, roasting, and brewing your coffee using manual or machine methods. As a bonus, there are even some great pastry recipes from Blue Bottle’s cafes.
3. Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast
Since its initial discovery and cultivation, coffee has impacted the cultures and economies of those involved. Uncommon Grounds traces the history and origins of coffee from the hills of Abysinnia to the royal courts of Europe, the American Civil War, and the emergence of modern coffee giants like Starbucks. It’s heavy on information but with enough humor to make it enjoyable.
4. God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee by Michaele Weissman
While most of these books come to us from people in the coffee industry, Michaele Weissman gives an insight into how this unique lifestyle appears from the outside. As a journalist, she was captivated by the people on the quest for the perfect cup of coffee. Guided by several coffee experts, she seeks to understand the high prices of specialty beans, the obsessive standards of baristas, and the business of coffee.
5. Everything But Espresso: Professional Coffee Brewing Methods by Scott Rao
Scott Rao is a well-known figure in the coffee industry as a coffee expert focused on highly technical information. This book follows The Professional Baristas Handbook, as he turns his scientific eye to manual brewing. Expect to learn more about total dissolved solids, water chemistry, and particle size distribution than you ever thought possible.
He’s also the author of one of the best coffee roasting books, TheCoffee Roasters Companion.
6. Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto
In contrast to Scott Rao’s technical guide, Jessica Easto presents a much more accessible guide for brewing great coffee at home. Aimed at the budding coffee enthusiast, it explains in simple terms all of the elements that go into a great cup of coffee. There are techniques and recipes for ten different manual brewing methods, so there’s something for everyone, regardless of how you like your coffee.
7. The Birth of Coffee by Linda Rice Lorenzetti
This elegant book traces the birth of coffee not back to its origins but the start of its journey to your cup. Linda Rice Lonzaretti visited coffee producers in eight different countries to document the lives of the producers, following the life cycle of coffee through planting, harvesting, processing, and shipping. Accompanying the text are beautiful duo-tone photographs by Danial Lorenzetti, which were tinted with coffee.
8. Coffee Obsession by Anette Moldvaer
You might know your flat white from your latte and macchiato, but how do you fare with coffee drinks from further afield than your local cafe? Barista Anette Moldvaer is on a mission to educate you about the wide variety found in global coffee culture, with more than 100 coffee recipes worldwide. There are also tips on brewing, latte art, and coffee tasting.
It might even inspire you to up your coffee game with some of the best online barista courses.
9. The Craft and Science of Coffee by Britta Folmer
This hefty book (coming in at more than 550 pages) is more like an encyclopedia of coffee than something you’ll be reading from cover to cover. Nestle Nespresso Coffee Science Manager Britta Folmer has compiled contributions from scientists and coffee industry experts to create a comprehensive guide to coffee from bean to cup. It includes sections on subjects as varied as genetic diversity in coffee plants, the decaffeination process, and even the effects of coffee on our health and wellbeing.
10. 33 Cups of Coffee by 33 Books Co
Ok, so this one is not a book about coffee, but we think it deserves a place among the best books for coffee lovers. 33 Cups of Coffee is a journal designed to help you track your brewing experience. It has room to record everything you need to note about your cup of joe, from origin to roast date and brew method, and there’s a tasting wheel. It makes an excellent companion to some of these cool coffee apps.
What did you think of your guide to the best books about coffee? Are you ready to upgrade your library or put that coffee table to good use?
Let us know if any of these books, in particular, caught your eye or if you’ve read a great book about coffee that we’ve missed. Don’t forget to share this list with any coffee lovers who like a good read.