6 Must-Read Books for Every Coffee Enthusiast

April 12, 2022Blake Stilwell
must-read coffee books

There’s nothing better than reading while drinking coffee — except maybe when you’re reading about coffee. Photo by Sainam/Adobe Stock.

Coffee is both inspirational and aspirational. For better or for worse, it has been inspiring and motivating humans in just about every endeavor and institution since the 1500s. Whether you want to be part of the coffeehouse boom or you’re just in search of the perfect cup, there are hundreds of books that will turn even the biggest coffee noob into an insufferable — but very knowledgeable — coffee snob. 

Here’s the rundown of required reading.

world atlas

The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann

Start where coffee starts with James Hoffmann’s The World Atlas of Coffee. This book is an atlas, but it’s not like the boring, outdated ones in your school library, showing off geographic features or countries that don’t exist anymore. It’s about something interesting: coffee.

I may not have realized Abyssinia no longer existed until I was in eighth grade, but now we can learn something useful about Ethiopia, Brazil, and other coffee producers. The World Atlas of Coffee breaks down how coffee is cultivated in 35 different countries, then analyzes how those techniques, along with local roasting practices, affect the flavor of the coffee those countries produce. 

daily grind

The Daily Grind by Andrew J. Bowen and Claire E. Bowen

If you’re reading this on Coffee or Die Magazine, then you know opening and running a local coffee shop isn’t just for hipsters and beatniks anymore. Coffee is in the mainstream, and anyone with the work ethic and passion can get in on it. The Daily Grind is your guide to getting started. 

Andrew and Claire Bowen have compiled a guide on everything you need to know about opening and running a local coffee shop, from choosing a location to staffing and even marketing your place once it’s up and running. Don’t let the hippies win.

must-read coffee books

Everything but Espresso by Scott Rao

Author Scott Rao is an expert on everything involved in selling coffee from a cafe. He has spent years training baristas and business owners alike in the arts and sciences of roasting, grinding, and brewing. If you’ve ever wanted to be an expert in perfect coffee brewing, Rao’s Everything but Espresso will show you the way. 

There’s no guesswork or eyeballing the grounds in this book. Rao covers all the essential elements of brewing coffee, from ratios to the chemistry of water. It might be more than you really need to know, but you’ll find yourself grinding through this book anyway.

must-read coffee books

Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast

As you probably suspect every morning while brewing your first cup, nearly everything in the world has been affected by coffee in some way or another. Foreign policy, economics, world history, and more have all been touched by the cultivation, sale, trade, and demand for the world’s most magic bean. 

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World will not only give you an understanding of how it all happened, it will give you the ammo you need to jump into any coffee-related conversation. Your friends may not like it, but that’s just because they’ll be the ones getting schooled.

must-read coffee books

Coffee Obsession by Anette Moldvaer

This is for those who are less concerned with the geopolitical and historical implications of how coffee makes the world go round but who want to know more about how certain coffees taste and why. Coffee Obsession covers the tangible basics of the effort that goes into making the perfect cup. 

Anette Moldvaer’s book will guide you through how it’s grown and how to roast it to tips for tasting. It’s also full of great visual aids that will help turn you into an expert almost overnight. Don’t let the coffee shop tell you how the coffee is going to taste; they’re just reading from a bag. This will help you know your joe. 

must-read coffee books

Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto

Anyone sick and tired of being treated like a wife making coffee in an old Folgers commercial should start here (those women got emotionally wrecked, seriously). If your biggest goal is to make a good cup at home, Jessica Easto’s Craft Coffee is an instruction manual for everything from cold brew to pour overs. 

Read Next: Haitian Blue: The Island Nation’s Latest Specialty Coffee Offering

Blake Stilwell
Blake Stilwell

Blake Stilwell is a traveler and writer with degrees in design, television & film, journalism, public relations, international relations, and business administration. He is a former US Air Force combat photographer with experience covering politics, entertainment, development, nonprofit, military, and government. His work can be found at We Are The Mighty, Business Insider, Fox News, ABC News, NBC, HBO, and the White House.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved