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Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying Paperback – May 4, 2001

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Frequently Bought Together

Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying + Home Coffee Roasting, Revised, Updated Edition: Romance and Revival + The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee
Price for all three: $41.12

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 5th edition (May 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031224665X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312246655
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An amusing and informative book that is the best available guide." --Corby Kummer, The Atlantic Monthly

"Coffee drinkers will perk up...after reading Kenneth Davids's book." --UPI

About the Author

Kenneth Davids is the author of two other books about coffee, Espresso: Ultimate Coffee and Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival. He teaches writing and history at the California College of Arts and Crafts and writes for a number of coffe industry publications and Websites. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Customer Reviews

This book is very informative and entertaining.
Doreen M. Luff
I highly recommend it to anyone starting in the coffee industry or if you have any interest in coffee what-so-ever.
Taylor T. Black
There is much good information in this book on many topics about coffee roasting, grinding and brewing.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 72 people found the following review helpful By tepi on September 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
COFFEE : A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying. Fifth Edition. By Kenneth Davids. 279 pp. New York : St. Martin's Griffin,
2001. ISBN 0-312-24665-X (pbk).
This is a book for those who, after years of slurping what all too often passes for 'coffee,' and what far too many establishments continue to pretend is 'coffee,' have been blessed by a coffee epiphany. It is for those, in other words, who have finally realized what a sensuous, ravishing, and complete experience a perfect cup of _real_ coffee is, and who would like to learn how to duplicate that experience at will in the comfort of their own home. Brewing up a cup of coffee may seem to most of us to be a relatively simple matter, but what we quickly learn from this book is that, far from being simple, selecting the right type, form, and state of coffee and correctly employing the methods that will produce that perfect cup demand real knowledge and skill; we learn, in short, that a true understanding of coffee opens up an area of connoisseurship every bit as big, or even bigger, than that of wine itself.
Davids' book is truly comprehensive. Besides giving us a fairly detailed history of coffee, from its origins in Arabia (or Ethiopia) through to its latest manifestation in the flavored espressos of the modern mall, the book includes chapters on Buying It, Tasting It, Roasting It, Grinding It, Brewing It, and Serving It. Detailed information is given on the special qualities and characteristics of all coffees of the many regions of the world which produce it (Guatemala; Honduras; Costa Rica; Jamaica; Puerto Rico; Haiti; Colombia; Peru; Brazil; Yemen; Ethiopia; Kenya; Uganda; India; Sumatra; Java; New Guinea; Hawaii, etc.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By customer on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I WAS a TEA drinker! until I read this book. It was ordered BY MISTAKE in order to qualify for free shipping (thought it was a cup warmer!). I was so annoyed and was about to send it back but - READ it anyway and once started was so intriqued and hankering for real coffee I could smell the aroma right out of the book.
If an author can do that to an avowed tea drinker, and make you run out and buy the best coffee beans and grind them and pour boiling water over the grounds in a strainer with coffee filter until buying a coffee machine when convinced... and DRINK the stuff that does NOT taste like tea but something AMAZING - wow! and bow wow!

Buy this book - whatever you drink now. Read not only all the directions from buying to brewing to drinking, then the history culture and everything connected to Coffee - you're getting the full scope from a first class story teller. (I think I'll go back and read it again, and brew some coffee!)
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Vinophile on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Through his three books and informative website (...), Ken Davids is a leading expert on coffees of the world. He is also the green bean guru to home coffee roasters everywhere and it is primarily for them this book was designed. For anyone exploring the many pleasures of roasting their own beans, Davids is the only comprehensive guide available, which makes it particularly maddening that the book hasn't been updated in five years. When Davids wrote the book in 1996, home coffee roasting was beginning its rebirth. Today, the sorts of inexpensive, easy-to-use home roasters he long for in the book are finally available but not covered. A quick update could correct information on roaster availability (it's easier than you think, and easier than he says), and sources for unroasted beans (some of his are out of date, and some good ones aren't noted at all). Still, if you want to get started with home roasting, this remains the best book to own. And if you just love coffee, it's a fine second or third book to put on the shelf. But if you love coffee enough to buy a book about it, you really should explore roasting your own beans -- the flavors and fun of it are incomparable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HardcoreGamer on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the rave reviews, and I wasn't disappointed. If you're a relative newcomer to coffee, or you're bewildered by all the choices of beans and different roasts, then this book is for you. The author clearly has his own opinion of which coffees are best, but he also makes it clear that coffeelovers are different and therefore have different tastes.
This book will explain the difference between coffees from different places, different roasts, methods of processing, methods of grinding and brewing, as well as buying and storing coffee. He details how to make espresso and cappuccino, French press coffee, drip-brew coffee, and many other common and not-so-common methods of brewing. He will tell you how to determine what kind of coffee to get to fit your taste in regard to origin, roast, grind and brew method, as well as teach you about the history and origins of coffee.
I came into the coffee world knowing nothing, and, after reading this book, I now know more about what I'm looking for in coffee than several of the coffee places I've visited. I'm making my own espresso and cappuccino. Overall, my experience with this book has been all positive. I can think of nothing negative to say about it.
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