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Home Coffee Roasting, Revised, Updated Edition: Romance and Revival Paperback – November 20, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This nation's obsession with coffee continues to evolve. Coffee addicts who have already traded up to the latest bean grinders and brewing machines now have a new frontier to conquer: roasting their own beans. Davids' updated edition of his earlier work addresses the technological advances that have made home roasting even more accessible. After surveying the history of coffee roasting and the machinery invented for that purpose, Davids scrutinizes the world's coffees, comparing their varietal characteristics so that home roasters can anticipate which beans will produce coffees that best suit their tastes. His quick guide to home roasting methods clearly delineates the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative, from the most expensive home roasting machines to simple stove-top and microwave oven techniques. Beginning home roasters may be surprised to find that one of the simplest coffee-roasting machines is a hot-air popcorn popper. Davids' clearly written instructions make home coffee roasting sound easy and should extend the process to a broad audience. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Kenneth Davids is the author of three books on coffee, one of the main figures in the home coffee-roasting revival, and writes for a number of coffee-industry publications and web-sites. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Revised edition (November 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312312199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312312190
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Johnson on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Update: March 1, 2006

In June, 2001, I wrote about "Home Coffee Roasting":

<quot>"This book is worth several times its purchase price for the two-page roasting chart alone. As a technically-oriented (read: geek) amateur roaster with three (3) roasters (a Hearthware Precision, an Alpenrost, and the fabulous Sonofresco fluid bed) I am constantly referring to this book to improve my art and understanding.

But, amazingly, the book -- only a few years in print -- is now dated, because the equipment options for the home coffee roaster have increased so much. My three roasters (or the types they represent) are not covered. That's the only reason that I gave this 4 stars instead of 5. But if you roast coffee at home -- regardless of your equipment -- you need this book.

What else is missing? I'd love to see a table in the appendix covering the top 50 (or so) growing regions and rating the AVERAGE bean on acidity, sweetness, body, finish, etc, so that one has a clue where to begin when making a blend. The professional coffee roaster is cupping samples all day long, and quickly learns the characteristics of the world's coffees. But we amateurs, buying 1, 2, or 5 lbs at a time could use a secret decoder ring that would tell us in advance what variety we should order that has a good chance of rounding out that blend that is "not quite there yet." Short of that, David's excellent narrative coverage in the book of different coffee characteristics will have to do."</quot>

With the release of the "Revised, Updated Edition", the book no longer merits the caveats I described.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tim on December 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Let me start off by saying that I do not like to read at all. I rarely start books and even more rarely finish them. With this book however I read it from cover to cover in three days! A very fun book for the coffee hobbyist or anyone who would like to learn more about coffee and home coffee roasting. Not only is this book packed with history (in a fun way) it is also a wealth of reference information regarding home roasting and the overall coffee process, from plant to cup!

This book is laid out in a very easy to read format. The chapters can be long but everything is broken down into small 1-4 page sections. Kenneth Davids has a real grasp on the fundamentals of coffee production and lays out a lot of information in an easy to follow entertaining way. The book reads very well from cover to cover.

The content is not too scientific and also not too general. Whether you have no idea about anything coffee or you are a coffee hobbyist (like me) you will learn a lot and come to appreciate all that goes into a truly good cup of coffee. Davids also includes a lot of reference information laid out in a fashion that is easy to search and locate specific information such as coffee origin notes, roasting and flavor terms, roasting equipment and methods to name a few. Davids does review and discuss many of todays home roasting equipment quite well however this information is already dated. Not to worry though the total of this information represents a small portion of the total book.

Included are also a lot of drawings and diagrams. This book really captures the romance of coffee and coffee roasting and delivers it in a wonderful easy to read and use fashion. I cannot put this book down and have read and reread many parts of it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Harlick on May 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very informative and useful for a novice about to start home roasting his own coffee. However, the equipment and resource sections are woefully out of date. This book was published back in 1996 and it shows; there have been many products and resources for the home roaster released into the market since then.
If you are interested in roasting your own coffee, read this book. Even though it is slightly out of date, it is full of useful information, well-written and well-presented.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. V. Stone on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book very interesting history of coffee origins and roasting techniques equipment, Good explanations of discribing roast profiles: Great discriptions of coffee flavor, taste, and aromas. Excellent presenation on coffee growing regions around the world and what coffees come from where. Good info on how coffee is grown & the various processes used to prepare green coffee beans for roasting. Good info on roast levels what look for listen to and smell to know where you are in the roasting process. Information on how different beans present different flavors. Talks about how stopping the roast at various light to dark roast profiles can changes things like coffee acidity, body, fruitiness, etc and can make the same coffee beans taste totally different it's just a matter of where you stop the roast.

Overall I thought the book was a good read for coffee geeks, and coffee snobs. That's how my wife has taken to discribing me to ours friends since started my home roasting/brewing hobby about two years ago. I love home roasting and brewing it Provides me with a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment all during the day while drain my thermos & & keep my coffee cup full @ work. Once you get past the initial equipment investment you really can save some money home rosting & brewing over buying premium coffee from your local roaster or your favorite coffe shop. However, it does take time & dedicaton each week to roast our own. Also there is a slight learning curve to overcome so it may not be for everyone. Surf the web there is tons of info about home roasting coffee so you can see if it is really something you want to get into.
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