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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 1998
Like most caffiene addicts I routinely start my day with a cup of coffee. And since the coffee I made at home was never as good as the coffee I could purchase just about anywhere else I would force myself to drive to a nearby coffee shop no matter how inconvenient or expensive this might be.Since I was devoting a great deal of time and money to this quest I decided to purchase Korby Cummer's The Joy of Coffee thinking that the investment would eventually result in a better home brew. Happily, the plan worked.
"Joy" is an incredibly detailed, thorough book which begins with the author traveling to Costa Rica to pick beans and includes descriptions of the various means of roasting, grinding, and and brewing. There is a chapter on Espresso and another chapter examining the health effects of caffeine. The author spends time demystifying coffee terms and compares coffees from around the world. He writes about the advantages and disadvantages of various coffeepots and includes a source guide and a glossary. But the book is not only comprehensive-- the writing is engaging. Mr. Kummer also includes forty tempting recipes. I baked the "marvelous mocha cupcakes" which the author says are "wonderful"-- sorry, but I didn't think they were better than "very good"-- in fairness the comments "scrumptious" and "amazing" were elicited by two of my friends who generously agreed to sample them. They lasted one night. I also baked his "unbeatable biscotti". They were excellent-- very crispy and light-- they lasted two nights. Naturally, I drink them with coffee I brewed from my new pot-- at home.
An excellent companion piece is "Glass Paper Beans" which eloquently describes something we would normally take for granted each day, in this case lingering over a cup of coffee at the local cafe. The author, Leah Hager Cohen, describes what is really involved when we sip our brew while browsing the local paper. She introduces us to the the family who picks the beans, the man who cuts the trees to provide the wood pulp for the newspaper and a woman who works at the glass factory and helps to make the glass that holds the coffee. After reading Ms. Cohen you will never take your daily cup for granted and Mr. Kummer will tell you how to fix that cup in your own home.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2008
"The Joy of Coffee" by Corby Kummer, © 1995, 1997, 2003

This is a rather amazing book. Mr. Kummer starts with the growing of the coffee bean, harvesting, and ends up describing the selection of the various beans for blends. The truly interesting part is that there end up being so many beans that are usable, or maybe that is just my reading of it. The beans are so variable coming off the tree, and the processing is so intricate, I was surprised that we actually got some coffee. Another thought was the need for exporting all the quality these countries can. They are so cash poor they have to sell all they can to provide for the economic system. We are sure lucky here to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labors without worrying so much about the money, so far.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2006
I learned a lot from this book about coffee, and it was a very valuable source of information when I recently purchased a new espresso machine.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2003
Well, I can honestly say this book has been a God send for me. I knew absolutely nothing about Coffee before this book and drank mostly instant. I got a taste for "real" coffee by frequenting the odd Coffee House with friends. I wanted to know how I could make a delicious drink like those I purchased. Thanks to this book - I now can! This is a very interesting read and takes the reader right through from growing the beans to serving. I have since purchased an Expresso machine and my friends LOVE to have coffee at my house. I am still learning and I have received other tips to improve my brew from other books but I owe my initial success to this book. GREAT for an absolute beginner and I suspect interesting to the more experienced. Thanks Corby! I'm no longer Tea Total :-)
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on April 24, 2009
I have been getting more and more into coffee and espresso drinks in recent years. I've finally started going more specialty coffee as I won't even drink supermarket coffee any more.

Once I started wanting to know more about coffee, I found this book at a used book store. I've been reading it off and on for a while. It is a plethora of coffee information. If you are a relative newbie, this book will give you basic knowledge of almost every aspect of the world of coffee, from its growth and harvesting to making your own wonderful blends of coffee and espresso.

A definite must have book for the coffee rookie turned coffee lover!
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on March 28, 2014
This is a clear guide to making, buying, and loving coffee. From espresso machines to vacuum pots, this covers the whys and wherefores. Why is Dunkin Donuts the epitome of "East Coast Roasting," and Pete's/Starbucks the champions of "West Coast Roasting"? It's all here. My only wish would be for a newer edition; I would love to see a discussion of the SoftBrew Coffee Maker or the Aeropress (which the author has covered in some New York Times articles).
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on November 5, 2014
The book is excellent and Kummer prose and technical expertise in culinary and beverage field indisputable. However, the 1995 publication is slightly out of date to current technology in the appliance sector for this key, life-style beverage
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on September 8, 2011
I bought this book on the suggestion of an author who writes about food and travel. I am very pleased with the book It is informative and has some delicious recipes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2008
Very cool book. Everythin you want to know about coffee but were afraid to ask. The Coffee Bible, you might say.
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on August 21, 2015
Great book, was very informative and helped to appreciate and enjoy coffee more.
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