Most helpful positive review
49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
This book lives up to its title.
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.