The Professional Barista's Handbook: An Expert Guide to Preparing Espresso, Coffee, and Tea

32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1605300986
ISBN-10: 1605300985
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 99 pages
  • Publisher: Scott Rao (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605300985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605300986
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By SKL on June 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
YES, i paid full price for this book and have read it. My first review :)

This book is backed by the author's personal experience. It is very well researched and written. The in-depth and focused content, book (design) layout and overall flow are amazingly well-balanced for beginners as well as professionals.

If you love coffee, this is a good book for you. If you've romanced about being a barista, this is THE book.

THIS BOOK IS NOT...

* a recipe book
* about tea. The tea chapter is only 3-page long.
* about coffee roasting
* about instant coffee

THE FIRST IMPRESSION.

Before opening the cover, the 100-page "Professional Barista's Handbook" (2009 Edition) can be unassuming with a dash of textbook-like dryness. However, the robust hardcover and binding are excellent, as if the author and publisher have anticipated heavy usage on counter top. The pages are printed on superbly thick, non-reflective paper. It is also slightly more water resistant than usual.

* This solid book is expensive to manufacture.

The typography (fonts and size), design and layout gave the book great ease in casual browsing for information as well as cover-to-cover reading. Every pages or so are filled with hands-on photos, charts, hints, special in-depth notes, diagrams and illustrations. The design is nothing fancy, simple yet functional. However, i do find a few of the photos a bit too dark.

The content is very concise with minimal fluff. There are no long-winded personal stories or overly scientific explanations of coffee making. Most subtopics are kept within half a page before moving to the next. The information and ideas in this book are referenced and carefully remarked.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Wu Kwok Cheung on September 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading so many coffee books, this is the one that I had been looking for. One can learn what you need for making a espresso after reading this book. If Illy's espresso has too much unnecessary information, this handbook is just of the right dose. With this book you will save years, hundreds pound of bean, learning the skill of making a true espresso.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Pim Bezemer on September 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book contains everything you need to know about how to prepare a proper espresso, cappucino, latte, tea. The book is very comprehensive, contains a ton of smart hints and tips and is THE bible for every coffee geek.

PS I was positively suprised about the prompt action of Watergliders, where I've purchased this book.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Cuenta Perfiles Banamex on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must say that at first I was very happy about this book. I went from cover to cover very quickly, but at the end I felt like there was something missing. I felt like there was a lot of information, but to me, it felt that the information presented was not direct and clear.
In the French Press chapter, for example, he mentions that after boiling water, before pouring, the water should be a few degrees hotter than the desired brewing temperature. Ok, so what is the brewing temperature? Then he goes on saying that you should weigh the beans. Again no information about how much coffee, in grams, should be added, and how much water to use. You have to look at another chart in a different page for the information to figure out the ratios in grams or oz (which he fails to mention). He then mentions that water at 93 C weights 28.3 grams, so is that the proper brewing temperature?
At the beginning of the chapter one of the items needed is a naked portafilter for shot evaluation, but there is very little on that. Actually the same images with the same evaluations can be found at a popular coffee forum.
The brewing control charts on pages 75 and 74 make no sense to me, and the author assumes that the reader understands this by simply not explaining it.
I think that Scott Rao has done a great effort to compress a lot of information into the book, but I feel that his mistake was to not understand his target audience. What I mean by that is that a lot of information is presented in a manner that the author assumes the reader to be a beginner at this, but then presents technical information assuming that the reader understands this, as if the reader is a pro.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T. Dalton on September 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently upgraded my home brew espresso machine from a semi-auto to a more hands on machine. And, while I LOVE the new machine, there has been a relatively steep learning curve :) After a month of frustration with unsuccessful attempts to create appropriate microfoam for lattes and cappucinos, and of wondering if I had gotten a defective machine (but, pretty sure the problem was user error) I bought this book and starting hitting it hard. Within 24 hours, I was making awesomely velvety steamed milk with microfoam that was a barista's dream. Scott Rao's concise, down to earth descriptions make it very easy to follow and make it possible for even a novice to become an expert very quickly. GREAT book. His instructions are so detailed, yet incredibly intuitive. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to make great espresso drinks. Whether you're a home brewista like myself, struggling to master the art of the microfoam, or a cafe barista looking to improve your skill level and become a master of the pull, this book is the resource you are looking for.
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