Uncommon Grounds and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.33
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $7.62 (38%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World Paperback – September 28, 2010


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.33
$7.62 $5.23
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World + The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes + The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee
Price for all three: $44.12

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Second Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 046501836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465018369
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Pendergrast, a former business journalist, is the author of several books, including For God, Country, and Coca-Cola. He lives in South Burlington, Vermont.

Customer Reviews

Absolutely a must read for coffee geeks and enthusiasts alike.
wayne mercado
I bought it as a gift and ended up reading it myself before apologizing to my friend that she now has a "used" book for her birthday.
Nein Finn
This is a very through history of coffee and well written so that it keeps you interested even though it is very in depth.
M. R. Hein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jackal on August 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book giving me an overview of the history of coffee. The subtitle "how it transformed our world" was promising so I got hold of the book. Big mistake. First, the book only deals with the US market. So much for world transformation. Second, the focus is on the first decades of the 20th century. So much for a general history. Third, there is hardly anything about the period 1990-2012. So much for a revised edition published in 2010.

Had the content of the book been properly marketed, it would probably deserve three stars. Due the the totally faulty marketing of the book it does not deserve more than one star.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Goldstein on November 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Im really enjoying the historical approach of Uncommon Grounds, which is less recounting the developments around coffee as it is a good discussion of how coffee influenced the growth of social and political institutions around the world. As a popular lit book it obviously doesnt get as critical as a scholarly publication might, but it is definitely a fun read.

My only complaint is that it breezes through the origins and domestication of coffee, but to be fair there very little data out there on that topic. Of all the "history of [esoteric item]" books out there right now, this is definitely one of the better and more interesting ones.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Packer on September 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard the author on a radio interview and immediately ordered the book. I found the first parts of this work to be intriguing and captivating. The, like crossing a border, things changed. The writing devolved into the equivalent of going through a stack of notecards upon which facts were written in preparation for a term paper. The information in this book is extensive and I learned many things (the good news) but the last half of the book was a meandering bunch of facts and very tedious reading (the bad news). I feel like the author should take the information in the last half of the book and re-write it in the style of the first half. Then, this would be a winner!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By skitzoeinhoven on December 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Barista at Starbucks, I'm training to become a coffee master. This book was mentioned in my training and has been an insightful and successful tool amidst my studies. The book arrived in fantastic shape and in great time. Thank you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paulo Reimann on December 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was wandering in Ethiopia when the curiosity about coffee was borned. I am a Brazilian but never looked deep into the story and history of coffee. This book is a piece of beauty as gives a tremendous parallel in between thes tory and the history of the world since coffee invention.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barrett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Though this non-fiction account is about coffee, it does give the reader insight to not just the coffee business, but other budding food and beverage industries in the 19th and 20th century. The type of business model and marketing strategies were similar to just about every food and beverage industry of their respective times.

A key reason I enjoyed this book is the exhaustive research obviously put into it. Pendergrast not only includes historical accounts but also interesting anecdotes and memos from prominent coffee businesses. I found the late 1800s and early 1900s the most interesting of all.

I know others have said this book is bland and monotonous, but I beg to differ. Being a historical account, there is quite a bit of actual historical fact written in. History itself can be a bit mundane (this happened at this time at this place), but the author inserts little witty remarks and snippets from history that are quite entertaining. Very rarely does he pepper the account with his own quips, but when he does they are welcome and amusing.

Though the reader may not find much of the early history interesting due to the non-existence of many of the older brands (Arbuckle anyone?), I actually found that learning about these early coffee industry pioneers was inspiring. I also enjoyed that there were decent folks in the industry (Joel Cheek of Maxwell House and John Arbuckle come to mind) and villains (CW Post and Hermann Sielcken). The evolution of coffee from luxury good to everyday staple is interesting and it is also quite intriguing that the United States had a very large role in shaping the future of the coffee industry (since most - though not all - of the rest of the world was drinking tea).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was almost ironic that I read most of this book while in the local Starbucks. This is a fascinating book on the history of coffee as well as a look at how one guilty pleasure influenced the planet. It made Europeans sober and more political discussing the rights of mankind while enslaving vast numbers of non-European peoples just to put Coffee, Tea and Sugar on their tables. The boiled water reduced the incidence of water-borne diseases. Yet, all the while, underneath the Coffee House Culture lay a vast exploitation of workers, land grabs, speculation, and a host of nefarious people.

So, lift the mug and shed a tear and ponder the mysteries of an infusion of roasted ground cherry pits and all the changes it brought to the planet.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hinkle Goldfarb on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Overall, a mostly entertaining look at that psychotropic drug of choice, and its preferred delivery system, blessed by popes, drunk by billions. Three points stand out.

First, the author certainly has a hate on for robusta beans ("even at their best...flat...bitter"), which appears to be both a cause and effect of his highly Americas-centric take on coffee. It bears pointing out that the French, famed to have the most refined palettes on Earth, are robusta habitués. It's ethnocentric, and cultural imperialism, to dismiss one-half of the world's coffees as "flat" and "bitter." Viva robusta.

Second, the book makes palpably false statements, things that are so elemental that they throw every single fact, date and statistic in the book into doubt. E.g., Brazil begins just *north* of the equator, not south (p. 22); October 1914 was not "just before the outbreak of World War I" (p. 89). If you're going to err in facts that are common knowledge, what does that say about the more esoteric ones?

Third, the author spends an inordinate amount of time editorializing on social causes / social justice matters, some of which have only a tenuous connection to the subject matter. Death squads, bigotry, war, exploitation, torture, global warming all make their appearances in the book. Sometimes it reads more like Revelations than a book on coffee.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search