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Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World Paperback


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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: $46.01

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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: 2.4 x 3.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,460 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

Mark Pendergrast writes books, he writes them very well.
Byron Gates, Jr.
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
Absolutely a must read for coffee geeks and enthusiasts alike.
wayne mercado

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 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.
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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.
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6 of 7 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!
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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.
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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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SL on November 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It could be a good story, but this book needed an editor. It reads like a term paper which included every bit of data the student could find. The organization was not really clear, even though it has subtitles. The prose was unexceptional.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Hein on August 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very through history of coffee and well written so that it keeps you interested even though it is very in depth. Besides learning about bouth the history of coffee you also will learn about the people affected by the coffee industry and how history was affected.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well-written and informative book overall. Though I must echo the comments of other readers that state that it focuses more on the Americas. Having said that, it would have had to be a very long book to cover the world history of coffee. The book had some great parts which were very interesting (for example how America became addicted to drinking stale, packaged coffee in the 20th century) and parts that were less riveting (the incessant ups and downs of global coffee prices). Overall, I don't regret the purchase at all, it was a good read that left me with a much better understanding of coffee.
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