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The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee Flexibound – June 1, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Tracing the beverage from its first appearance in the Turkish and Saudi Arabian coffeehouses of the 1500s to the chains and boutique shops of today, Sinnott's guide to primo coffee enables readers to fill their cups to the rim... with greatness. Readers will learn the differing qualities of producing countries (good acidity but light body from Peru; the distinctive Liberica espresso from Laos), the particulars of roasting, and even the best times to buy and brew. Sinnott deftly navigates the thorny issues of production, preferring to focus on the enjoyment of the product. Even readers who don't know their Arabica from their Robusta or a French Press from a percolator will appreciate Sinnott's informative and egalitarian approach; suggestions are the order of the day, not mandates. Whether the barista-to-be prefers to create custom blends to roast at home in the hopes of an ultimate cup, or simply wants to get a better pot from the auto drip she bought for $20, Sinnott's guide will result in a better cup of joe. Photos.

Review

The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee
Kevin Sinnott, Quarry (Quayside, dist.), $24.99 (176p) ISBN 9781592535637
Tracing the beverage from its first appearance in the Turkish and Saudi Arabian coffeehouses of the 1500s to the chains and boutique shops of today, Sinnott’s guide to primo coffee enables readers to fill their cups to the rim... with greatness. Readers will learn the differing qualities of producing countries (good acidity but light body from
Peru; the distinctive Liberica espresso from Laos), the particulars of roasting, and even the best times to buy and brew. Sinnott deftly navigates the thorny issues of production, preferring to focus on the enjoyment of the product. Even readers who don’t know their Arabica from their Robusta or a French Press from a percolator will appreciate Sinnott’s informative and egalitarian approach; suggestions are the order of the day, not mandates. Whether the barista-to-be prefers to create custom blends to roast at home in the hopes of an ultimate cup, or simply wants to get a better pot from the auto drip she bought for $20, Sinnott’s guide will result in a better cup of joe. Photos. (June)



Sinnott, Kevin. The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee. Quarry: Quayside. Jun. 2010. 176p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-1-59253-563-7. pap. $24.99. BEVERAGES
While there is a plethora of books on the history and economy of coffee, there are surprisingly few about enjoying coffee. With 200 color photos and friendly text, this highly readable and accessible coffee guide is divided into two sections, covering the beans and the brew. In addition to providing a general knowledge of coffee, Sinnott (curator, www.coffeecompanion.com) strives to give readers tools to prepare world-class coffee at home. Along with selecting, roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee, he discusses serving coffee-correct temperatures, using sugar and milk, and the equipment needed. Troubleshooting tips, charts, step-by-step instructions, and a variety of recipes add to the book's usefulness and value.
Verdict For people just beginning to develop a home coffee habit, this is a better starting point than Kenneth Davids's Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, but hard-core coffee fans will want both. - Xpress Review posted June 2010

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Product Details

  • Flexibound: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592535631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592535637
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I have been drinking premium coffee/espresso for about 20 years and roasting myself for about 3 years. I thought this book was a very terse, to the point primer on coffee. Easy reading and short with great advice about coffee sourcing and roasting basics. Even though I have a little experience with coffee, I still learned quite a bit from this book.

I am taking 1 star off for the following reasons.

1. In the Kindle edition the pictures are not synced properly with the captions. A caption will show up after you have flipped 3 pages past the pictures.
2. In the roasting section he described espresso roast as being beyond Vienna. I have many friends that roast and neither I nor they roast their espresso that dark. I am in contact with about 10 home roasters, none of them ever roast beyond Vienna and usually target Full City + since that is the easiest to benchmark. I usually do Full City myself for a LeLit PL53 grinder with a Simonelli Nouva HX machine, depends on the beans I might go a little darker. Later on in the "espresso" section he says that better espresso can be achieved with a lighter roast. Maybe the editing is not so good.
3. He attempted to make the case that roasting yourself can be more expensive. This may be dated information or his bean source is very expensive. I generally pay about 6.50 to $7 including shipping per pound, sometimes a pay up to $15 a pound but very rarely. Premium at the supermarket runs at about 1.10/ounce or $16.60 a pound. Even with 10% loss after roasting I'm still almost half the cost. My worst roasts are generally better than super market premium coffees (which are generally stale and charred anyway ) and my typical roasts are better than most local roasters where I live.
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
This book provides a great overview of coffee in general. For advanced folks, it probably adds little value but for a beginner like me looking to advance my skills, it was well worth the dollars. I was tired of my Keurig coffee and wanted to make better a cup of coffee myself. This book covers the entire process from types of beans, origins, roasted, unroasted to brewing techniques, grinding, etc. There are so many nuances to making coffee that you don't realize it until you read more about the subject. I often refer back to this book for brewing techniques.

I definitely feel like it has improved my skills and would recommend this for anyone looking to move beyond k cups or generic ground coffee.
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Format: Flexibound
This book is a welcome addition to your bookshelf (or, hey, it's a great start to a bookshelf!). Mr. Sinnott's knowledge drips through the pages, but never takes the audience for granted. Nothing is "dumbed down" for readers, but nothing is too complicated for those with the, pardon the expression, "layman's knowledge" of the beverage. The recipes are a welcome addition, as well, as they are not complicated and allow those willing to put in a little work the opportunity to save a lot of money on fancy coffee drinks.

I liked how this was not just a coffee history, coffee selection or roasting guide, recipe book, or brewing explanation guide, but everything nicely wrapped into one. The further reading references in the back add a personal touch from the coffee-man himself.

This book is short and sweet, yet not devoid of the narrative subtlety and richness of knowledge. Almost sounds like a shot of espresso.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book contains information, but is totally addressed IMHO, to beginners or people that don't know anything about coffee. I bought the book to see if I could find some advice on home roasting, and big information about beans varieties and farming. There is some in the book,but totally not enough for me. It goes then to explaining the different brew processes...i personally know well and use all of them so that part was really not interesting for me. The end of the book concentrates on recipes. I wouldn't recommend this book to advanced coffee lovers. There is little personal knowledge in the book, the rest can be easily found with Google in 5 seconds. Kind of wasted money on this, the book is for those who don't know the coffee at all, or almost.
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I have received this book just a few days ago. The book itself looks nice, illustrations are reasonably good, and plenty.
It has multiple chapters on just about everything you need to know about coffee, from selecting, to roasting, to brewing in a variety of ways.
It could be a great book, but there are many mistakes and inaccuracies here
I will not list everything I disagree, or everything most authors disagree. Such differences are always open to interpretation and each own's opinion. So those really do not matter - it is actually good to hear different opinions.
However, I can mention certain things that are clearly wrong.
The roasting part has two sections that discuss how "done" the coffee is. The first one, a pictorial, describes espresso as number 4, from 1 (lightest) to 6 (darkest). Later on, when discussing how to get there, all of a sudden espresso is the darkest of them all, even more so than vienna or french (which come after espresso as 5 and 6 just a few pages before).
Furthermore, when describing how to achieve each level, some of the roast levels have no difference whatsoever, same instructions for two different levels of roasting, suggesting to someone that certain roast levels are achieved the exact same way (it is not, late in the roasting seconds make quite a lot of difference). The author goes as far as state on his roasting section that every single roast, even the lightest, is carried until after second crack. It should be mentioned that is the difference between most light and dark roasts - the former end roasting before second crack, the latter afterwards. Basic roasting knowledge.
There is another section in the book that calls the rust (a disease of coffee bushes) as caused by fungus. It is later called a virus.
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