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Home Coffee Roasting, Revised, Updated Edition: Romance and Revival Paperback – November 20, 2003
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About the Author
Kenneth Davids is the author of three books on coffee, one of the main figures in the home coffee-roasting revival, and writes for a number of coffee-industry publications and web-sites. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Top Customer Reviews
In June, 2001, I wrote about "Home Coffee Roasting":
<quot>"This book is worth several times its purchase price for the two-page roasting chart alone. As a technically-oriented (read: geek) amateur roaster with three (3) roasters (a Hearthware Precision, an Alpenrost, and the fabulous Sonofresco fluid bed) I am constantly referring to this book to improve my art and understanding.
But, amazingly, the book -- only a few years in print -- is now dated, because the equipment options for the home coffee roaster have increased so much. My three roasters (or the types they represent) are not covered. That's the only reason that I gave this 4 stars instead of 5. But if you roast coffee at home -- regardless of your equipment -- you need this book.
What else is missing? I'd love to see a table in the appendix covering the top 50 (or so) growing regions and rating the AVERAGE bean on acidity, sweetness, body, finish, etc, so that one has a clue where to begin when making a blend. The professional coffee roaster is cupping samples all day long, and quickly learns the characteristics of the world's coffees. But we amateurs, buying 1, 2, or 5 lbs at a time could use a secret decoder ring that would tell us in advance what variety we should order that has a good chance of rounding out that blend that is "not quite there yet." Short of that, David's excellent narrative coverage in the book of different coffee characteristics will have to do."</quot>
With the release of the "Revised, Updated Edition", the book no longer merits the caveats I described. In particular, Davids has meticulously covered the wide range of available home -- as well as cafe or semi-professional -- roasting equipment, and has excellent coverage of the growing availability of equipment and green coffee sources via the Internet. After 5 years of blending and roasting many pounds per week, and as a writer, I probably could by now have almost written this, and yet I found it endlessly entertaining and informative. Someone new to the hobby will, as I said in 2001, find it indispensable.
Nice job, Ken. Here is your fifth star: "*"
This book is laid out in a very easy to read format. The chapters can be long but everything is broken down into small 1-4 page sections. Kenneth Davids has a real grasp on the fundamentals of coffee production and lays out a lot of information in an easy to follow entertaining way. The book reads very well from cover to cover.
The content is not too scientific and also not too general. Whether you have no idea about anything coffee or you are a coffee hobbyist (like me) you will learn a lot and come to appreciate all that goes into a truly good cup of coffee. Davids also includes a lot of reference information laid out in a fashion that is easy to search and locate specific information such as coffee origin notes, roasting and flavor terms, roasting equipment and methods to name a few. Davids does review and discuss many of todays home roasting equipment quite well however this information is already dated. Not to worry though the total of this information represents a small portion of the total book.
Included are also a lot of drawings and diagrams. This book really captures the romance of coffee and coffee roasting and delivers it in a wonderful easy to read and use fashion. I cannot put this book down and have read and reread many parts of it. I refer to the roasting notes and procedures to assist in my home roasting. This book is as much an indispensable tool as it is an entertaining easy chair read. If you even have a slight interest in coffee then this book has a lot to offer!
If you are interested in roasting your own coffee, read this book. Even though it is slightly out of date, it is full of useful information, well-written and well-presented.