The 1st of October was world coffee day and as usual, I completely forgot about it. Funny thing, the reason I forgot was that I was too caught up looking for more books about coffee to read 🙂 It’s one of the topics that I always circle back to as I feel there is still so much to learn about it. So let’s kick off the next reading season with a rundown of the best books about coffee.
P.S. Feel free to send me your contributions to this article in the comments section or by direct message. I would be happy to include them and/or link to your relevant social media posts as long as we are talking about first-hand experiences.
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Best books about coffee – fiction
Granted, I become interested in certain topics by reading fiction that prompts me to dig deeper into the various aspects and subjects it discusses. Here are the two books about coffee that made me want to learn more about the bean and its history.
The Coffee Trader – by David Liss
Set in 17th century Amsterdam, a center of world trade, this exquisite historical fiction tells the story of how coffee got to be recognized as a commodity of utmost importance to be traded at the stock market, on whose value fortunes and lives can be won or lost.
Also, it seems like two years ago I did remember the world coffee day as I was writing the Instagram post on books about coffee below 🙂
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A book a week, My Wednesday pick! . . . What we do best @dreambookandtravel is to recommend the perfect reading 📚to match your destination! Today we stick with the #internationalcoffeeday #lovecoffee☕️ theme of the week, and go to #amsterdam🇳🇱! Enjoy this fictional account about how coffee first got there, during the golden age of the city! @fitnesscoachirina can vouch that this is the ideal reading to take along with you to Amsterdam! And while you are there, check out the @newenglishbookstore – the best bookstore in Europe in our humble opinion! . . 1. A Christmas tombola prize awaits for whoever knows what the Turkish (delight) and Amsterdam Golden Age have in common? The answer will be given next week Wednesday! 2. Another Christmas tombola prize for whoever mentions the city that opened a coffee house 10 years before Vienna – it is not Amsterdam, and the answer is in one of our blog posts 😀 . . . . . #dailydreamtravel #dreambookandtravel #autumnreadingstack #weeklybookrecommendation #weeklybookchallenge #lovereading📚 #booksandwine🍷📚 #booksandcoffee☕️ #wednesdaybookpick #autumncozyseason #lovebookshops❤ #booksaremylife📚 #autumninamsterdam 🌰🍁🍂🍃 #autumnmagic #bookoftheweek📚 #travelbloggervibes😉 #bloggingmaniac #readinginamsterdam #thecoffeetrader #davidliss #booksinamsterdam #romanticamsterdam #historyofcoffee #historyofamsterdam #bookstagram
The Monk of Mokha – by Dave Eggers
This is the real-life account of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a young Yemeni American who attempts to revive his native country’s tradition of producing high-quality coffee beans and to set up a network of support for Yemeni coffee growing farmers amid the chaos of civil war.
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A book a week, My Wednesday pick! . . What we do best @dreambookandtravel is to recommend the perfect reading 📚to match your destination! It is for this reason that I am also a strong believer in taking the photo of a book in the setting that inspired you to read it! . . #lovecoffee☕️ is a recurring theme for young parents even on holiday, thus I found no better seaside holiday companion this year than this amazing non-fictional account of a person’s struggle to put Yemeni coffee on the map of specialty coffee – cultural history, current affairs, and personal development are topics covered in this account that will keep you enthralled to the last page! . . . . #dailydreamtravel #dreambookandtravel #autumnreadingstack #weeklybookrecommendation #weeklybookchallenge #lovereading📚 #booksandwine🍷📚 #booksandcoffee☕️ #wednesdaybookpick #autumncozyseason #lovebookshops❤ #booksaremylife📚#autumnmagic #bookoftheweek📚 #historyofcoffee #bookstagram @themonkofmokha #summerreading2019 #booksofig #instabookshop #bookstagrammers #coffeeandbooks #bestbookstoread #yemen #hashspecialtycoffee #culturalhistory #culturalheritagetourism #culturalheritage #holidayreads #holidayreading
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul – by Deborah Rodriguez
Patiently awaiting its turn in my reading stack, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is a novel a friend recommended, telling the story of a unique coffee shop in the heart of Kabul, and the stories and secrets of women who meet there. Have you read it? What did you think of it?
P.S. If looking for more books about coffee shops, the sequel is also available, Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
Best books about coffee – history and know-how
Coffee is not only the drink that picks us up in the morning and gets us through the day. Coffee is also one of the world’s most important commodities, the livelihood of millions of people across the globe. From coffee farmers in Ethiopia to the Starbucks barista who pours your latte, the coffee trade is a living organism, cultural history in the making.
In the search for the best books about coffee, I also had to stop and give credit to those who brought coffee making, from roasting to pouring, among the arts – the baristas of specialty coffee shops. As I am more interested in drinking my coppa than in preparing it, for me these aspects got subsumed into the cultural/historical aspects of my readings about coffee.
The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee -by Tristan Stephenson and The World Atlas of Coffee – by James Hoffmann
For those looking to get an overview of the world of coffee at the moment, both literally and figuratively, these two companions are essential reading. If there’s a take-home message from this whole post ob books about coffee, that’s this one: go buy yourself these two guides!
Uncommon Grounds – by Mark Pendergrast
Next on your list of books about coffee to read should be this excellent history of how coffee transformed our world, focusing on the currents and trends that defined and define the trade and customers’ tastes.
For those wondering what I’ve ordered to read next, please find below the content of my shopping basket with books about coffee. Enjoy!
Best books about coffee – coffee destinations
To our mind, reading and traveling go hand in hand and we could not decide in favor of one or the other even if we tried. We take books along on our travels and travel by reading books.
We are still planning to travel the world in search of coffee and would love to go on a Guatemala coffee tour like our friends Mark and Kyle from These Foreign Roads.
We are, however, lucky enough to have lived in Bremen, a city with a rich history in importing coffee and the original home of decaffeinated coffee (ok, maybe that’s not something to brag about) and to be based in Vienna, the capital of the coffee house culture, an intangible cultural legacy according to UNESCO.
It’s for this reason that I have decided to expand our list of best books about Vienna with a chapter on the Viennese Coffee Culture, for which I will use the following books about coffee in Vienna! Stay tuned for updates!