The Best Coffee Books: Top 10 Reviewed

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A good coffee book can teach you more than a barista class.

From how it’s grown across the world to making a perfect tasting cup, there are books that cover everything you need to know about coffee. 

And then some.

Here are my recommendations for some of the best coffee books out there. 

Ready to get started?

Let’s dive in!

Best Coffee Books – Our Top 10 Choices 

The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman

This book is exactly what the name says it is – an atlas of anything and everything coffee related. 

It gives you a global tour of various countries that grow coffee beans in both text and photographs. 

The atlas is organized by continent and then further by country. It covers the history, important growing regions and taste profiles of over 35 countries where coffee is produced.

It goes deep into the subject, addressing the role of colonialism and politics on coffee production in most countries. You really get to see the ugly side of coffee growing as well, through information about coercion by colonial forces.

Aside from history, the book also goes into detail about each part of the coffee-making process. 

It explains everything from harvesting and roasting all the way through to different brewing methods. 

What’s great about it is that it gives you applicable advice and really shows you what you need to focus on to get that perfect cup of java.

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Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast 

The story of coffee – from its discovery in the Abyssinian highlands to the advent of Starbucks – couldn’t be told in less than 551 pages. 

If you want to know how coffee changed the world, this is your one-stop-shop.

A cup of coffee can make a bad day more tolerable. But the history of this drink wasn’t so poetic. Coffee bankrolled some of the most controversial regimes and revolutions in history. 

Good examples are Idi Amin’s rule in Uganda and Nicaragua’s coffee revolution

If you’re more interested in the business side of the coffee industry, the author touches on that subject too. Some of the topics you can read about include the role of advertising as well as the global economic impact of coffee prices.

This book really steps away from romanticising our favorite beverage. It gives us a more raw, realistic view of the industry as it was and as it currently is. 

Rest assured it won’t leave you indifferent.

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The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee by Tristan Stephenson 

This book is a guide in the true sense of the word – it covers every stage from growing and roasting coffee to brewing and serving the perfect cup. 

The guide starts with some general information about the history of coffee. This is followed by a brief introduction to coffee varieties and growing regions. 

The author doesn’t go into too much detail here, but to be fair, he would need an additional 500 pages to cover everything.

In the following sections you’ll find tips on buying and storing coffee. What’s more, you’ll learn how to recognize the differences between different blends. 

As you proceed to the espresso section, you’ll read all about making espresso-based drinks and creating latte art.

Other coffee brewing methods are also mentioned, from the French press and moka pot to pour overs and siphon brewers. 

Finally, the last section contains 25 recipes for delicious coffee-based beverages as well as baked treats that go together well with them. Here, you can find anything from espresso martinis to coffee beer!

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Coffee Obsession by Anette Moldvaer

This book gives you a quick breakdown of everything coffee related. 

We’re given a short introduction to various countries that produce coffee and some info about the characteristics of their growing regions. 

We get to see how each of these regions produce coffee, and what makes their final product stand out. 

The second part of the book is a guide to different coffee drinks, from the latte and the cappuccino to fancier beverages like the affogato. 

The illustrations are colorful and give you a great visual to help you understand some of the content that can seem a bit complex.

It contains over 130 coffee drinks to play around with at home. That’s plenty of recipes to keep you occupied for quite a while.

All in all, this book is a great starting point for people who are learning about coffee – especially those that are visual learners.

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The Coffee Recipe Book by Daniel Lancaster 

This is a book that focuses on brewing the perfect cup of java at home. 

But this is not just a recipe book. 

It has everything you need to know to make good coffee, from information about different types of roasts, to different filters, grinders and brewing machines.

The author really goes into detail about all the components that make the perfect brew. He pours (excuse the pun) all his personal barista experience into 184 pages, all the while keeping a good sense of humor. 

So while you’re having fun reading this book, you’ll learn how to make 50 different coffee drinks at home, from a classic Americano to a pumpkin spice latte. 

There’s a recipe for any time of the day, whether it’s early morning or a Saturday night. 

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Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto  and Andreas Willhoff

Most coffee books cover different brewing methods, with the main focus on espresso-style drinks. 

But not this one. 

This is a comprehensive guide on getting a perfect cup of specialty coffee with 10 different devices.

Through six chapters, this manual covers buying and brewing coffee, different flavors and gear. 

It also shows you how to use different brewing methods, step by step. 

The authors don’t bore you with the technicalities – they get straight to the point.

The brewing methods covered in this manual include French press, AeroPress, Melitta, Beehouse, Walkure, Kalita Wave and Chemex. 

If you’re trying to get into any of those, this is the manual you need. It really makes coffee brewing at home easy to understand. 

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Coffee Art by Dhan Tamang  

If you’ve mastered making a tasty latte, the next step is nailing latte art. 

This book is written by world-renowned latte artist Dhan Tamang, who’s particularly known for his use of color in his latte art.

There are 60 different art designs to try with step by step instructions and colorful illustrations. The guides are pretty straightforward, so even a first-timer can easily follow them. 

From Christmas trees and roses to 3D art and colorful designs, there’s something for everyone’s latte art skill level. 

The author does a really good job at breaking down each step for you, and as you practice, you can quickly move on to more complex designs.

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The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman and Tara Duggan

The Blue Bottle Coffee Company is a well-known name in the coffee world. 

As a part of the third wave movement, the company became a synonym for high-quality coffee. 

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee covers everything from growing to drinking coffee in four sections. 

The authors discuss roasting beans at home with standard kitchen tools in depth. They also share tips on how to test for quality control at home.

If you really want to step up your coffee making game, this book shows you how to do that. 

It covers different brewing methods, including espresso, pour-over, French press and Turkish coffee.

The last chapter is the cherry on top. Caitlin Freeman shares some of the best pastries to accompany your coffee. These include saffron vanilla snickerdoodles, stout coffee cake, coffee panna cotta, and more.

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The Coffee Roaster’s Handbook by Len Brault  

Most coffee books spend no more than a few pages on the bean roasting process. And for beginner roasters who are only just getting into it, the explanation might be too vague. 

Well, this guide covers everything others may have missed.

First, the author gives you a short history of coffee and its evolution through the ages. There’s also some brief info on primitive roasting methods, just to get you into the subject matter.

The main part of the book contains plenty of information about both at-home and commercial-grade coffee making equipment. It covers everything from air-poppers and drum roasters to some other tools you might need, such as a thermometer and an afterburner. 

The author really breaks down the coffee roasting process into simple steps that anyone can follow. With all the pictures and diagrams, the explanations can’t get any more simple.

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Coffee Gives Me Superpowers by Ryoko Iwata

Don’t be fooled by the quirky name and fun illustrations – this book contains lots of seriously cool facts you probably don’t know about your favorite drink.

It teaches you some of the most interesting stuff about coffee you’ll ever hear, in a simple yet entertaining way. 

Some of the most interesting topics covered are “Your Brain on Beer vs. Coffee,” “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Caffeine” and “10 Coffee Myths.”

This is not a book that will teach you how to make the perfect cup of coffee. There are tons of books on the market that do just that. But if you want to know some cool facts about your favorite beverage, this is where you’ll find them.

Whether you’re a casual coffee drinker or a full-blown java addict, you’re sure to be amazed by the trivia in this book. 

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The Final Verdict

You don’t have to be an avid reader to enjoy these great coffee books. 

They’re full of interesting facts and beautiful illustrations, so rest assured you won’t be able to put them down. 

Any of the books on this list are a good place to start reading about your favorite beverage. 

And between them, they cover everything you need to know – from the history of coffee to different brewing methods. 

These really are some of the best tools available for learning about how to make the perfect cup of coffee.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.