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Publisher's Summary

Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry offers a definitive guide to the many rich dimensions of the bean and the beverage around the world. Leading experts from business and academia consider coffee's history, global spread, cultivation, preparation, marketing, and the environmental and social issues surrounding it today. They discuss, for example, the impact of globalization; the many definitions of organic, direct trade, and fair trade; the health of female farmers; the relationships among shade, birds, and coffee; roasting as an art and a science; and where profits are made in the commodity chain. Drawing on interviews and the lives of people working in the business-from pickers and roasters to coffee bar owners and consumers-this book brings a compelling human side to the story.

The authors avoid romanticizing or demonizing any group in the business. They consider basic but widely misunderstood issues such as who adds value to the bean, the constraints of peasant life, and the impact of climate change. Moving beyond simple answers, they represent various participants in the supply chain and a range of opinions about problems and suggested solutions in the industry. Coffee offers a multidimensional examination of a deceptively everyday but extremely complex commodity that remains at the center of many millions of lives. Tracing coffee's journey from field to cup, this handbook to one of the world's favorite beverages is an essential guide for professionals, coffee lovers, and students alike.

©2013 Robert W. Thurston (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

“This comprehensive guide to the coffee bean and the beverage itself includes contributions from leading experts in business and academia... By tracing coffee's journey from field to cup, the editor’s work to create a guide for professionals, coffee lovers, and students to help them better understand their favorite beverage.” ( Specialty Coffee Retailer)
“A gift to every coffee lover and scholar: this monumental guidebook takes the reader from seed to cup, with stops in every time and place where coffee is significant. Even coffee fanatics will find many stories and details to savor in this rich and rewarding collection.” (Richard Wilk, Indiana University)

What listeners say about Coffee

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  • FW1978
  • 03-11-2018

Everything you need to know about coffee

in 18,5 hours I got a crash course on coffee. I am trying to start my own coffee business and need to learn all I can about coffee. I might want to get a hard copy of this book and keep it as a reference for everything from science, agriculture, farming concerns and socioeconomics of coffee.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Angela Armenta
  • 20-10-2018

Good book for coffee nerds...

This book is lengthy, but definitely thorough. Recommended for coffee enthusiasts and coffee nerds :)

4 people found this helpful

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  • Beth
  • 04-09-2017

tons on info. very broad.

I needed a broad look and got some resources and names for some more in-depth looks at specific areas. a great resource for sure.
Daniel Sanchez of Oval Dogs Coffee in Rio Rancho NM

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  • Shawn Cash
  • 10-08-2018

Great Detailed Foundational Coffee Book

This book is great for a basic foundation of all things coffee. That being said, I thought I knew something about coffee but after reading this I really can say I knew nothing. If you work in coffee, or simply enjoy coffee, you need to listen to or read this book!

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  • Thomas Busch II
  • 07-07-2021

Audio is a bad format for this work

The book is comprehensive although possibly far-reaching at the expense of depth. Due to the nature of it having different authors on given subjects there is a touch of bias and contradiction but not everywhere. It claims organic and gmo to be no different as each one is given a "no science cited" approach. The different authors make one want to constantly stop and compare to different sections but no one is gonna do that with an audiobook. It isn't a bad work. Just takes way too much mental energy to sort it out. would be great to have on paper but near counterproductive in audio. Honestly save yourself time and listen to other works on the subject.

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  • Cory Balliet
  • 21-01-2021

extremely informative, and interesting

This, as you may have noticed is a VERY long book, as someone just starting to take up an interest in specialty coffee I found it to be really interesting. I learned a lot about the plant that coffee comes from and really gained a new appreciation for the beverage and the industry. you probably won't like this book if youre not an overall curious and detail oriented person. There's a mix of science and history in this book. the book is a few years old so some of the info may no longer be relevant. overall though, definitely worth listening through.

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  • Joseph Duke
  • 04-01-2021

Not What I expected

This book seems to be aimed at those already immersed in the coffee industry and does not provide a good entry point to novice, like myself. I have only made it through about eight chapters and I’ve already concluded that this is a disorganized and disjointed collection of individual essays that do little to give one a sense of how the overall coffee trade operates, either now, or throughout history.

For example, some of the first chapters are about the impact of climate change on coffee and the coffee industry. This is no doubt a crucial subject but the book does a disservice by not providing a firm foundations in the fundamentals of coffee without launching into such a complex and controversial topic.

Not all of us are James Hoffman...

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  • APS
  • 07-12-2020

One of the best books about coffee

This book is unusual among books dealing with coffee, because it is a volume with separate articles by diverse authors. It covers a wider range of topics than most books on coffee, and in more detail. I read it over a long period, cover to cover, and got a lot out of it. If you are seriously interested in knowing more about coffee around the world and in the United States, including specialty coffee and the entire process from farm to table, you may find this book worthwhile. As an audiobook, it works well, among other reasons because it is not one of those coffee books where beautiful color pictures are the main attraction. Well read nonfiction for the coffee enthusiast and would-be expert.

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  • matthew
  • 02-07-2019

great academic work

this is an amazing academic collection. lots of great information. remember, this is not a story. it is a collection of academic essays.

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  • John
  • 19-02-2017

Fun Information

While I am glad I listened this is my first experience with a book that would have been better in print taken is small sips on a coffee table.

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  • Matthew
  • 23-05-2020

Encyclopedic Guide

An exhaustive guide to just about everything in the world coffee industry. A large part of the book looks at each coffee producing country, one by one in painstaking detail. Chapters are also there for the history and development of the drink. A good book if you want to know all the intricate details and facts and figures. If you are looking for advice on how to make a great cup of coffee there are probably better guides available. The final chapter here, only about 15 minutes, does give some good information on making coffee, though basic details only.

The reader does a decent job, but mispronounces foreign words all over the place (not uncommon with American readers) which is a bit distracting.

Still, a good detailed guide to the coffee business and its history. After this, coffee can be your specialist subject on any quiz night.

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  • GIBA
  • 10-03-2020

A very detailed all rounder

Excellent insides into the technicalities of coffee production, brewing and the industry. I appreciated most the explanation of the different coffee related organizations and traveability facts like the US Fairtrade label. Thank you for this audiobook.

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  • Mike
  • 29-06-2017

Every subject is covered...now I understand

Chapters are introduced with subject headings so the more detailed regional reviews can be skipped if you like. Great insight and read by a calm warm voice. Great book Mr Thurston.
I'm off for a coffee...! Mikedp566@gmail.com

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