Coffee Books

Coffee Books and Booklets

Latest Edition
Espresso Coffee: The Science of Quality
is by Rinantonio Viani of Nestle Research Laboratories in Switzerland and Andreas Illy of Illycafe and Nestle. This is the hardcover, rewritten Second Edition of the famous Espresso Coffee: The Chemistry of Quality. Famous? Well, among home roasters it is, because there are just too many "coffee recipe" and hokey espresso cookbooks out there ... and this book is 180 degrees opposite. It is a technical manual, but not so obscure to scare off the non-scientist. It's an intensely informative book focusing on technical aspects of espresso and coffee quality. The emphasis here is on chemical and physical analysis of coffee as it travels the route from crop to cup. As a professional, I can't tell you how many times I have referred to this book. It is really a book about defining coffee quality in verifiable terms. Indispensable to the professional or those with tendencies toward the technical! This books is greatly expanded from the first edition ... if you are really into coffee in general or espresso in particular I don't think it is ridiculous to own both editions. The publisher has made the introductory chapter (definitely not the most interesting stuff, just the groundwork) available as a .pdf file.

$82.50 (+ 1.6 Lbs. shipping) add to cart

Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival by Kenneth Davids. This is the latest edition (late 2003), and the only book devoted entirely to home roasting. It happens to be an excellent resource and reference for our craft. A book that is both technically descriptive and fun to read, you might notice references to it throughout our web pages. It covers coffee origins and brewing too. If you roast coffee, or are just thinking about it, you will find this book useful. In fact, it works as both an entertaining start-to-finish read, and as a continued reference source! Even if you have no intentions of ever roasting, this title will help you understand quality coffee, the roast process, the origin countries, tasting coffee ...and you will be able to make better coffee purchases because of it! 216 pgs.

$14.95 (+ 1 lb shipping) add to cart

The Professional Barista's Handbook by Scott Rao

New Book! The Professional Barista's Handbook by Scott Rao

The Professional Barista's Handbook is a very efficient training manual for espresso, and features some great information on brewing too (plus a couple pages on tea ... why?) I was impressed with how concise it is, and how useful it will be for the home enthusiast. Best of all, it cuts to the chase and shows the core methods for achieving great extraction without making you read too much theory. It also avoids being too specific in showing just one technique. In other words, read this book and over time you surely will develop your own variations. That's the way it should be. It is written by Scott Rao with 14 years practical experience so it combines essential theory with a lot of behind-the-bar insight. And it's not full of a bunch of froo-froo beverage recipies. It's a great training manual for shops too. It's from a small press, essentially self-published, 100 pages on nice thick stock with some excellent illustrative photos and graphs, and a bit spendy at $45. But you could buy a 250 page book with half of the essential information that you would have to trudge through. If you want a great book that is more expansive in focus and technical, get the Illy Espresso Coffee book above. But here is all the essential information in a book you will truly use!

$45.00 (1 lb. ship wgt) add to cart

Preview Pages (click for larger images)
espresso book page
espresso book page
espresso book page

The full edition of the Coffee Cupper's Handbook by Ted Lingle is finally in print. This is a 71 Page, 8.5 x 11 cupping manual that includes a full-color reproduction of the Coffee Cupper's Flavor Wheel (same as the poster we sell) on the inside covers ... very handy! It features the new 100 point SCAA scale, close to what I use at Sweet Maria's but a little different. And it has a huge glossary of terms that are cross-referenced between 8 coffee publications to give the fullest possible meaning to each term. It is extremely methodical, and the most complete manual specifically for cupping ever printed. I know my copy will be dog-eared and coffee-stained in no time at all!

$38.00(+ 1 lb. shipping) add to cart

New Book! Coffee Flavor Chemistry (For those who are truly, truly obsessed!)

This book is not for you! Okay, maybe it is, but only of you are either a. in the coffee trade or b. have a strong science background or c. an incessant know-it-all or d. a hardcore home roaster. This is much more of a reference book than a reading book. Now that I have said everything wrong with it, let me say now that it is fantastic and a must-have volume for every serious coffee library. The first 4 chapters, a scant 60 pages, are actually made to be read, and provide a good basis for understanding coffee chemistry. The 5th chapter, "The Individual Constituents" is what this book is all about though: 265 pages of encyclopedic reference for all the important compounds that contribute to coffee aroma and flavor. Want to look up a specific acid (acetic? malic? citric? quinic?) Wonder what aldehydes do? Or Ketones? There's a useful secret too, buried in the Index in the back: look up "Organoleptic characteristics of the most tipical ingredients in green coffee". It's a list of flavors & aromas ( blueberry, balsamic, metallic, parsley, dairy, cucumber, walnut, etc.) and it will direct you to the page with the related organic compound! I find this the most useful feature of the book. I made a separate Coffee Flavor Chemistry page with images of the book, representative pages, and the publishers description of this tome. 410 pages, and a few superfluous, decorative images and color plates.

$340 (+ 4.1 Lbs. shipping) add to cart

New Item! For those in the coffee trade...
Coffee: Growing, Processing, Sustainable Production (2nd Edition) edited by Jean Nicolas Wintgens. I always mused that if only Nestle would share what they know about coffee, the trade would be advanced by leaps and bounds. Sure, Illy likes to show off what they know, but Nestle, Kraft, P&G etc have farm more information. Well, in part, that is what this book is, a compendium of information from seasoned researchers and professionals, with quite a few (like Wintgens himself) having spent quite some time at Nestle. This is listed as a guide for growers, processors, traders, and researchers. That is a very accurate description, as this book is oriented towards those with real information needs about coffee production, or those with an insatiable appetite for coffee information. It is really the product of 40 agronomists, coffee researchers, and others with very specific knowledge and expertise. This is very up to date, even including through information on the coffee genome. The 5 sections in this massive 975 page hardcover book are:

  • Growing
  • Pests, diseases, and their control
  • Harvesting and processing
  • Storage, shipment, quality
  • The latest economical and technological aspects

There are 40 chapters, over 600 pages of the main text, and 900 illustrations. The recommendations in the book are applicable everywhere, and not geared to any specific producing country. Please be warned, this book is not for the casual reader! I made a page of the Publisher Description and detailed Table of Contents, and another with Page View snapshots.

$370 (+ 5.2 Lbs. shipping) add to cart

SCAA Cupping Forms

Click here for picture of cupping forms
We no longer stock the SCAA Cupping Forms but you may view and print (on legal-size paper: 8.5" x 14") a scan of the SCAA Cupping Form (96k GIF image) or the one I use; my own Sweet Maria's Cupping Form (96k GIF image)
The Universal Coffee Cupping Form will help you evaluate 6 different coffees or blends in an impartial manner. Produced by the SCAA, it is a standard professional tool in evaluating all aspects of a coffee, and an important aid for the home roaster to describe single-origin coffee tastes or to experiment in blending. Each 8.5 x 14 pad contains 50 sheets. Sorry, we don't have the pamphlet in the picture -just the forms themselves $7.25 (+ 1 LB shipping)