The best books on coffee are there to educate, entertain and enlighten. We have selected 12 of our favorites that can do all three of those things.
When it comes to books about coffee, some of them are there to teach you step-by-step processes on how to make a better brew. At the same time, others will enlighten you on various elements of coffee culture.
But all the best coffee books leave you feeling like you have learned something. For some, a good book will teach you how to brew flat whites, cappuccinos, and lattes. While for others, a good coffee book will detail the origins of Starbucks, Nespresso, and other titans of the industry.
Whatever you are looking for, our list includes some of the most exciting books about coffee that are available to buy. Funnily enough, our list of coffee-table books doesn’t include any books about tables, but there is plenty of information within them that you can digest over your next cup of joe
- 1. The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans To Brewing by James Hoffman
- 2. Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast
- 3. Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jesicca Easto
- 4. Coffee Art by Dhan Tamang
- 5. Coffee Gives Me Superpowers by Ryoko Iwata
- 6. I Know Coffee by Jessica Simms
- 7. The New Rules of Coffee: A Guide for Everyone
- 8. I Love Coffee by Susan Zimmer
- 9. The Daily Grind by Andrew J. Bowen and Claire E. Bowen
- 10. God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee
- 11. Coffee Obsession By Anette Moldvaer
- 12. The Blue Bottle Craft Of Coffee By James Freeman
1. The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans To Brewing by James Hoffman
James Hoffmann’s book celebrates the nuances that make coffee so amazing by analyzing how it is grown and roasted and the taste distinctions enjoyed in various countries. For instance, if you want to know the difference between coffee beans from Ethiopia and coffee beans from Brazil, then this is the book for you.
In this book, the key characteristics and methods of production from as many as 35 countries are outlined. It is perfect for learning about the diversity of coffee and its history. It is perfect for coffee-tasting instructors, baristas, and coffee drinkers around the world! It gives a wonderful insight into the differences in the production of popular coffee types worldwide.
2. Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast
This book describes the history of coffee from when it was discovered in ancient Abyssinia to how it has transformed our world. If you have ever found yourself noticing how coffee has become such a prominent part of our society, then this book will likely enlighten you on how that came to pass.
This book analyzes the dramatic changes over the past decade in the culture of coffee. This book is a perfect read for someone who wants to learn about the “Coffee Crisis,” the “Third Wave,” and the rise of Fair Trade, and how these changes have contributed to coffee becoming the world’s favorite beverage today.
3. Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jesicca Easto
This coffee-exclusive guide is perfect for people who are motivated by simply making a great cup at home. It is a perfect read for average coffee lovers and non-professionals who don’t want to learn about the coffee industry necessarily but want to understand brewing techniques and how to craft the ideal brew.
This book concentrates on coffee entirely, and it covers a variety of cold-brew, immersion, and pour-over techniques on different devices. If you are looking for a book on coffee growing or coffee roasting, then there are better ones on our list. However, if you are looking for a book that will help you create delicious coffee drinks, then this is the one for you.
4. Coffee Art by Dhan Tamang
This amazing read is the perfect one for coffee drinkers who want to learn how to make epic coffee-top designs from the world’s best latte artist. It teaches the basic skills and patterns that you can later use to create more sophisticated art within coffee.
After reading this book, you are guaranteed to emerge an expert in etch, stencil, and free pour, and you will know how to sculpt amazing images for your dinner party guests. Well, if you’re not artistic, ‘amazing’ might still be a stretch, but it’s likely that you will be better than you were before.
5. Coffee Gives Me Superpowers by Ryoko Iwata
This book is a fun, graphic design-centered book that’s filled with infographics as well as interesting facts about this beverage. Some sections of this book include: “The Best Time of the Day to Drink Coffee,” “10 Coffee Myths,” and “10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Coffee.”
It’s an interesting read and one that will help gain you the title of ‘coffee expert’ amongst your friends once you start sharing some of the fascinating facts from within it. We can’t guarantee that the book will give you superpowers, though you will undoubtedly know more about the drink afterward.
6. I Know Coffee by Jessica Simms
This book by this coffee enthusiast is meant to teach you everything there is to know about coffee, from planting to when you enjoy a hot cup in your kitchen. Jessica Simms begins with an overview of varieties of coffee and cultivators and the differences in the coffee from the three regions that primarily grow coffee.
She also analyzes the processes of harvesting, processing, and drying coffee and how they can affect coffee development. It’s an interesting overview of coffee production and can help readers choose coffee companies that choose sustainable methods to create their products. However, it goes much further than that with information on coffee brewing and brewing methods you can use within your own home.
7. The New Rules of Coffee: A Guide for Everyone
This book by Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen illustrates the essential ways to fully enjoy your cup of coffee both at home and at work. With amazing tips on storing and serving coffee to roasting and brewing in popular cultures worldwide, it’s a good read for coffee lovers.
It is one of those books that will give you a life hack that you will use forevermore or enlighten you on a mistake you have made your whole life when making coffee. It really is a must-read for all coffee lovers out there. But remember, some coffee rules were made to be broken!
8. I Love Coffee by Susan Zimmer
This book contains a variety of easy and delicious coffee-making techniques and expert advice on making the perfect cup of coffee. The book also offers tips on how to make masterful art latte designs and expert coffee at home.
If you are a coffee lover, this is the perfect coffee guide and cookbook to learn how to make brilliant cappuccinos, lattes, great coffee desserts, coffee martinis, and cold coffee quenchers. It is another book that has been described as a ‘home brewing bible,’ and it is one that regularly appears on the bookshelves of experienced baristas.
9. The Daily Grind by Andrew J. Bowen and Claire E. Bowen
This book is a perfect read for people who are looking to open and run a successful coffee shop. It’s perfect for coffee-loving entrepreneurs as it gives advice on where to open your coffee shop and how to get the perfect team and provide amazing services to your clients. This book has advice from people who are very experienced in the industry.
Even if you have all the practical knowledge necessary to make brilliant coffee, it is still worthwhile to hear from those who have already trodden the path into coffee business ownership. This book shares their experiences and will give you information on what you can and can’t expect from the journey.
10. God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee
This book by Michaele Weissman is a guide to understanding the complex infatuation the world has with coffee. It is a perfect read for people who want to know about the inner workings of specialty coffee.
The world of coffee is delved into within its pages, making it an intriguing read. After you investigate into this book, you will know much more about how the drink rose to prominence and how it has become such a cultural phenomenon. You will also question whether there is such a thing as a perfect cup and what that actually constitutes.
11. Coffee Obsession By Anette Moldvaer
Experienced barista Anette Moldvaer takes you on a coffee journey that you wouldn’t believe. Within this book, she deep-dives into the international coffee culture, throwing up recipes that are far away from the usual options at your local coffee shop.
She touches upon how different countries approach coffee while also offering tips on brewing, how to improve your latte art, and how to do a proper coffee tasting. This is a book that is best described as ‘comprehensive,’ and it actually is ideal for the ‘coffee obsessive’ in your life.
12. The Blue Bottle Craft Of Coffee By James Freeman
Founder of Blue Bottle, James Freeman, discusses specialty roasters and how these coffee makers have gone from strength to strength. He also guides you through what is required to make top-notch coffee, from the initial stages to when it hits the cup. It’s a book that celebrates coffee, the coffee business, and everything to do with roasting.
If you are interested in following the route of Freeman, it also shares some of the secrets of Blue Bottle and its success. It’s a fascinating read and one that you won’t want to put down, especially if you harvest dreams of becoming a coffee roaster.