Stepping into the vast world of coffee can be a bit overwhelming. Coffee is like an onion with layers upon layers of information. Where do you start with the never ending list of coffee brewing equipment? How do you know what the best grinders are to buy, how do you adjust a coffee recipe because its too sour?
What roast profile goes best with what brewing method and what is the taste difference between a single-origin, washed, Kenya - Kainamui and a honey processed Burundi - Kibira?
No doubt, the thing we love most about coffee, the thing that literally sucks you in like a black hole, is how intricate and complex it is. There is more to coffee than you will probably ever be able to learn!
But what better way to learn anything than to read as many books on the subject as you can?
Luckily for you, there are some really amazing books on coffee out there and to get you started, we have compiled a list of 5 books that every coffee lover should own!
1. The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee is on the top of this list because it has a wealth of information and really beautiful imagery. If you only ever buy one book on coffee, make sure this is it!
Everything you need to know from coffee growing, the basics of coffee roasting and some really great tips and recipes on various brewing methods. Everything from Pour-Overs to Espresso.
One thing is for sure, these guys from Blue Bottle really know what they’re talking about!
2. The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing by James Hoffman
This is a stunning compilation by James Hoffman, which takes you around the world exploring coffee-growing countries. If you’ve ever wondered where your coffee comes from and wanted to know more about the people who grow it then this will be a great addition to your coffee book selection!
This book dives into the history and politics of coffee and throws some top brewing tutorials in there for good measure.
3. The Coffee Roaster’s Companion by Scott Rao
Okay so this book is more for the really geeky coffee lover, home coffee roasters and coffee professionals. If you want to learn more about the science behind coffee roasting you won’t find a better guide than this!
This book is no bed time story, it’s a heavy read, but straight to the point roasting science and Coffee roasting methods.
4. The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee by Tristan Stephenson
This book is compact and loaded with info explaining the entire process from coffee growing, harvesting and processing, through to Coffee roasting and handy recipes and tutorials on brewing methods. We realise most books on coffee- the ones mentioned here are no exception- will have some brewing guides in them. But don't think that if you've read one of them, you've read them all! We love reading different coffee books and grabbing tips on brewing the perfect cup from different perspectives.
5. Brew Tool Coffee Culture – The South African Coffee Lover’s Bible by Peter Primrich with Jennifer Steyn
This book is the perfect coffee table book or gift to the coffee aficionado in your life. Peter Primrich has compiled an all rounder South African coffee book which maps out and reviews coffee shops in South Africa and of course no book on coffee would be complete without some coffee background and brew methods explained.
Exploring the coffee industry in South Africa…one shop at a time, did anyone say road-trip?