Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, Fifth Edition

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Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, Fifth Edition

Now in its latest revised edition, Kenneth Davids’s comprehensive and entertaining Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, remains an invaluable resource for anyone who truly enjoys a good cup of coffee. It features updated information and definitions, a history of coffee culture, tips on storing and brewing, and other essential advice designed to improve the coffee experience. Coffee lovers everywhere will welcome this lively, complete guide to the fascinating world of America’s nati

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3 Comments

  • tepi "tepi" says:
    53 of 60 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Duplicating the Coffee Epiphany., September 13, 2001
    By 
    tepi “tepi”
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, Fifth Edition (Paperback)

    COFFEE : A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying. Fifth Edition. By Kenneth Davids. 279 pp. New York : St. Martin’s Griffin,
    2001. ISBN 0-312-24665-X (pbk).

    This is a book for those who, after years of slurping what all too often passes for ‘coffee,’ and what far too many establishments continue to pretend is ‘coffee,’ have been blessed by a coffee epiphany. It is for those, in other words, who have finally realized what a sensuous, ravishing, and complete experience a perfect cup of _real_ coffee is, and who would like to learn how to duplicate that experience at will in the comfort of their own home. Brewing up a cup of coffee may seem to most of us to be a relatively simple matter, but what we quickly learn from this book is that, far from being simple, selecting the right type, form, and state of coffee and correctly employing the methods that will produce that perfect cup demand real knowledge and skill; we learn, in short, that a true understanding of coffee opens up an area of connoisseurship every bit as big, or even bigger, than that of wine itself.

    Davids’ book is truly comprehensive. Besides giving us a fairly detailed history of coffee, from its origins in Arabia (or Ethiopia) through to its latest manifestation in the flavored espressos of the modern mall, the book includes chapters on Buying It, Tasting It, Roasting It, Grinding It, Brewing It, and Serving It. Detailed information is given on the special qualities and characteristics of all coffees of the many regions of the world which produce it (Guatemala; Honduras; Costa Rica; Jamaica; Puerto Rico; Haiti; Colombia; Peru; Brazil; Yemen; Ethiopia; Kenya; Uganda; India; Sumatra; Java; New Guinea; Hawaii, etc.), and on the merits and demerits of the many different methods of brewing and the best utensils for each of them (Open-Pot; French Press or Plunger; Drip Brewing (both with and without filters); Flip-Drip or Neapolitan Macchinetta; Pumping Percolator (now passe and the best way to ruin coffee); Filter-Drip, automatic and otherwise; Concentrate; Middle Eastern or Turkish; Soluble or Instant, etc.). There is also a very full discussion of espresso and just why it produces the ultimate cup.

    If you are anything like me you’ll quickly realize that you have been doing many things wrong and will be seized with the urge, not only to start using better coffee, but also to start brewing it properly. Although acquiring your very own roasting machine or espresso machine may be a little too ambitious for most of us, you may decide that bringing your coffee at least one stage closer to perfection by buying a grinder and grinding the beans yourself is probably a good idea. If you do so decide, Davids will inform you just why a manual is preferable to an electric grinder (it generates less of the heat that disperses the volatile substances that give flavor to coffee), and where you can buy a good grinder if one isn’t locally available. His book, besides containing much else (coffee chemistry, maps, photographs, coffee glossary, etc.), concludes with a list of companies which sell a wide range of the best coffees and coffee paraphernalia and equipment.

    There are few perfect pleasures in life. Davids is to be thanked for teaching us how not to spoil one of them.

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  • bfahrn says:
    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    SURPRISE confert to coffee, January 30, 2008
    By 
    bfahrn (georgia) –
    This review is from: Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, Fifth Edition (Paperback)

    I WAS a TEA drinker! until I read this book. It was ordered BY MISTAKE in order to qualify for free shipping (thought it was a cup warmer!). I was so annoyed and was about to send it back but – READ it anyway and once started was so intriqued and hankering for real coffee I could smell the aroma right out of the book.
    If an author can do that to an avowed tea drinker, and make you run out and buy the best coffee beans and grind them and pour boiling water over the grounds in a strainer with coffee filter until buying a coffee machine when convinced… and DRINK the stuff that does NOT taste like tea but something AMAZING – wow! and bow wow!

    Buy this book – whatever you drink now. Read not only all the directions from buying to brewing to drinking, then the history culture and everything connected to Coffee – you’re getting the full scope from a first class story teller. (I think I’ll go back and read it again, and brew some coffee!)

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  • Vinophile "vinophile" says:
    20 of 24 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A great guide, slightly out of date, October 31, 2001
    By 
    Vinophile “vinophile” (Miami, FL USA) –
    This review is from: Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying, Fifth Edition (Paperback)

    Through his three books and informative website (…), Ken Davids is a leading expert on coffees of the world. He is also the green bean guru to home coffee roasters everywhere and it is primarily for them this book was designed. For anyone exploring the many pleasures of roasting their own beans, Davids is the only comprehensive guide available, which makes it particularly maddening that the book hasn’t been updated in five years. When Davids wrote the book in 1996, home coffee roasting was beginning its rebirth. Today, the sorts of inexpensive, easy-to-use home roasters he long for in the book are finally available but not covered. A quick update could correct information on roaster availability (it’s easier than you think, and easier than he says), and sources for unroasted beans (some of his are out of date, and some good ones aren’t noted at all). Still, if you want to get started with home roasting, this remains the best book to own. And if you just love coffee, it’s a fine second or third book to put on the shelf. But if you love coffee enough to buy a book about it, you really should explore roasting your own beans — the flavors and fun of it are incomparable.

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