God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee

Posted by Steph on Friday in Coffee Books | Short Link

God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee

Can a cup of coffee reveal the face of God? Can it become the holy grail of modern-day knights errant who brave hardship and peril in a relentless quest for perfection? Can it change the world? These questions are not rhetorical. When highly prized coffee beans sell at auction for , 0, or 0 a pound wholesale (and potentially twice that at retail), anything can happen.In God in a Cup, journalist and late-blooming adventurer Michaele Weissman treks into an exotic and paradoxical realm of

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3 Comments

  • Irma Rombauer says:
    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Two reasons to read “God in a Cup”, June 10, 2008
    By 
    Irma Rombauer (Chicago, IL USA) –
    This review is from: God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee (Hardcover)

    There are two reasons to read God in a Cup, food journalist Michaele Weissman’s true life account of the colorful young guys who are making gourmet coffee one of the sexiest culinary products you can buy. First Weissman is a terrific writer. Her book is funny and fast paced. She rolls out the story of her travels in coffee producing nations and here in the United States as if she were writing a novel. Read her description (with full sound effects) of a coffee cupping at the Cup of Excellence competition in Nicaragua, see how she brings to life a confrontation between eager coffee buyers and impoverished coffee farmers in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia, and experience her rendition of dueling baristas as a barista competition, you’ll begin to understand what all the fuss about specialty coffee is about.

    And that brings me to the second reason to read this book. God in a Cup provides a great journalistic thumbnail of the global marketplace. Weissman dramatizes issues like sustainability, profitability (as in who earns the profits from agricultural products) and Fair Trade, without ever getting bogged down in the tiresome politics. Beginning at the farm and ending in a swish café where coffee is brewed in an $11,000 gizmo called a Clover, Weissman sheds light on some of the most complicated economic issues of our day, while never ceasing to be amusing. She does this by writing a story about the global marketplace that is first and foremost a story about real people whose eccentricities, foibles, weaknesses and strengths she brings alive.

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  • Michael McKee "mystic cowboy" says:
    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Searching for caffeine nirvana, May 12, 2008
    By 
    Michael McKee “mystic cowboy” (Port Townsend, WA United States) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
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    This review is from: God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee (Hardcover)

    Most coffee lovers are satisfied to surf the web to learn about coffee. Michele Weissman actually got out and traveled to some off the beaten track places to learn about coffee from the source, the people who actually grow the stuff, as well as the people who process it and sell it in upscale coffee bars.

    The book is well written and paced, though the proof readers seemed to have missed a few inconsistencies of spelling and first/last name order. Still, it offers a fascinating view, written by an experienced journalist, into a world of people obsessed with the search for the perfect cup of joe. It is certainly enriching my foray into learning more about specialty coffee.

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  • Gabriel Skinner "wine guy" says:
    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Finally, a readable book about coffee, June 18, 2008
    By 
    This review is from: God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee (Hardcover)

    Honestly- I just read a 250 page book about a beverage that I don’t drink in, oh, about 72 hours. I literally couldn’t put it down. Congratulations, Ms. Weissman, you have truly created a captivating narrative about a subculture I could never be a part of and made it this breathtaking world of whirlwind travel, chutzpah, occasional danger, nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic and caring, while preserving the genuine realities of the farmers, a tightrope I would have agonized over had I been you. “Business to me is about bringing people out of poverty”, a quote from the book and summary of what this book is about to me: More than just coffee. The care and lengths that people like Duane and Geoff go to to insure fair prices, good quality, and abstracts such as health care, non-lecherous pre-financing, and willingness to either challenge the co-ops or empower the farmers to make up their own minds, while not entirely altruistic, is incredible. There were many laughs in there (“I hate those guys, coffee Nazis!”), and I’d like to retire to Panama…tomorrow. It is a stunning book that I have already recommended to many, with many more to come.

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