In a recent interview, James Hoffmann, champion roaster and barista, said, “Coffee is wonderful, but it can be very confusing and noisy and I hope to help make some sense of the noise for people and make coffee a little clearer.” With this comprehensive book, he does just that. Split into three sections, The World Atlas of Coffee first gives an overview of the history of coffee, and examines the science behind coffee as a plant. It then discusses the processes of brewing and roasting, before exploring the differences and similarities between many of the coffee-producing countries of the world – 29 to be exact – including photos and some maps of several growing regions.
Along the way, Hoffmann explains the importance of checking the roast date on a bag of beans and gives handy definitions for the espresso beverages on the café menu; he provides step-by-step brewing instructions for those who make their coffee at home, and he even delves into the politics and intricacies behind the fair trade and organic labels often seen on the bag of beans or café blackboard. For everyone who wants to understand more about coffee and its wonderful nuances and possibilities, this accessible, fascinating and beautifully presented book is the one to have on hand.