Coffee books can take you on an unforgettable journey. Through coffee books you can travel to coffee-producing countries around the world as you not only learn about coffee, but you discover new cultures, landscapes, and traditions.
The best coffee books can give you the inside story on the coffee industry and let you pick the brains of top roasters.
No matter what you’re interested in, the perfect book about coffee is waiting for you. Choose one topic – the history of coffee, global production, coffee tasting or roasting – or learn about them all.
Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast, want to be a professional barista, or you’re into roasting, here’s my list of best coffee books for you.
The 8 Best Coffee Books 2022
1. The World Atlas of Coffee – James Hoffman
If you’re looking for a broad view of coffee cultivation around the world, you can’t beat The World Atlas of Coffee.
I love The World Atlas of Coffee. It’s one of the top books about coffee that I recommend to people who want to understand it from a global perspective.
This book discusses where coffee is grown around the world, who grows it, how coffee growing is a way of life, and how the beans are processed. It also opens the door to understanding the other side of coffee; how people drink coffee and how the global coffee industry functions.
Author James Hoffman is highly qualified to give you that global tour. He’s a former World Barista Champion, social media star, and roaster co-owner at Square Mile Coffee Roasters. He’s also an engaging writer who researched extensively to write this gorgeous coffee table book.
The information is arranged by continent and then country so you can easily search for your country of choice. Multiple photos for each country give you a sense of place and help you understand the vital differences between coffee-growing countries.
Just because this book is broad in its scope doesn’t mean Hoffman skimped when getting to the details. This highly illustrated book also goes deep into the specifics of roasting and brewing to give you a comprehensive understanding of the world of coffee.
2. Blue Bottle Craft Coffee Roasting – James Freeman
The Blue Bottle Coffee Company is in an ideal position to guide you on how to roast and brew coffee. They have become one of the most well-known specialty coffee roasters in the United States.
And what better way to understand roasting and brewing than with the founder of Blue Bottle, James Freeman? Freeman walks you through the basics of brewing and how you can roast beans at home.
With flavorful specialty coffees more and more available, people are searching for ways to brew these complex coffees at home – and get good results. It’s easy to get lost in modern brewing technology, and you need a guide to help you through the details.
This book is for coffee lovers who want to learn to create an excellent brew at home. Find out how to choose the best beans and the right brewing method. Learn how to brew them and how to analyze the brew through tastings. You’ll also discover dozens of recipes using coffee, from cake to ice cream recipes.
Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or a barista looking to deepen your understanding of the brew, this book will give you an insider’s look at the coffee industry.
3. Permission To Slurp – Karen Attman
Do you need a short, concise, easy-to-understand look at coffee cultivation and tasting? If you look at the available books about coffee, you’ll realize that most are large tomes with involved explanations.
When I realized that it was hard to find a simple book on coffee cultivation and tasting, I knew I had to write it. That’s how Permission to Slurp was born – out of my desire to help people who love coffee understand the basics without having to invest huge amounts of time or money.
Now, it’s hard to write an objective review of your own book, so I’ll let others do the talking about Permission to Slurp.
Suzie Hoban, lecturer at the University of La Sabana, commented: “Permission to Slurp is a straightforward guidebook to the sometimes intimidating world of specialty coffee.”
Luis Fernando Vélez, owner of Amor Perfecto Café (the roastery that produced the 2021 World Barista Champion) says: “Permission to Slurp is a simple yet profound guide that helps both Colombians and foreigners discover our nation’s most important product and learn to taste it.”
In the book, I take you through the story of how coffee is grown and processed and how those factors affect what you get in the cup. I also give you a quick overview of brewing and how to find the tasting notes in specialty coffee.
Permission to Slurp was nominated as the 2017 Best Coffee Book in the World by the Gourmand Awards. And it might be your next handbook to understanding coffee and how to taste it.
4. Uncommon Grounds – Mark Pendergrast
Uncommon Grounds is one of those essential coffee books that is included on essential reading lists. In the 480 pages of Uncommon Grounds, Pendergrast goes deep into the fascinating history of coffee and the reasons for the current coffee crisis.
Uncommon Grounds gives you a full understanding of coffee around the globe, from Ethiopia to Latin America. It also discusses how coffee culture has changed the world and how the world’s politics have changed the coffee world. Pendergrast discusses the Fair-Trade movement and what coffee consumers should understand about their drink.
Pendegast did thorough research to give you the answers, but this isn’t just a dry history book or consideration of world economy. Written in Pendergrast’s amusing and witty style, this history is a vital one for everyone to read.
5. God In A Cup – Michaele Weissman
If you’re looking for a highly personal approach to the start of specialty coffee in the United States, this book takes you on a journey you won’t forget. In God in a Cup, Weissman discusses what happens when a cup of coffee is so sublime it makes people feel they have contemplated divinity.
This book documents her travels as she accompanies founders of U.S. coffee businesses to coffee-producing countries around the globe. She explains how this high-quality coffee obsession started and grew, and the complex world of the specialty coffee industry.
She tells her personal story and shares her impressions as she travels with Peter Giuliano from Counter Culture, Geoff Watts from Intelligentsia, and Duane Sorenson from Stumptown as they search for the perfect cup of coffee.
She discusses the dilemma of direct trade and Fair Trade coffee, what they mean and what they don’t mean. Her tales of the search for not just better coffee, but the best coffee, will shape your own views of the industry, and her observations will stick with you for a long time.
6. The Coffee Roaster’s Handbook – Len Brault
If your focus on coffee is mainly on roasting, this book may be for you. Len Brault is active in the coffee industry as a speaker, author, and coffee business owner. He has produced this handbook to give you everything you need to know about roasting.
Brault focuses on an introductory overview on how the perfect roast can lead to an exceptional cup. Learn how to choose green coffee beans, how to spot defects, and how to store beans to preserve quality. Find out how to optimize the roast for the beans you have. Then learn how to taste the beans you roasted and how to evaluate the brew.
He covers roasting equipment, from options you can use at home to commercial roasters. He walks you through the step-by-step process of roasting with a commercial drum roaster.
This 170-page illustrated guide to roasting will get you started roasting at home or prepare you for commercial roasting.
7. Craft Coffee – Jessica Easto
Do you want to make excellent coffee at home? Craft Coffee may be the guide for you if you’re looking for a serious tone about how to master coffee brewing at home. At 272 pages, it is comprehensive like few other books about brewing.
This book goes over how to choose the right pour-over and immersion brewing methods for you. Easto examines in detail 10 brewing methods, including Chemex, V60, French Press, AeroPress, and Siphon.
She helps you analyze which are the best for you and how to use them to make the perfect cup. She also teaches you about common mistakes when brewing and how you can avoid them.
The book reveals why coffee extraction is a science and how you can understand those cryptic coffee bag labels. Easto goes into the origins of the plant and why coffees from different parts of the world taste different. The book doesn’t overlook cold-brew methods and techniques that you can master at home.
Easto also discusses how coffee lovers can find the flavors they want in the cup. She explains how roast, origin, and processing affect the way the final beverage can taste.
This is an engaging read that will keep you interested and help you experiment with new methods and techniques. Not surprisingly, this book is widely recommended by the Food Network, Wired, and Sprudge for coffee enthusiasts.
8. The Curious Barista’s Guide to Coffee – Tristan Stephenson
The Curious Barista’s Guide is a professional barista’s handbook that emphasizes crafting the most loved coffee drinks.
Author Tristan Stephenson takes you through everything you need to know to hone your barista skills while brewing coffee at home or in a cafe.
He’s the one to walk you through this process: a UK Barista Championship finalist, the top bartender in the UK, and a journalist. He’s opened numerous award-winning bars and restaurants and is well-positioned to help you take your coffee-making skills to the level of a professional barista.
He goes into the history of coffee and how it’s processed. Then he walks you through home roasting. He dives deep into the science behind coffee, including water chemistry. Then he discusses how to taste the brew. For professional baristas, the most exciting part may be the instruction on how to design coffee beverages using some of the most popular and fascinating brewing methods. If you are a coffee lover or have the goal to open your own coffee shop, this is a good book to start with.
Whether you want to learn to improve your morning cup, make the ultimate Irish coffee, or craft the perfect espresso martini, you’ll find your favorite drink in this coffee drink book.
9. Brew: Better Coffee At Home – Brian Jones
While some feel that the perfect coffee drink can only be found in a coffee shop, Brian Jones shows you a better way. As you can imagine from the title of the book, Brew is about making coffee yourself. He opens a door to making delicious coffee drinks and mastering even complex brewing methods.
Jones is a barista, co-founder of a roasting company, and a speaker on all topics in the industry. In this coffee book he brings the art of being a home barista to everyone, showing that brewing a fantastic cup at home is possible.
This book wasn’t designed for coffee professionals. It was created for home coffee brewers that love coffee and want to get the brew right. It’s simple, straightforward, and gives you the information you need to start brewing now. Photos and graphics help you understand each step.
This 160-page guide not only makes for a great coffee table book. It’s filled with classic and useful information to take your home brewing techniques to the next level. It’s a beautiful graphic design-centered book that will help you make the best coffee.