The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Dropby Nina Luttinger, Gregory Dicum
A freshly updated edition of the best introduction to one of the world’s most popular products, The Coffee Book is jammed full of facts, figures, cartoons, and commentary covering coffee from its first use in Ethiopia in the sixth century to the rise of Starbucks and the emergence of Fair Trade coffee in the twenty-first. The book explores the process of cultivation, harvesting, and roasting from bean to cup; surveys the social history of café society from the first coffeehouses in Constantinople to beatnik havens in Berkeley and Greenwich Village; and tells the dramatic tale of high-stakes international trade and speculation for a product that can make or break entire national economies. It also examines the industry’s major players, revealing how they have systematically reduced the quality of the bean and turned a much-loved product into a commodity and lifestyle accoutrement, ruining the lives of millions of farmers around the world in the process.
Finally, The Coffee Book, hailed as a Best Business Book by Library Journal when it was first published, considers the exploitation of labor and damage to the environment that mass cultivation causes, and explores the growing “conscious coffee” market and Fair Trade movement.
The Baltimore Sun
"Informed and argumentative. . . . Drawing on sources ranging from Molière and beatnik cartoonists to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the authors describe the beverage’s long and colorful rise to ubiquity."
"Packed with an interesting punch . . . a fun little item."
"Good to the last sentence."
Meet the Author
Author of Window Seat, Gregory Dicum has written for the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Salon, Travel + Leisure, New York, and Mother Jones. He is a contributing editor at Other magazine and writes a biweekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle. Nina Luttinger has worked as a private coffee and tea industry consultant and freelance writer and at TransFair USA. They live in San Francisco.
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