If there is one reason alone to love this book then it would be because it could be described as a coffee table book about coffee!
I would say that a “coffee table” book could be described as a book that is on display for anyone to pick up and have a browse through. You should be able to flick through to almost any page and pick up a little nugget of information that enlightens you and stimulates conversation with others.
The World Atlas of Coffee fits that bill perfectly. It’s a wonderful example of a coffee table book that will teach you something you didn’t already know every time you pick it up.
This is not the kind of book that you need to start on page 1 and read through page by page until you get to the end.
One slightly strange aspect of this book is the title of “World Atlas Of Coffee”. The use of the word “Atlas” could confuse people into thinking that it is only a geographical breakdown of everything coffee and how it is grown and produced across the globe.
Whilst it does cover in some detail all the main coffee-producing nations and the types of coffee they produce, it is much more than that.
You could easily skip this book by misunderstanding from the word “Atlas” what it has to offer.
Coffee is a very misunderstood drink that is much more than just a daily fix of caffeine. There are quite literally hundreds of different beans to choose from and many different ways to brew coffee.
The beans you choose and the way in which they are brewed have a dramatic impact on the flavour and enjoyment you can expect to achieve.
With wine, people will go to huge lengths and significant cost to identify and enjoy the best producers and the best vintages.
You can achieve the same with coffee but you don’t need to spend anywhere near the price of a high-quality bottle of wine to enjoy a high-quality cup of coffee. You just need to educate yourself.
Before it gets into the “Atlas” part of the book, The World Atlas of Coffee has 120 pages of well-crafted information about how you can vastly improve the quality of your coffee by making a few small changes.
The book is split into 3 parts with the 1st part providing an introduction to the different varieties of coffee, how it is grown and how it transforms into coffee beans ready for grinding and brewing.
Due to the climate in the UK, coffee does not get grow here so some people may not even know that coffee beans are in fact the seeds contained within cherries grown on coffee trees.
For me, the best part of the book is part 2 where you get about 65 pages of information that will completely change the way you think about coffee and experience coffee.
If you implement the tips that James offers in this section you will see coffee in a completely different light and it will transform each coffee you drink from a thoughtless daily habit into an experience to be savoured.
Some of the things explained in detail are:
The benefit you will get just from the six points above will be worth far more than the price of the book.
How do you know that the advice given in the book is worth listening to?
It can be hard to validate the credentials of the author of any non-fiction book. How can you tell that they know what they are talking about and if it’s worth the paper that it’s written on?
No need to be concerned about any of that with this book. The author, James Hoffman is quite literally the champion of the world when it comes to coffee.
James won the World Barista Championship in 2007 making him arguably the best maker of coffee in the world. At the very least he knows how to make an incredible cup of coffee.
First of all, you have to win your national championships and the winners of each country progress to the world championships so this is no walk in the park.
This is his YouTube channel. If you want to delve deeper into the rabbit hole of coffee then it’s well worth a look. A lot of it is extremely nerdy and geeky and way beyond what the vast majority of people will want to get into when it comes to coffee but there are a few nuggets in there as well.
What I like most is his presentation style. He has a very unique way of talking and he says it the way it is without wrapping things up in cotton wool.
If something is bad, he says it’s bad and you feel that what he says is believable.
The thing I like most is his dry sense of humour. He talks seriously about stuff that I just find funny.
Purely based on the professionalism of his YouTube channel and the way in which he conducts himself there, the World Atlas Of Coffee is worth buying.
Why buy this book?
It will educate you and enhance your coffee drinking experience.
It’s great as a gift for anyone that you know that enjoys coffee.
It’s great as a “coffee table book” to leave lying around the kitchen or living room for anyone to pick up and have a browse through.
For pretty much the price of a cinema ticket you will learn how to make coffee that tastes 10 times better than what you are drinking now and far better than anything you can buy in a coffee shop.
Superb value for money for yourself or as a gift for anyone that loves coffee.