The Stimulating Story of the World's Most Popular Brew
By Morton Satin
(Prometheus Books, Hardcover, 9781591026884, 368pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
What is it about coffee that makes it so popular across so many different cultures? Can it be the caffeine or is there something else about coffee that makes it so alluring? No beverage has broader worldwide appeal. In North America and Europe, the annual amount of coffee consumed is overwhelming. And in China and even in India, the traditional stronghold of tea drinking, the coffee business has grown by leaps and bounds. Thiis entertaining yet comprehensive book describes how, in recent times, coffee has become the magnet that draws people together for spirited interchanges of information and ideas. In the intellectual capitals of the world, coffeehouses have been and continue to be the venues where the great minds flock to discuss the latest developments in the arts, sciences, and social philosophies. The author, moreover, traces the rich and intriguing history of coffee, showing how coffee consumption evolved to fit the social and economic needs of different times. His fascinating narrative dispels common myths and conveys such little-known facts as: the dark coffee bean originated in Africa, not South America, as many believe. Today, of course, it is the indispensable wake-up beverage in most households throughout the West and the East. It is also the mainstay of the Starbucks phenomenon--a chain of coffeehouses whose popularity continues to soar. The author even goes on to reveal the best techniques for home brewing. And he enlivens his narrative with stories of the fine art of the barista, which includes the World Barista Championship where rival barmen from around the globe display the highest artistry of coffee brewing. Lavishly illustrated, this delightful and informative book is the perfect complement for your next coffee break.
Morton Satin (Rockville, MD) is currently the director of technical and regulatory affairs at the Salt Institute. He recently retired as the director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Agribusiness Program. A molecular biologist, he is the author of Death in the Pot: The Impact of Food Poisoning on History.
"…an entertaining new book… Coffee Talk offers a trove of information, certainly enough to hold your own coffee-loaded conversation."
–The New Yorker’s "The Book Bench" blog
"Whether coffee lovers or not, readers will love this exploration of the world’s favorite beverage."
–Booklist, October 1, 2010
"Morton Satin has captured the origins, history, and culture of coffee drinking in a captivating style, interwoven with personal anecdotes that resonate with even the non-coffee drinker, in this unique and entertaining book. A must-have for every coffee table!"
–Dr. Lori Hoolihan, research director, Dairy Council of California