The best books for coffee lovers

Who am I?

I’ve been working in coffee for nearly 20 years, and teaching people about coffee for most of that. I love sharing how interesting, diverse, and fun the world of coffee is, and I want people to enjoy and value the coffee they drink a little more. It is a passion and a career that’s taken me around the world, and continues to reinforce the idea that just a little effort or interest in your morning coffee has surprisingly large rewards. The books on this list inspired my own passion for coffee and I hope they do the same for you.

I wrote...

How To Make The Best Coffee At Home

By James Hoffmann,

Book cover of How To Make The Best Coffee At Home

What is my book about?

More and more people are brewing coffee at home, and this book covers everything you need to know to make that coffee better. The goal is to understand the most important aspects of brewing, so it can be simpler and easier rather than more complicated.

Covering everything from how to buy coffee, how to better taste coffee, right through how to brew it in a wide array of different brewers, this is a concise but complete book that will make your mornings that bit more delightful.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Devil's Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee

Why did I love this book?

This is the book that started my obsession with coffee. It is really a travel book, using the spread of coffee from Ethiopia through to the rest of the world as its guide. It’s a fun read, and fascinating to see the way coffee was become entwined into so many different cultures in many different ways.

By Stewart Lee Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil's Cup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this captivating book, Stewart Lee Allen treks three-quarters of the way around the world on a caffeinated quest to answer these profound questions: Did the advent of coffee give birth to an enlightened western civilization? Is coffee, indeed, the substance that drives history? From the cliffhanging villages of Southern Yemen, where coffee beans were first cultivated eight hundred years ago, to a cavernous coffeehouse in Calcutta, the drinking spot for two of India’s three Nobel Prize winners ... from Parisian salons and cafés where the French Revolution was born, to the roadside diners and chain restaurants of the good…

Coffee Life in Japan

By Merry White,

Book cover of Coffee Life in Japan

Why did I love this book?

This deeper exploration of coffee culture in Japan, a place we all associate with tea, is an interesting and surprising read. The author’s time in Japan serves as the backbone for exploring aspects of gender, perfectionism, and how the cafe in Japan helps people stay punctual.

By Merry White,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Coffee Life in Japan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating book - part ethnography, part memoir - traces Japan's vibrant cafe society over one hundred and thirty years. Merry White traces Japan's coffee craze from the turn of the twentieth century, when Japan helped to launch the Brazilian coffee industry, to the present day, as uniquely Japanese ways with coffee surface in Europe and America. White's book takes up themes as diverse as gender, privacy, perfectionism, and urbanism. She shows how coffee and coffee spaces have been central to the formation of Japanese notions about the uses of public space, social change, modernity, and pleasure. White describes how…

Book cover of The Physics of Filter Coffee

Why did I love this book?

Coffee preparation is often accused of being a bit nerdy, but what if you lean into that? This book is a deep exploration of coffee brewing from a passionate astrophysicist. With a rigorous approach to coffee you can learn new and surprising things, and this book is having rippling effects on coffee shops and coffee lovers worldwide.

By Jonathan Gagne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Physics of Filter Coffee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Physics of Filter Coffee by astrophysicist Jonathan Gagné is perhaps the most significant book ever written on the science of coffee brewing. In the book Jonathan discusses the physics of percolation, extraction, and grinding, as well as water chemistry. He takes the reader down such rabbit holes as pouring-kettle design, optimizing turbulence while pouring, the impact of fines on percolation, the physics of paper filters, and the geometry of various brewers. He also presents some original ideas about coffee brewing and backs it all up with reams of facts and data. The most wonderful thing about The Physics of…

Book cover of God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee

Why did I love this book?

The speciality coffee industry is now a mature global part of coffee culture, but this book captures the early excitement around it as it burst onto the global stage. How coffee companies sought out and bought coffee was completely rewritten during this time, and this book makes for a fascinating read.

By Michaele Weissman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked God in a Cup as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can a cup of coffee reveal the face of God? Can it become the holy grail of modern-day knights errant who brave hardship and peril in a relentless quest for perfection? Can it change the world? These questions are not rhetorical. When highly prized coffee beans sell at auction for $50, $100, or $150 a pound wholesale (and potentially twice that at retail), anything can happen. In God in a Cup, journalist and late-blooming adventurer Michaele Weissman treks into an exotic and paradoxical realm of specialty coffee where the successful traveler must be part passionate coffee connoisseur, part ambitious entrepreneur,…

Book cover of The Professional Barista's Handbook: An Expert Guide to Preparing Espresso, Coffee, and Tea

Why did I love this book?

It is hard to pick just one of Scott Rao’s books as they have become the industry standard. If you want to learn more about how the best cafes approach coffee brewing, to steal the best bits for your home brewing, then this is a really great place to start.

By Scott Rao,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Professional Barista's Handbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FROM THE AUTHOR: When I began in the coffee business fourteen years ago, I read every book I could find about coffee. After reading all of those books, however, I felt as if I hadn’t learned much about how to make great coffee. My coffee library was chock-full of colorful descriptions of brewing styles, growing regions, and recipes, with a few almost-unreadable scientific books mixed in. I would have traded in all of those books for one serious, practical book with relevant information about making great coffee in a café. Fourteen years later, I still haven’t found that book. I…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in coffee, pop culture, and physics?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about coffee, pop culture, and physics.

Coffee Explore 53 books about coffee
Pop Culture Explore 119 books about pop culture
Physics Explore 109 books about physics

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Coffee, The Book of Roast, and Sweetness and Power if you like this list.