Nothing much else needs to be said. James has become synonymous with specialty coffee and his book is something of a bible to coffee enthusiasts and professionals. This book has stood the test of time and it continues to help new people every day understand how the little details make a big impact in their cup of coffee.
This book was published in 2014, though Amanda gifted it to me in January of 2017 for my birthday. We were living in Tempe at the time, walking distance from Cartel Coffee. With a reliable source of top-notch coffee, this book was my guidebook to this new world.
The book dives into production and processing methods, roasting and preparation essentials, and of course coffee origins. The word single origin is ubiquitous to specialty coffee, this book not only gives a brief history of most coffee producing countries but it highlights the growing regions inside each country and even provides us with taste profiles.
The World Atlas of Coffee introduced me to the coffee pricing crisis and showed me that specialty coffee can be a social tool to empower the coffee producer. Once I read about relationship coffee and direct trade coffee, I knew this was an industry I wanted to be part of.
I have pulled this book from the bookshelf endless times for reference when I’m using the AeroPress or when I’m sourcing samples, sometimes even just for casual reading. I couldn’t think of a better gift for a coffee lover. There is a second version which was published in 2018 with updated producing countries and new statistics, however, I believe this book is timeless and therefore, a classic.