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Coffee Books (all) - Carl Post's Review
Posted: January 30, 2004, 3:42pm
review rating: 5.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Coffee Books (all)
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Arrow The Coffee Books (all) has 22 Reviews
Arrow The Coffee Books (all) has been rated 8.56 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Coffee Books (all) reviews have been viewed 112,859 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Carl S Lau 9.20
Carl S Lau 9.00
James Schulman 9.00
Carl S Lau 8.50
John Roche 8.40

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 3.8
Product Reviewed: Home Coffee Roasting: Rev
Manufacturer: Varies Quality: 3
Average Price: Varies Usability: 3
Price Paid: $18.00 Cost vs. Value 3
Where Bought: Chapters on line Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 2 months Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: 35 pages of excellent information but...
Positive Product Points

- 35 pages of really good info for home coffee roasting

Love the table on page pg. 68-69 ‘Quick Reference Guide to Roast Styles'

‘Circumnavigating the Globe' 87-97 was a nice overview of what to expect in terms of general characteristics of coffee based on origin.  

I liked ‘Controlling the Roast' 142-153 as a look at the factors involved in the roast and the different stages of the roast.

‘Cupping', 206-213 is a clear explanation of the procedure along with some pen and paper tools for your own use.

Negative Product Points

Weak history
Lacks a global perspective and objectivity
Illustrations/maps - some are really bad
Tasting terms are not helpful unless you are a wine connoisseur (I'm out)
Read my other books ... Oh yah, read my other books... Want more read my...
Besides the 35 good pages ... the rest of the book

Detailed Commentary

This review is for Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival revised and updated by Kenneth Davids

This book is really about the home coffee roasting scene in America about America from an American perspective.  If I were of African, Arabian, Turkish, Italian, French.... decent I would certainly not be amused by this publication.  From a historical perspective the book is weak. The author even goes so far as to say that general roast profiles are widely known throughout the world by their American names such as "New England (light), American (medium)..." -pg. 52.  Where are these terms used... in the US maybe??  This makes me suspicious of the rest of the ‘good' information in the book.  After the first 60 pages the book improves.

Coffee taste descriptions:
Some of his descriptions are good but others are neither descriptive nor clear hmmm...  how do you describe a taste?  Let me give you an example "Neither acidic nor sour, an acidy coffee is brisk and bright." -pg. 58.   So the coffee is fast and will light up the room, but how does that translate into an easily understood sensation?  And please...don't talk to me about learning the nuances of coffee tastes by using wine tasting references.  I didn't buy this book after learning about wine tasting and didn't expect that wine tasting should be a prerequisite. The author states that acidity is ‘...one of the most likely to be misunderstood.'  Thanks to the author this holds true.

Illustrations in the book are either adequate or poor, nothing really good.  The maps just plain suck and a couple of pictures look like they were drawn by a 4 year old.

Repetition:
Some things are best said once.  Some things are best said once.

Current information:
This field is quickly expanding so info on new machines is dated before it hits the shelves.

Wrap-up:
It started out a bit lame but it improved significantly after about 65 pages. The book is definitely written for Americans.  I'm a little surprised that it's so blatant.  There's some really good information in this book, unfortunately you have to wade through the rest to get the goods. ‘Check out my other book entitled...' I'm afraid after reading this one I won't be buying anything written by the same author.  Is it worth buying?  I really liked about 35 pages of this book, given that green coffee costs $7.oo per pound in my area and the book cost $18 I have to ask myself if it will pay off.... probably but...  Hmm what is acidy coffee?

Buying Experience

I purchased the book online through Chapters.  It arrived quickly in perfect condition at the best price around.

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review rating: 5.0
Posted: January 30, 2004, 3:42pm
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