Andrea Illy's: Espresso Coffee; David Schomer's: Espresso Coffee
In its niche, this book has no peers. At $100 it would still be a bargain.
Positive Product Points
No where else can one find this kind of information when it comes to describing "a systematic guide to the sensory evaluation of coffee's flavor."
Negative Product Points
A few typos and a redundant paragraph.
Written by Ted R. Lingle, a former executive director of the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America), this is the third edition and was published in 2001 by the SCAA. This is a paperback of 71 pages and is the size of a normal 8.5"X11" sheet of paper - very unpretentious in its appearance, but dynamite in its contents. The subject is cupping, from a professional's standpoint. There is the detail on how cupping is done, but what separates this book from everything else are the descriptions and definitions of the flavors and how these are related to the beans, both roasted and green. In a sense, the book is technical, but easily readable by the true blue coffee fanatic who wishes to understand how to describe what is sitting in the cup. It would be preferable to have some knowledge of biochemistry to better understand what is going on. Although readable, this book is dense with information.
I have no personal interest in cupping, but was drawn to the book because of its extensive descriptions of the coffee tasting components. Coffee is not always an easy thing to describe because of the considerable variations and beans that are available. There are two color diagrams: (1) Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel: Tastes & Aromas and (2) Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel: Taints & Faults. These are also available, individually, as posters. This book is a description of each and everyone of those segmented components in the two color diagrams. The book is well organized and is a sequel to the 32 page book: "The Basics of Cupping Coffee." The third edition is the whole enchilada. It is an absolute necessity for those who are really serious about coffee flavor components in what they are, how they interact, and why. This is certainly the definitive reference in its field and belongs in the library of any coffee fanatic, especially the home roaster who has been at it for awhile. This book is equally as important as Andrea Illy's "Espresso Coffee: The Chemistry of Quality" and David Schomer's "Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques." There are insights in this book that would take someone years to compile. It is not for the casual coffee drinker: Starbucks or Folger fans need not apply.
Not widely available, except through the SCAA or a website like Sweet Maria's. Well worth finding.