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How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  396 ratings  ·  49 reviews
To make any old cup of coffee, you simply need a pot, heat, ground coffee, and water. But you're not just anyone. You are a coffee aficionado, a determined, fearless seeker of the best java. And this is the guide for you.
How to Make Coffee provides an in-depth look at the art and science behind the bean. Learn the anatomy of coffee; the chemistry of
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Harry N. Abrams (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  396 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromlibrary
Everything you've ever wanted to know about making coffee, science and complicated methods. The geekiest book I have read on coffee making.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book provides a relatively shallow approach to coffee science, history, and various brewing techniques. It promises a better understanding of coffee science to make better coffee, but never applies the new knowledge to the actual process of coffee making. Yes, it describes different roast types, the anatomy of a bean, how to tell if green beans are spoiled, different equipment and basic methods to use them, but ultimately fails in describing how to tweak methods for better coffee, or even ...more
Jeremy Hessman
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Contains a lot of information about the coffee industry, brewing techniques, and helpful tips, without feeling overwhelming. Great brief overview while still getting the full picture that helps show why people are obsessed with coffee.
Fernando De Freitas
Amazing little coffee book. It's focused mainly on the technical aspects of the coffee bean and also some brewing theory. Also has pretty handy instructions on how to brew coffee using different methods, as well as how to brew different espresso types (like ristretto and macchiato). It's a nice book to fine-tune your coffee making skills
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coffee
Very much the facts about coffee, from chemical makeup and chemical processes in growing, prepping, grinding, roasting, and brewing, through devices used for coffee. The book ended with descriptions of different coffee and espresso drinks with steps to make these drinks well defined. There are line drawings throughout. This is more for reference, the author doesn't try to make it very exciting. I noticed the info on the Clover machine, which is covered in a few paragraphs, was a bit dated. The ...more
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it
- Level of scientific details: enough for a 40 minutes presentation at high school level. This is at ~20% of my expectation.

- Practical information for coffee-makers: probably sufficient for amateurs? Probably not for professionals. I do find information that helps me and I am satisfied.

- Clarity: easy to read overall. There are subjective descriptions I find confusing (not sure if it's my fault). For example, "complex snappy composite flavors", or a figure showing grind size without scale bar.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
As an individual who enjoys the occasional cup of Arabica beans coffee and understanding the science behind things, this was a pretty fun read.

I guess people who are serious about understanding more about coffee and the different varieties involved in the market would benefit from reading this.

I look forward to owning my own Macchinetta in the future to home brew a good cuppa coffee 🤤
Jeffrey Ning
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristian Rivera Fermaint
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For me, it is a really good book. I really liked the way that it was illustrated and the information provided is a good start for new coffee lovers and a really good reference for experienced ones. I have bought it two times and gave it as gifts.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good book on coffee for the novice. I really liked the end where it showed you how to use the different methods. Got a little dry at times but that's just because I wasn't always in the mood to read the technicalities on coffee!
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to coffee: its origins, processing methods, roasting, grinding and preparation. The book briefly presents all this concepts in an informed and neutral manner. For my first book about coffee, I think it was a great read!
Eric Rodrigues
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
As a guy who likes to drink coffee, it was interesting to read the story behind the beans. This isn't incredibly technical which is good because I don't know much about coffee to begin with - but it's informative and includes some interesting stats and steps for coffee brewing.
Ivy Cai
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good relaxing read during my free time. Need that theoretical knowledge of coffee-making!
Jonas Stephan Johnson
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: delfin82
Good day all well this is i faith a good book through coffee god blees really.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Useful book on coffee that provided some insights into coffee science that I haven't got from others.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small book, big body.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: precīzi, science
I brought this book because I like coffee and it looked pretty. It turned out suprisingly informative and research grounded, good introduction about coffee-related stuff.
Tate Brombal
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Fantastic resource and great starting guide for those interested in coffee. I definitely learned a lot about the science behind the coffee bean.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a handy guide for the coffee-curious, particularly when it comes to giving a how-to for different home brewing methods. I keep my copy near my burr grinder for reference!
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Pretty much what it says on the tineverything you need to know about coffee. This book is informative but dry, and shows just how obsessively precise your coffee can be. I don't think I'll be picking up a refractometer anytime soon, but knowing how to adjust a brew for flavor is a handy piece of knowledge.

This book corrected some of my presumptions about decaf and instant coffee (there is no reason for either to be terrible). There were loads of diagrams and charts for just about everything you
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic overview of coffee. It contains summaries of dozens of topics, all in one beautiful volume. (A quick note about the physical book: the illustrations are lovely, and the tactile qualities-- heft, size, paper are great as well.)

If I have a complaint, it's that I felt many topics could have been explored more robustly. There are no inaccuracies that I noticed. In the end, a great book to have around, as it collects information from many sources and condenses it. Recommended for
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Technical and thorough, but accessible for scientifically-disinclined minds. "How to Make Coffee" might be misleading, since the foci of this book are the basic scientific principles underlying each step of coffee production (botany, processing, roasting, brewing, etc.). The author is Lani Kingston, not Joseph Murray Malone.
Henry David
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book on coffee 101: What technological innovations have invited more to drink this incredible beverage, as well as preference in terms of bean, grinding, and extraction methods. Pretty scientific and historical bringing you to exciting times in Africa to Brazil to Turkey and beyond.
Lara Thompson
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technical
The science geek in me reveled alongside my inner coffee addict (although I've learned that coffee, strictly speaking is non addictive). Chemistry galore and history, geography, and even a short chapter on how to make coffee this book is so awesome I took notes. Highly recommend.
Guillermo Gonzalez
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting knowledge about the various forms of coffee beans, brewing and chemistry behind coffee. However, I felt that the last section missed important details so it could explain more clearly how to use the different machines.

I like the part explaining why the americano coffee has its name.
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, non-fiction
Factual and informative book about the science behind coffee with nice diagrams. Much like an encyclopedia / guide book that coffee lovers may want to keep nicely on their shelf, to refer to time to time, but not for casual readers. Skipped through parts of the book.
Mike Wardrop
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book starts slow and finishes well for the amateur coffee drinker who had an interest in the process as well. I wouldn't callbit a how-to guide, even though there is a bit of that at the end but basically exactly what the title promises: the SCIENCE behind it all.
Mark Opalski
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Fine, covers most of what's expected.
Wesley Andrews
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Content and organization is solid. Format, namely brown ink on tan paper, is difficult to read.
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