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Summary

"A cup of coffee is a miracle, a wonderful assemblage of relationships."

This classic follows coffee's journey around the world, from London to Brazil, telling in fascinating detail and amusing anecdotes the singular history of the legendary commodity - from the discovery that chewing on the beans were keeping goats awake in Yemen to the author's own experiences with the bean in 1935.

Referred to as a "documentary novel" back to coffee's inception, H. E. Jacobs pioneered the concept of creative nonfiction. This narrative style combines the reality of nonfiction with the epic presentation and prose of fiction. This genre has exploded into popularity and remains so today. Coffee tells the story of this popular beverage in short, fun-to-hear essays that will entertain anyone who enjoys a good, strong cup of coffee.

©1935 H.E Jacob First Skyhorse Publishing edition 2015 (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra
  • 18-06-16

Interesting but not really informative.

The story of coffee was mildly entertaining. It was a good way to pass the time while traveling.

The performance of the book was okay. The lack of translation of some of the non-English phrases was annoying and distracted me from the flow of the book. The reader also mispronounced a number of words, most glaringly substituting "epic" for "epoch."

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • joan
  • 10-06-17

DULL

It amazes me that someone can take such an inherently fascinating story (coffee through the ages) and come out with something so dull! I guess this book proves that it's possible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bookwyrme
  • 10-11-17

Boring

I normally like older books and I. love food histories but this goes on and on piling diversion on diversion and guess upon guess. The narration is ok but there is really not much to work with

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  • Lindsay S. Nixon
  • 23-08-17

This isn't a book on coffee! TERRIBLE

Would you try another book from H. E. Jacob and/or Contessa Brewer?

Absolutely not.

Would you ever listen to anything by H. E. Jacob again?

Unlikely.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

If the narrator has detracted from the book, it might have made the book better. The book and audible performance were boring, dull, flat, drab, blah.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment.

Any additional comments?

At best this is a drab book on European history (even Columbus' voyage made it in!) but if you're looking for a direct/interesting history or evolution of coffee in popularity, culture, customs, or trade THIS ISN'T IT! T

I kept waiting for interesting facts but none came, or it was lost inside unimportant historical dribble. For example, I was bemused to learn "americano" came from war, when American soldiers, confused by espresso, diluted it with water... nothing of that sort here.

Even the history wasn't about coffee. I was expecting to learn about the historical significance of coffee. How it rose to popularity, what influence it might have had on trade or commerce or why it became such an important part of daily life... that wasn't here. I felt like I was reading a crap textbook for 4th grade.

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  • BookishMarginalia
  • 07-05-17

Interesting info, dated point of view

The anecdotes and data about coffee provided in this book are truly interesting, placing coffee within the economic and social history of the world. However, the book does reflect the gender, racial, and cultural biases of the time in which it was originally written: 1932. If you can set those aside, this is an informative and entertaining story of coffee's influence on civilization.