The Life and Times of the Coffee Bean
1. Coffee Through the Ages,
2. From Crop to Cup,
4. Coffee and Your Health,
5. Coffees of the World,
6. Making the Best Brew,
The Tastes and Pleasures of the Coffee Bean
7. Delectable Coffee Drinks,
8. Scrumptious Coffee Accompaniments,
Coffee has been my friend for a long, long time. During our years together, the coffee bean has told me many secrets—secrets about its origins, about its world travels, about its irresistible charms, and about much, much more. Finally, I decided it was time to share what I’d learned with other coffee lovers. And so I began my work on Confessions of a Coffee Bean.
Confessions of a Coffee Bean has been designed as a fascinating tour of the wonderfully enticing world of coffee. You’re going to discover so many incredible secrets in this book—secrets that will amaze you, delight you, and even amuse you.
Part One, “The Life and Times of the Coffee Bean,” opens with a fascinating look at the history of coffee. Chapter 1 starts with the legend of Kaldi, the Abyssinian goatherd who was the first to sample coffee’s pleasures. It then moves through the centuries, culminating with coffee today.
Chapter 2 is where you’ll learn all about the coffee tree—how it’s grown and where it thrives—as well as how the fruits of the tree are harvested and roasted, ultimately ending up in your home. You’ll even discover why coffee is justly called an “affordable luxury.”
Chapter 3 focuses on the coffeehouse, starting with the beginning of these popular establishments in Arabia and continuing with a jaunt through Europe. Of course, this chapter wouldn’t be complete without a look at the coffeehouses of North America, including America’s most famous coffeehouse, Starbucks.
Chapter 4, “Coffee and Your Health,” may be the most eye-opening chapter of all. You probably know that some people must avoid caffeine. But are you aware that both caffeine and other coffee bean components can actually be beneficial? In Chapter 4, you’ll learn that coffee can help fight cancer, help relieve asthma, and boost both alertness and mood. In fact, the coffee bean is more of a friend to the body than you might ever guess.
Chapter 5 gives you an in-depth and personal introduction to some of the most amazing coffees that are available today, taking you from the sublime to the ridiculous in the world of the coffee bean. If you’ve been content with commercial coffees to this point, I think this chapter will spur you to visit your local specialty shop and try a gourmet blend or two. And if you’re already interested in fine coffees, this chapter will acquaint you with some rare and wonderful beans that you may want to add to your shopping list.
Chapter 6 is where you’ll learn just about everything there is to know about making a great cup of coffee. You’ll begin by selecting beans, a coffeemaker, and perhaps even a coffee bean grinder. Then, you’ll put everything together and, with the help of some guidelines, brew a perfect pot.
Part Two, “The Tastes and Pleasures of the Coffee Bean,” is an eclectic collection of recipes for both coffee drinks and coffee accompaniments. First, Chapter 7 teaches you how to make a wide variety of coffee beverages, from steaming brews like Café au Lait to icy concoctions like the Espresso Shake. Then, Chapter 8 provides a bevy of desserts and other coffee companions, from the luscious Sacher Torte to coffee-kissed creations such as Rich Coffee Tiramisu and Creamy Coffee Cheesecake. You’ll even find recipes for coffee-laced candies and sauces.
As I said, the coffee bean has been my friend for a long, long time, so it has been a true pleasure to celebrate its wonders within these pages. I hope that Confessions of a Coffee Bean helps you better understand and appreciate the world of coffee, and guides you in forging your own rewarding relationship with the wondrous coffee bean.