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Literary Resources

Tiny Joy is Sweet Maria's bi-monthly newsletter. It details new developments in home roasting and keeps you updated on our latest offerings. Included with all orders, it makes fine bathroom reading...

There was a fairly good article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Home Coffee Roasting called "Extreme Coffee..."

Kenneth Davids writes excellent, informative books on coffee. We sell the Home Coffee Roasting book, Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying and Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival. His third book is Espresso: Ultimate Coffee. They are all available at your local independent bookseller. There are a billion coffee books out there, so check your local library too.

Coffees Produced Throughout the World by Phillipe Jobin is outdated, but still relevent and fascinating. It will set you back at least $150, but is well worth it ... I refer to it often.

Coffee From Plantation to Cup is an All About Coffee style of book by F.B. Thurber from the 30's. I have used many historical images from it.

I really like Kevin Knox's book Coffee Basics just seems to have the right mix of informed opinion, good standard advice, and a healthy dose of bias based on his years of experience. I carry it because its not just another "how to brew great coffee and espresso drink recipe" book. I guarantee you will learn a lot from reading this, nomatter what other coffee books you have read!

Uncommon Grounds, a new-ish book by Mark Pendergrast is a great read.

CoffeeMakers: 300 Years... by Bramah is a great coffee table book with lusterous images of brewers throughout history and a few neat pages on home roaster too!

A University library, especially one with an Agriculture department, will have several interesting technical books on coffee. Many cover the same aspects, and are mostly geared toward botanical/agricultural issues with less coverage on roasting and consumption. Here are some of the titles I have read:

The Perfect Cup : A Coffee Lover's Guide... by Timothy James Castle is another quality book on coffee, with only minimal fluff. I like his list of tasting terms, but otherwise Davids' books cover all this stuff better.

If you want a book about coffee and tea, try the book aptly named Coffee and Tea by the Shapira clan. They turned their families old roasting business into one of the first "specialty roasters" in the late 60's.

Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Midieval Near East by Ralph S. Hattox is an interesting (if somewhat pedantic) resource for information on the early middle east coffee culture. Impress your friends by pronouncing the names of famous Sufists correctly!

America's Favorite Drug: Coffee and Your Health, by Edward Bonnie, is worth checking out from your local library. If coffee consumption worries you to the point where you can't enjoy it, a critical reading of anti-coffee literature might help you make up your mind. The jury is out on coffee's harmful effects, but not in the opinion of Edward Bonnie. We have written a short account of our opinions on the matter.

The Joy of Coffee by Corby Kummers. An annoying customer said they worshipped this book, so my opinion of it might be tainted. Anyway, it seems to offer the same orthodox opinions on coffee as many other books, and the writer seems to be starstruck by a particular set of coffee-worlds personalities he selected as praise-worthy. It reads a bit like an ad for La Minita Estate, Coffee Connection and a few others. It's a proficienty-written ad, but definitely an ad. I would rather read Davids for "Intro to Coffee" material, and beyond that I would like to read someone with stronger opinions of their own, although I do believe he tested and tried everything he discusses.

The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal is a great resource if you are considering "going pro." You can reach them at 212-391-2060. A 1 year subscription is only $30, but I am not sure if this is only available for businesses in the tea and coffee trade. I happen to have a large bound-edition, ex-liris collection of these dating back to the 1920s.

The Coffee Book by Gregory Dicum discusses why Fair Trade coffees and Organic coffees are worth looking for.

Coffee with Pleasure - Just Java and World Trade by Laurie Waridel makes a clear case for the idea of Fair Trade coffee.

Equipment and Supply Resources

You can get a custom one-of-a-kind tamper made for your machine from exotic woods. Our friend Les Albjerg crafts each one by hand - Thor Tampers The tamper shown is Buckeye Burlwood but Les makes great tampers from Coffee Burlwood, and Myrtlewood, as well as many other options. They are weighted, have an incredible feel, and are truly an art object.

So, you are thinking of going pro??? Well, I hope you have a very thick wallet because you cannot skimp on roasting equipment, and it is quite expensive. We are biased toward Diedrich Coffee Roasters because it is what I used (now I have a Probat L12). Other fine sources are Probat, Primo, and Ambex.

The Home Roaster Coffee is run by the roasting arm of a broker called Mountanos. They are big, and seem to be devoting some resources to being THE home roasting supplier. Given this, and their access to coffee at cheaper prices, their prices should be lower than mine but they sure don't seem to be. It scares me to think a big company can come along and blow a little operation like mine out of the water. Maybe they can, maybe they can't. We'll see. But their phone is 612-922-2238

The Coffee Project has a flatter stovetop type cranking roaster for sale, the AromaPot (we don't stck it anymore), which comes with a good quantity of green beans, Ken Davids Home Coffee Roasting, and some other stuff. It's a little over $100. Robert Piacente points out in Chaff that his only problem with it was that your hand gets hot while cranking it, but overall he felt it was good. I am happy with the Whirley-Pops we sell. I have quit selling the AromaPot ...they jam up. But if you ever need one, or need one fixed, these guys are devoted to it.

Your best source for an air popper are thrift stores. Because people use their microwaves to make popcorn nowadays, there are tons of poppers of the correct design available from $2 to $5. The names to look for are the Poppery II, West Bend Corn Popper, Hamilton Beach Popaire 2, The Popcorn Pumper, and JC Penny brand. You can't be guaranteed they will work, but it's just a few bucks! The best one ever is the original West Bend Poppery, ugly as heck, but it will work forever...

More Links for people in the Coffee Trade:

Trade Reports, Science Organizations

More Coffee Associations