Saturday, September 9, 2017

Where the Wild Coffee Grows

Where the Wild Coffee Grows: The Untold Story of Coffee from the Cloud Forests of Ethiopia to Your Cup
by: Jeff Koehler
To Be Published: Nov 2017

"Where the Wild Coffee Grows" takes us on a well-researched trek through the history of the coffee, bringing together the writings of explorers and historians as well as first hand accounts from living farmers, scientists, and magnates of the coffee industry. The journey begins in the forests of Ethiopia, where communities view the coffee preparation ritual as a social activity, an expression of their spiritual connection with nature. Then we follow the beans as they make their way into the Middle East and Europe through conquest and trade. We end in the modern era, riding the wave of mass-consumption and artisanal quality in a globalized market. Yet ominous clouds of issues billow ahead, threatening the natural existence of our favorite beverage: the steadily changing climate, the spread of fungal blights, and the unfortunate homogeneity of coffee-plant genetics leave the future uncertain.

4 out of 5 stars: As Colombian-American, coffee is quite literally my lifeblood. I felt like I owed it to my multi-cup-a-day habit to learn a bit more about this precious beverage, and I found the history of mankind's relationship with this bean to be fascinating. The first few chapters were a bit long-winded and overly detailed while excavating the history of Ethiopian politics, tangential to the story at hand. But once the text returned to the global impact of coffee and threats to its future, the book was hard to put down. The perspectives compiled for this work will appeal to coffee snobs and scientists alike, though honestly anyone with a taste for the black gold will enjoy reading up on its past, present and future.

// I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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