Book Review / July 14, 2020
Book Review - Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds

The History of Coffee and How it Transformed our World
By: Mark Pendergrast

Book Reivew

People’s opinions of Pendergrast’s book seem analogous to the ones swirling around coffee - diverse and complex. I took a sneak peak at some of the reviews on Goodreads. I don’t always do that before I write my own review so that mine thoughts won’t be tainted. For whatever reason I chose to sneak peak this book. The first several reviews shared various complaints about the quality, focus, and opinions of the author in the text. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t since we are talking about coffee.

First and foremost, this is a history of coffee. As far as a detailed, compelling history, I was satisfied. When there was more detail than I wanted, I switched to meta reading. The scope was fairly comprehensive, and since I like coffee and history, I found it interesting. A bonus benefit was a refresher on many aspects of world history as coffee history weaves its way through it.

One surprise for me was the glimpses I got into how women in American were treated (demeaned) in past generations. These were just mere references, and I don’t know how representative and substantive they were. There must have been enough of this type of treatment for large scale ads to be run like they were. I hope I can learn more.

A bigger crisis is how whole families were treated on coffee plantations for generations. I can appreciate fair trade coffee now much more than I did before. However, I believe I have a lot more to learn on this.

The one thing I wanted more from the book which isn’t necessarily within its scope is a deeper analysis of the coffees on the market today and the matrix of the types of beans and roasting practices. Reading the book through does give a pretty good foundation, and Mark does say how to brew the perfect cup of coffee at the end of the book. Also at the end of the book is an excellent bibliographic essay with lots of further reading.

Book Review / Jul 14
Book Review - Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds

The History of Coffee and How it Transformed our World
By: Mark Pendergrast

Book Reivew

People’s opinions of Pendergrast’s book seem analogous to the ones swirling around coffee - diverse and complex. I took a sneak peak at some of the reviews on Goodreads. I don’t always do that before I write my own review so that mine thoughts won’t be tainted. For whatever reason I chose to sneak peak this book. The first several reviews shared various complaints about the quality, focus, and opinions of the author in the text. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t since we are talking about coffee.

First and foremost, this is a history of coffee. As far as a detailed, compelling history, I was satisfied. When there was more detail than I wanted, I switched to meta reading. The scope was fairly comprehensive, and since I like coffee and history, I found it interesting. A bonus benefit was a refresher on many aspects of world history as coffee history weaves its way through it.

One surprise for me was the glimpses I got into how women in American were treated (demeaned) in past generations. These were just mere references, and I don’t know how representative and substantive they were. There must have been enough of this type of treatment for large scale ads to be run like they were. I hope I can learn more.

A bigger crisis is how whole families were treated on coffee plantations for generations. I can appreciate fair trade coffee now much more than I did before. However, I believe I have a lot more to learn on this.

The one thing I wanted more from the book which isn’t necessarily within its scope is a deeper analysis of the coffees on the market today and the matrix of the types of beans and roasting practices. Reading the book through does give a pretty good foundation, and Mark does say how to brew the perfect cup of coffee at the end of the book. Also at the end of the book is an excellent bibliographic essay with lots of further reading.

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