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Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World [Paperback]

Mark Pendergrast
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.05
Price: 10.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Sep 2010
Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks. In this updated edition of the classic work, Mark Pendergrast reviews the dramatic changes in coffee culture over the past decade, from the disastrous "Coffee Crisis" that caused global prices to plummet to the rise of the Fair Trade movement and the "third-wave" of quality-obsessed coffee connoisseurs. As the scope of coffee culture continues to expand, Uncommon Grounds remains more than ever a brilliantly entertaining guide to the currents of one of the world's favorite beverages.

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Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World + The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast's Guide to Selecting, Roasting and Brewing Exquisite Coffee + Setting Up and Managing Your Own Coffee Bar: How to open a coffee bar that actually lasts and makes money . . . (Coffee Boys Step By Step Guide)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Revised edition (7 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 046501836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465018369
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Mark Pendergrast, a former business journalist, is the author of several books, including For God, Country, and Coca-Cola. He lives in South Burlington, Vermont.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars UScentric 18 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It looks at the subject purely from the USA, which was disappointing as a UK reader, however some interesting content
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Bible of Coffee History... 22 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My first coffee book.. And it is an astonishing read... You would not believe the level of detail and effort put on this single 480 page book.. A must for coffee lovers.. As a barista in a major coffee chain here in the UK I must say that the level of knowledge I have acquired from this single book surpasses by light years the one provided to us by the company. Is it worth the 12.59? YES! will be reading this again and again for years to come...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better written 30 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book assumes you don't know what the word guano means and you are incapable of using a dictionary. So one example among the many bits of the book that are maybe pitched at too low a reading level for the US audience - skip the long rambling bit in the middle about the US coffee advertising in the 30s and 40s, nothing of interest there. Its flaw is its geocentric bias but someone obviously mentioned this to him at some point as after the huge swathes of guff about Folgers or something there'll be a morsel about Germany or Peru something squashed on the end of the chapter. You'd be surprised Nestle even existed, that tiny little European coffee supplier. Otherwise, it was an ok read, it's most definitely not challenging, bits of it are interesting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An economic history of coffee 6 Jun 2012
By D. King
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was after a book which would give a bit of guidance to my coffee drinking. With this in mind, I bought the wrong book. Uncommon Grounds goes into great detail on the economics behind the coffee trade since the 17th Century. It also describes the careers and fortunes of trailblazing coffee entrepreneurs and the big coffee companies. This bored me. I wanted to know the difference between the types of bean, roasts, etc, and I was left wanting. To end on a positive, if an economic history of coffee is what you're after then this seems very detailed (hence the 3 stars).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not trust the book's title 30 Aug 2012
By Jackal - Published on Amazon.com
I was looking for a book giving me an overview of the history of coffee. The subtitle "how it transformed our world" was promising so I got hold of the book. Big mistake. First, the book only deals with the US market. So much for world transformation. Second, the focus is on the first decades of the 20th century. So much for a general history. Third, there is hardly anything about the period 1990-2012. So much for a revised edition published in 2010.

Had the content of the book been properly marketed, it would probably deserve three stars. Due the the totally faulty marketing of the book it does not deserve more than one star.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 16 Nov 2012
By S. Goldstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Im really enjoying the historical approach of Uncommon Grounds, which is less recounting the developments around coffee as it is a good discussion of how coffee influenced the growth of social and political institutions around the world. As a popular lit book it obviously doesnt get as critical as a scholarly publication might, but it is definitely a fun read.

My only complaint is that it breezes through the origins and domestication of coffee, but to be fair there very little data out there on that topic. Of all the "history of [esoteric item]" books out there right now, this is definitely one of the better and more interesting ones.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars started off strong 19 Sep 2013
By Jeffrey Packer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I heard the author on a radio interview and immediately ordered the book. I found the first parts of this work to be intriguing and captivating. The, like crossing a border, things changed. The writing devolved into the equivalent of going through a stack of notecards upon which facts were written in preparation for a term paper. The information in this book is extensive and I learned many things (the good news) but the last half of the book was a meandering bunch of facts and very tedious reading (the bad news). I feel like the author should take the information in the last half of the book and re-write it in the style of the first half. Then, this would be a winner!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! 31 Dec 2013
By skitzoeinhoven - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Barista at Starbucks, I'm training to become a coffee master. This book was mentioned in my training and has been an insightful and successful tool amidst my studies. The book arrived in fantastic shape and in great time. Thank you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, have a coffee... 25 Dec 2013
By Paulo Reimann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was wandering in Ethiopia when the curiosity about coffee was borned. I am a Brazilian but never looked deep into the story and history of coffee. This book is a piece of beauty as gives a tremendous parallel in between thes tory and the history of the world since coffee invention.
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