February 7, 2009

Coffee: A Dark History

I could not find time for my blog for a while, as I was traveling a lot from Middle East to Europe... During my trips, I read some books about coffee. One of them was Coffee: A Dark History written by Antony Wild.

The writer blended legends, politics, anthropology, economics, and of course history to explain story behind coffee production. It's really interesting to read the 500-year history of coffee from Africa to the Middle East, and to the West.

Coffee A Dark History - Antony Wild
As a coffee lover, I have automatically focused on what I taste when the subject is coffee. But, Antony Wild, who worked for long years as the buyer for a prestigious specialty coffee company, reminded me the 'dark' side about coffee production by giving information about exploitation and abuse of resources both human and natural.

The book's built on too many historical data. So, sometimes it may create a feeling that you're reading a text-book, if you're not interested in history.

My major criticism about the book is that sometimes you can find yourself as your attention distracted. There are too many 'other' historical details when the author traces the history of coffee. Of course, it's good to read a story in another story. But to be honest sometimes it becomes really boring. For instance, Antony Wild, who is also expert on colonization history, gives information about colonization open handedly. So you're confusing whether you're reading a book about colonization or coffee history... I think he should have stuck to `coffee` more.
By the way, there's almost nothing about Turkish coffee in the book. As a Turkish coffee lover, I was expecting more about it :)

As a result, I can say that it's an interesting book if you want to explore coffee history. But as I mentioned, if you don't like history too much and your only concern is coffee, another coffee history book may be better for you.

Book Details
Page: 323
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publishin date: June 27, 2005
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0393060713
ISBN-13: 978-0811805476

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