Book Review: How to Make the Best Coffee at Home

Book Review: How to Make the Best Coffee at Home

It always feels like a flippant cop-out to reply “the one that’s in your hand right now” whenever someone asks me the name of the best (insert style of spirit here) they can procure, but any other response I could offer would send them on a wild goose chase that will, more often than not, lead to disappointment or frustration. So when a book arrives with the title How To Make The Best Coffee At Home, there’s a bit of apprehension. “Best” coffee, like whisky or any other matter, is a subjective practice: Some people stand loyally by their auto drip, whereas others couldn’t imagine subjecting themselves to anything less than a Chemex or Aeropress.  Some folks would fight to the end for their Starbucks blonde roast, while others insist that it isn’t from George Howell, it’s not even worth grinding beans. You get the gist.

Thankfully, James Hoffmann sidesteps most of these political matters and delivers a fuss-free, comprehensive guide on enjoying coffee properly, no matter your preference. He leaves no aspect of the coffee-making process unchecked: from exhaustive equipment comparisons to grinding and brewing basics, all the way to advanced topics like home roasting, cleaning, and maintenance of equipment, as well as a deep dive into the actual sciences of coffee: chemistry, physics, biology, and plant pathology, among others.

To Hoffmann’s credit, he takes on all these topics in a relaxed and informal tone. He’s never too serious about himself, but never more serious than when taking on the subject he’s devoted his life to mastering. Something enjoyable and informative can be found here for every coffee drinker at every level, and it’s an excellent resource to have around if the urge to explore beyond your current coffee comfort settings ever change.

224 pages.


How to Make the Best Coffee at Home




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.