On Thursday, 25th January, something very special happened, both for the Coffee Spot and for me personally. That was the day that my book, The Philosophy of Coffee, which the British Library is publishing on next year. It has been a long time coming, almost exactly two years since Daniel of Cups of London Coffee had put my name forward to the British Library as a potential author.
So, what’s The Philosophy of Coffee all about? Well, to quote from the book itself, it’s a “short, entertaining and illuminating introduction to the history and culture of coffee, from the humble origins of the bean in northeast Africa over a millennium ago, to what it is today, a global phenomenon that is enjoyed around the world.”
It’s not a big book, just over 15,000 words, with 15 beautiful illustrations sourced from the British Library collection. It’s also, according to the blurb, “the perfect gift for coffee lovers”, so now that it’s out you should definitely buy a copy. Or two.
May 2018: I’ll be at this year’s Glasgow Coffee Festival if you want to buy a copy from me in person.
August 2018: Exicting news! After just seven months, The Philosophy of Coffee has done so well that the British Library is reprinting it!
You can find out more about the book after the gallery.
If you want to know how I came to write The Philosophy of Coffee and why I took so long, I wrote a whole post about it before Christmas, so I won’t go over old ground. The book came out on Thursday, although there had been a few review copies out in the wild before then. Although it’s early days, the reception (so far, at least, has been very good). You don’t have to take my word for it either:
one two three plenty of reviews have been published already, and not just by fellow bloggers:
- Bean There At
- Scotland Coffee Lovers
- Cafe Spaces
- London Lamppost
- London’s Best Coffee
- Double Skinny Macchiato
- The Spectator
- Commodities Connoisseur
- Wine Alchemy
- Coffee Ken
If you prefer your reviews in video format, here’s some kind words from:
Finally, how’s this for a one-line review: “like a good espresso, short, sharp and with a great depth of flavour”? That’s from David Hughes over on Twitter.
I also wrote the following article about the culture of coffee, which draws heavily on the book and was published in the Sunday Herald:
The Philosophy of Coffee is available on-line from the British Library or you can pick up a copy from the British Library shop on the Euston Road (and while you’re there, you can pop into the on-site coffee shop run by Origin, or visit Origin’s branch on Euston Road, which is right outside the British Library, and read a chapter or two (other, excellent coffee shops are also nearby).
If you’re not in London your local bookshop or library (if they don’t have it, you can always ask them to get it in). For example, The Philosophy of Coffee is now available from Waterstones, both in-store and on-line. Alternatively, if you don’t want a physical copy, The Philosophy of Coffee is now available as an eBook..
The final option is to order a copy directly from me, which, as an added incentive, I will happily sign (unless you ask me not to). However, be aware that while I always dispatch orders as soon as I can, I am often away on long trips for work (although I’m not due for another long trip until the end of August) so there will sometimes be very long delays before I can dispatch orders.
If you would like to get a copy from me in person, I will be at this year’s Glasgow Coffee Festival and Manchester Coffee Festival, and I’ll have plenty of copies with me. Following a successful talk at Origin at the British Library on Saturday, 12th May, I’m hoping to do a tour (of sorts) of various UK coffee shops later in the year which will feature readings from the book along with a coffee cupping or similar event.
Appearances have been pencilled in for Ancoats Coffee Co, Southsea Coffee Co and Quarter Horse Coffee to name a few. If you’d like me to come along to your coffee shop and talk about the book, just drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do. Also, if you’d like to stock The Philosophy of Coffee, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the British Library.
Finally, I’m very happy to sign copies if you track me down in person, regardless of where you bought it from, so feel free to track me down at some point during the year (but don’t forget to bring the book with you!).
August 2018: I’ve just learnt that The British Library has reprinted The Philosophy of Coffee after the initial print-run has sold out in just seven months. This is excellent news since we really weren’t expecting a reprint until 2019 at the earliest! Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy!
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