The Philosophy of Coffee is Out!

Rob Reeves settles down to read my book, The Philosophy of Coffee over a cup of coffee, brewed with a stove top espresso machine. Picture (c) Rob Reeves and used with permission.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.

February 2018: The Philosophy of Coffee is now available across the UK in Waterstones and is also available as an eBook.

May 2018: I’ll be at this year’s Glasgow Coffee Festival if you want to buy a copy from me in person.

You can find out more about the book after the gallery.

  • One of the first appearances of The Philosophy of Coffee on social media va Rob Reeves.
  • Dr Jennifer Ferreira then got in on the act, taking a picture of her copy on her desk...
  • ... while the London Lamppost used a Macbook for a backdrop.
  • This is the first physical copy bought that I know of (thanks Bex!)
  • And here it is on sale in the British Library (thanks again to Bex).
  • The back cover is just as good as the front (coffee bag bookmark by Bean There At)
  • The back cover in more detail.
  • However, it's not just for looking at, it's also for reading. Here Bean There At check it out.
  • Meanwhile, I finally get to read my own book, sitting by the pool in Miami.
  • Hmmm... Maybe not the most uplifting chapter to start with!
One of the first appearances of The Philosophy of Coffee on social media va Rob Reeves.1 Dr Jennifer Ferreira then got in on the act, taking a picture of her copy on her desk...2 ... while the London Lamppost used a Macbook for a backdrop.3 This is the first physical copy bought that I know of (thanks Bex!)4 And here it is on sale in the British Library (thanks again to Bex).5 The back cover is just as good as the front (coffee bag bookmark by Bean There At)6 The back cover in more detail.7 However, it's not just for looking at, it's also for reading. Here Bean There At check it out.8 Meanwhile, I finally get to read my own book, sitting by the pool in Miami.9 Hmmm... Maybe not the most uplifting chapter to start with!10
Javascript Sliders by WOWSlider.com v4.6

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:

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..

For my friends in Australia, the good news is that Booktopia is now stocking The Philosophy of Coffee. If you are a non-UK stockist and you want a mention, just let me know.

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. I’m also going to be doing a tour (of sorts) of various UK coffee shops (and possibly some US ones if I can organise it) which will feature readings from the book along with a coffee cupping or similar event. The only confirmed date is at Origin at the British Library on Saturday, 12th May, but 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!).

That’s it for now. Many thanks to Rob Reeves, Bean There At, Double Skinny Macchiato, Dr Jennifer Ferreira and London Lamppost for use of their pictures in this post.


If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead.

Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using buttons below.

17 thoughts on “The Philosophy of Coffee is Out!

  1. Pingback: The Philosophy of Coffee | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The Philosophy of Coffee | cafespaces

  3. Pingback: Caffeine Magazine | Brian's Coffee Spot

  4. I spotted a copy of The Philosophy of Coffee in Waterstone’s.

    You could add Lincoln to your itinerary, combine with a visit to the coffee shops.

    Lincoln Coffee Festival kicks off Wednesday 14 March at Coffee Aroma. Afternoon of conversation with Stephen Leighton, book signing of Coffeeography.

    Pre-launch event AeroPress Competition Madame Waffle, evening Tuesday 27 February.

    Theme of the Festival, follow the bean. Follow the bean from farm to cup.

    The Philosophy of Coffee would appear to fit in with the theme of the Festival.

    I dare say a venue can be found should you be interested.

    Suggestion an afternoon of conversation, how the book came to be written, the research, what ypu look for in a coffee shop.

    By train, from King’s Cross. No direct train change at Newark. Lincoln Central Station is in the centre of town.

    Godalming will have a coffee festival in the summer. I know who, where, but do not know when, as not yet finalised.

      • Lincon Coffee Festival is organised by Lincoln Coffee Collective.

        It starts with conversation with Stephen Leighton.

        An antidote to commercial coffee festival. Held over several days, hosted by indie coffee shops

        If you wish, it may be possible to host you as a post-festival event.

  5. There are two Waterstone’s In Lincoln, one in the Cornhill, the other the High Street.

    You require the one in the High Street.

    I think this is correct contact details

    tel 01522 540011
    e-mail lincoln@waterstones.com
    twitter @WaterstonesLinc
    facebook WaterstonesLincolnHighStreet

    If not, explain you want the High Street branch.

    Their events organiser is away for a week, therefore ask for the manager.

  6. The manager is away for a week, address to events organiser who should now be back.

    If afternoon likely to be a coffee shop.

    They will try, no promises, coffee that links to the book.

  7. Pingback: London Coffee Festival 2018: Preview | Brian's Coffee Spot

  8. Pingback: Cottontree Coffee Roasters | Brian's Coffee Spot

  9. Pingback: London Coffee Festival 2018: Round-up | Brian's Coffee Spot

  10. Pingback: A Passion For All Things Coffee | Brian's Coffee Spot

  11. Pingback: Sarah’s Caring Coffee & The Coffee Bean | Brian's Coffee Spot

  12. Pingback: World of Coffee 2018 | Brian's Coffee Spot

Please let me know what you think. Guidelines for comments are in the "Posts" drop-down menu.