Books about coffee create a real buzz


The pungent aroma of coffee welcomes patrons to the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The source? Press Café, one of the many pleasures of the new downtown facility. Press Café offers other beverages and delectable edibles as well. But its coffees create an ambience that encourages groups to gather and converse, producing a community hub atmosphere. And in recent years, coffee — whether iced or steaming — has become the “hot” beverage in terms of consumer demand. Café patrons and other readers will enjoy discovering the many resources about java available for checkout at the library.

One source that makes for lively reading is “The Healing Powers of Coffee” by Cal Orey. In the latest in his Healing Powers series, the author examines the power, history, types, and latest coffee crazes. Recipes and resources round out the text. Touted as a natural superfood, revelations regarding medical benefits derived from coffee consumption are fascinating.

California and the Pacific Northwest are famous for serving up some of the best cups of joe anywhere. Two books, “Left Coast Roast” and “The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee” highlight coffees from these regions. In the former title, Hanna Neuschwander divulges secrets to the lingo, roasting processes, and backstories of 55 coffee companies in California, Oregon, and Washington. “Blue Bottle” author James Freeman describes the origin and expansion of his iconic franchise in the City by the Bay. San Franciscans fell in love with his one cup at a time “coffee construction” method. His publication includes growing, roasting, and drinking wisdom plus recipes using coffee and foods complemented by the popular beverage.

And if non-fiction about coffee isn’t your cup of tea, there’s a great fictional mystery series at the library where coffee plays a leading role. The Coffeehouse Mysteries follows the trials and tribulations of Village Blend coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi. Set in the Big Apple, there’s plenty of atmosphere, action and romance as crime just seems to seek out Clare and her boyfriend, Detective Mike Quinn. Convincing, compelling characters and plots in bestselling titles such as “A Brew to a Kill” and “On What Grounds” have made many fans of the series. The latest installment, “Holiday Buzz,” finds Clare the target of a serial killer. A favorite of several library staff members, this series also includes specialty coffee and food recipes mentioned in the stories.

Melia Tatman is a librarian at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. 

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