Hardcover: 99 pages
Publisher: Scott Rao (2008)
Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.1 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #114,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #40 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Coffee & Tea #22093 in Books > Textbooks
YES, i paid full price for this book and have read it. My first review :)This book is backed by the author's personal experience. It is very well researched and written. The in-depth and focused content, book (design) layout and overall flow are amazingly well-balanced for beginners as well as professionals.If you love coffee, this is a good book for you. If you've romanced about being a barista, this is THE book.THIS BOOK IS NOT... * a recipe book * about tea. The tea chapter is only 3-page long. * about coffee roasting * about instant coffeeTHE FIRST IMPRESSION.Before opening the cover, the 100-page "Professional Barista's Handbook" (2009 Edition) can be unassuming with a dash of textbook-like dryness. However, the robust hardcover and binding are excellent, as if the author and publisher have anticipated heavy usage on counter top. The pages are printed on superbly thick, non-reflective paper. It is also slightly more water resistant than usual.* This solid book is expensive to manufacture.The typography (fonts and size), design and layout gave the book great ease in casual browsing for information as well as cover-to-cover reading. Every pages or so are filled with hands-on photos, charts, hints, special in-depth notes, diagrams and illustrations. The design is nothing fancy, simple yet functional. However, i do find a few of the photos a bit too dark.The content is very concise with minimal fluff. There are no long-winded personal stories or overly scientific explanations of coffee making. Most subtopics are kept within half a page before moving to the next. The information and ideas in this book are referenced and carefully remarked.
I must say that at first I was very happy about this book. I went from cover to cover very quickly, but at the end I felt like there was something missing. I felt like there was a lot of information, but to me, it felt that the information presented was not direct and clear.In the French Press chapter, for example, he mentions that after boiling water, before pouring, the water should be a few degrees hotter than the desired brewing temperature. Ok, so what is the brewing temperature? Then he goes on saying that you should weigh the beans. Again no information about how much coffee, in grams, should be added, and how much water to use. You have to look at another chart in a different page for the information to figure out the ratios in grams or oz (which he fails to mention). He then mentions that water at 93 C weights 28.3 grams, so is that the proper brewing temperature?At the beginning of the chapter one of the items needed is a naked portafilter for shot evaluation, but there is very little on that. Actually the same images with the same evaluations can be found at a popular coffee forum.The brewing control charts on pages 75 and 74 make no sense to me, and the author assumes that the reader understands this by simply not explaining it.I think that Scott Rao has done a great effort to compress a lot of information into the book, but I feel that his mistake was to not understand his target audience. What I mean by that is that a lot of information is presented in a manner that the author assumes the reader to be a beginner at this, but then presents technical information assuming that the reader understands this, as if the reader is a pro.
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