Allegria Espresso Bar


More books I’m afraid.
September 16, 2007, 10:58 am
Filed under: Books

Glass, Paper, Beans: Revelations on the Nature and Value of Ordinary Things by Leah Hager Cohen. Cohen takes these three “things” from her table at a coffee shop and offers glimpses of three individual lives while adding bits of information concerning the history of glass, paper, and coffee.

There’s nothing new concerning coffee, it’s a basic history lesson and journey to origin in Mexico, but it’s a book, and I’ll read it (already have actually). Cohen makes a point to write that glass, paper, and beans could easily be anything else she takes for granted in a day, so the purpose isn’t really to focus on those three, but rather the fact that there’s a story behind them, behind everything, and it’s disappointing that in a world where we feel like information flows freely, we’ve lost the ability to easily trace where so much of the things in our lives begin. 

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I think everyone who’s even had a slightly elevated interest in coffee at one point or another in their lives has picked up The Devil’s Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee by Stewart Lee Allen.

Cover Image 

Feeling left out, I picked it up and gave it a go, and like the other reviews I read, I too did not like the last chapter where the author takes a cross-country trip in search of the best of the worst. That chapter wasn’t terribly focused on coffee in the US, but rather caffeine as a drug, making coffee sound like an epidemic that’s about to send us all into delusional states of hyperactivity. I was surprised by this turn, as it didn’t seem like a fitting end nor complimenting to the previous chapters of overseas travel and history. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s a perfect end, and I just don’t like the angle he took on coffee in the US.

And with a passion for coffee, an accompanying passion for food develops, or grows in my case, so I’ve picked up various tales of the kitchen life. Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, Heat by Bill Buford, Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell, and Hotel Bemelmans by Ludwig Bemelmans. All enjoyable and recommended. There’s a couple others you can see in the photo: Pour Your Heart into It (a good history on the giant), Don’t Try This at Home (nice, quick reading of short stories from various chefs), and The Divine Comedy (see, I have other interests).   

Books

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