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The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Drop

The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Drop

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An engaging, informative look at one of the most popular products in the world. Jammed full of facts, figures, cartoons, and commentary, The Coffee Book covers coffee from its first use in Ethiopia in the 6th century A.D. to the dramatic rise of Starbucks and other specialty retailers in the 1990s. Written with verve and filled with little-known facts, the book explores the process of cultivation, harvesting, and roasting from bean to cup; surveys the social history of caf society from the first coffeehouses in Constantinople to Renaissance French cafs to beatnik havens in Berkeley and Greenwich Village; and tells the dramatic story of international trade and speculation for a product that can make or break entire national economies. The book also examines the industry's major players -- General Foods, Nestl, Proctor & Gamble -- revealing how they have systematically reduced the quality of the bean and turned a much-loved product into a lifestyle. Finally, The Coffee Book considers the exploitation of labor and damage to the environment that mass cultivation causes, and explores the growing "conscious coffee" market and "fair trade" movement.

Facts about the coffee industry:
* Coffee is the second most valuable legal item of international trade in the world (after oil)
* More than twenty million people around the world are employed by the coffee industry
* Coffee is the largest food import to the United States