#navbar-iframe { height:0px; visibility:hidden; display:none; } Espresso Passione Espresso Passione: The Professional Barista's Handbook

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Professional Barista's Handbook

A bit over a week ago I received Scott Rao's new book titled "The Professional Barista's Handbook". I know the book has received a fair bit of attention already, but I thought I'd post my thoughts as well.

The book is clearly focused on espresso and to a lesser extent, filter coffee. French press and tea are also briefly covered. This suits me fine as I mainly enjoy espresso myself. What I really like about this book is that the most important aspects of the barista technique are explained in a fairly concise and easily understandable way. A big plus for covering various different methods and approaches to most topics.

My personal favourite coffee related book is the usual suspect - Illy's "Espresso Coffee - The Science of Quality" - which is a really heavy read and while it contains a lot of very detailed and valuable fact, it is not much fun to read. The Illy book is a scientific exploration of coffee while Scott's book has a practical and "hands on" approach to the preparation techniques (which the Illy book really doesn't cover). I like this.

The book does not cover the maintenance or recommended cleaning routines of the coffee equipment, which are in my opinion a crucial part of barista skills. However, these can be very specific to the equipment at the barista's disposal, so perhaps leaving this out is a good idea (as the book therefore does not restrict the audience or application of the book). Despite the title of the book, it also aimed at (or at least very useful for) the home baristi.

In short, I find Scott's book a great addition to my bookshelf and for me, in addition to the Illy book it now ranks in the top two in its kind. I prefer it over the Schomer book (Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques), which I also happen to have. Highly recommended.


Blogger JimAtLaw said...

Scott's book is great, I read it cover to cover in a weekend. :-)

I don't have the Schomer book though - does it cover subjects that this new one doesn't?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008  

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