My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don’t even drink coffee, but I love it when I can learn a lot and still be entertained. This book tells an interesting history of coffee and the many processing steps and the tasting process as complicated as wine. I also appreciated learning more about Yemen which I had previously only known from reports of war and famine. This is the semi true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, an immigrant from Yemen who grew up in the San Francisco area, sort of ditzi and lacking direction. Then he reads the history of coffee tracing back to Yemen and discovers that his grandfather was actually a coffee farmer back in Yemen. Suddenly Mokhtar has a quest. He infiltrates the coffee culture in San Francisco, returns to Yemen and gets to know the coffee farmers in the different parts of his country. War breaks out and he has to fight just to make it down the street. But he manages to take some samples out of the country and get the experts in San Francisco to agree his country’s coffee is extra special. I was cheering for him in the end.