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Of all ancient beverages, coffee is the most mercurial. Depending on the alchemy of circumstance, the drinker’s mood, and of course the manner of preparation, coffee can be as bright as sunrise or as velvety as evening, as sensible as tea or as romantic as wine. Coffee can inspire, soothe, give you the jitters, prepare you for war or for work. Its taste is as changeable as the rest of its character – smooth or bitter, strong or spicy, dainty or robust, cosmopolitan or country.

Coffee is a fascinating brew of java lore from coffee’s exotic origins as a holy drink, trusted medicine, forbidden bean, and smuggled treasure to its mas consumption in cafes patronized by poet, artistes, students, travelers, scientists, and revolutionaries. A stimulating collection of quotations and anecdotes is also on the menu as is tasteful account of the coffee-making process from the hills of Costa Rica to your kitchen counter. All in all, this rich blend of legend, history, anecdote, and fact is a mouth-watering tribute to our favorite beverage.