Java Jive

Hit this list for a percolating look into the culture of coffee--its histories, mysteries, and accouterments.

Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte

By Kyra Davis

Go to catalog

When a mystery writer cries bloody murder, everyone blames her overactive imagination . . .

"Thriller scribe Sophie Katz is as hard-boiled as a woman who drinks Grande Caramel Brownie Frappuccinos can be -- maybe it's from a lifetime of fielding dumb comments about her half-black, half-Jewish ethnicity. ('My sister married a Polynesian! I just love your culture!') So Sophie knows it's not paranoia, or post-divorce, living-alone-again jitters, when she becomes convinced that a crazed reader is sneaking into her apartment to reenact scenes from her books. The police, however, can't tell a good plot from an unmarked grave.

"When a filmmaker friend is brutally murdered in the manner of a death scene in one of his movies, Sophie becomes convinced that a copycat killer is on the loose -- and that she's the next target. If she doesn't solve the mystery, her own bestseller will spell out her doom. Cursing her imagination (why, oh, why did she have to pick the axe?), Sophie engages in some real-life gumshoe tactics. The man who swoops in to save her in dark alleys at night is mysterious new love interest Anatoly Darinsky. Of course, if this were fiction, Anatoly would be her prime suspect . . . "

Reserve this title

I Love Coffee! Over 100 Easy and Delicious Coffee Drinks

By Susan Zimmer

Go to catalog

"...brimful with a wealth of coffee understanding from the 'ground' up, from bean to cup, including international coffees and brewing techniques best suited to a variety of preferences, all topped off with plenty of problem-solving tips and delectable full-color photographs."

Reserve this title

The Coffee Fanatic's Field Guide to Coffee, Coffee Drinks, and Coffeehouses

By Matt Peach

Go to catalog

"In this ultimate coffee guide you will learn to understand and enjoy all the new coffee drinks, navigate coffeehouses like a 1960's hippie , control the calories in your favorite drink, get better results when making coffee at home, maximize the health benefits of coffee and speak coffee jargon like a barista."

Reserve this title

Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World

By Mark Pendergrast

Go to catalog

From its discovery in ancient Ethiopia to its role as a millennial elixir in the Age of Starbucks, coffee has dominated and molded the economies, politics, and social structures of entire countries. The second most valuable exported legal commodity on earth, it has sparked revolutions, romances, business deals, and friendships. Uncommon Grounds traces the journey of coffee from its origins on tropical mountainsides cultivated by poor laborers to the coffee bars of the United States, Europe, and Japan, where cosmopolitan consumers pay half a day's Third World wages for one good cup.

Reserve this title

Uncommon Grounds: A Novel

By Sandra Balzo

Go to catalog

Patricia Harper is dead, killed by a hot-wired espresso machine, in Uncommon Grounds, her very own gourmet coffee store! Maggy Thorsen wants to know who killed one of her partners. Maggy needs the store to succeed. Starting over after her divorce, she's quit her PR job to open the coffee store. And if things aren't already tough enough, she begins to suspect one of her friends is responsible for Patricia's murder.

Reserve this title

The Devil's Cup: A History of the World According to Coffee

By Stewart Lee Allen

Go to catalog

"Coffee as history's primary instrument and instigator. What is this elixir that fuels our destiny? Stewart Lee Allen's insatiable, unquenchable thirst for the answer carries him across forbidden borders and several continents as he pursues the precious and little-known catalytic effect of the ambrosial brew upon world empires and mankind. He also documents the unconscionable attempts to suppress coffee. With Paris one 'vast caf,' for instance, Napoleon banned coffee, but then was summarily overthrown and exiled. His last request: a cup of St. Helena's best. Likewise, Germany's long anti-coffee campaigns kept java from offering its solace to the lower classes. In 1930 German workers voted Adolf Hitler into power. In America the military tried for fifty years to produce an easily brewed cup for battlefield use, and did. The perfection of instant coffee triggered a 3,000 percent jump in consumption during World War I and stimulated the rise of the United States to world-class power."

Reserve this title

The Coffee Trader: A Novel

By David Liss

Go to catalog

Who knew coffee was such a cutthroat business? Good reading for a rainy afternoon, cuppa joe in hand:

"Amsterdam, 1659: On the world’s first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in the city’s close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well. Once among the city’s most envied merchants, Miguel has suddenly lost everything. Now, impoverished and humiliated, living in his younger brother’s canal-flooded basement, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation. Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success—a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called 'coffee.' To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and face a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam’s ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas."

Reserve this title

Starbucks Passion for Coffee: A Starbucks Coffee Cookbook

By Dave Olsen

Go to catalog

Remember the NPR April Fool's Day broadcast when they promised Starbucks coffee would be piped hot and fresh into every home? In the 10-plus years since this book was written, Starbucks may not have reached that level of saturation, but with outlets in book shops and discount retail chains, it's certainly coming close. In addition to company history, the Starbucks exec provides 30 recipes for excellent sweets to go with remarkable coffee.

Reserve this title

Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

By Howard Schultz

Go to catalog

The chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks tells how he and his team built a small Seattle company into a nationwide business phenomenon through such anti-corporate principles as community-mindedness and employee-ownership. (1997)

Reserve this title

On What Grounds

By Cleo Coyle

Go to catalog
Something light for your latte: "Clare Cosi used to manage the historic Village Blend coffeehouse, and now, after ten years and a little friendly cajoling, she's back to the grind. Clare is thrilled to return to work, until she discovers the assistant manager unconscious in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. The police deem it an accident. But Clare can't get some things out of her mind. Is she in danger? And, are all detectives this handsome?"
Reserve this title