One Of The Best Coffee Books – Left Coast Roast

Left Coast Roast book cover

Many books are available on the sometimes complicated world of coffee and coffee roasters. Still, none covers the topics as well and beautifully as Left Coast Roast: A Guide to the Best Coffee and Roasters from San Francisco to Seattle.

Written in 2012 by coffee expert Hanna Neuschwander and published by Timber Press, the book is smartly written with gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations.  

It took me until part way through the book to notice that the color pallet of the book, greens to browns, matches the variety of colors that coffee beans are!

The book, even though it’s more than a decade old, is a great introduction to the world of coffee and the history of how the industry grew on the West Coast starting in the 60s and 70s.

Where Can I Buy Left Coast Roast?

Since the book was published in 2012 the hardcover and paperback versions are out of print. Used copies are available on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Fortunately for those of us who like immediate gratification an ebook version is available in Kindle format from Amazon and other ebook formats. 

This page on the publisher’s site has links to all online book stores and ebook formats.

An Outline of The Book Contents

  • Coffee Primer
  • Coffee Lingo
  • A Matter of Taste
  • Seed To Cup
  • Roast Craft
    • Roast Your Own
    • Coffee At Home
  • California Coffee Roasters
  • Washington Coffee Roasters
  • Oregon Coffee Roasters

Favorite Parts Of The Book

Since I’m in the process of learning how to roast coffee at home I was particularly drawn to the Roast Your Own chapter.  

It gave a good overview on how to quickly and cheaply get started with home coffee roasting using a hot air popcorn popper and green coffee beans.

This is the most popular method for beginner roasters. I can’t wait to try it although as I’m writing this in winter time I may have to wait until milder weather so I can do it outside due to the smoke issue during roasting. 

The bulk of the book covers individual coffee roasters in Oregon, Washington and California. Since the book was written a while back some of these roasters are no longer in business, it was still enjoyable to read about each roaster, 55 in all. 

The book is so “visually” written that I could imagine myself in each coffee roaster, smelling the freshly roasted coffee and enjoying the ambience of a each bustling spot.

Final Words

Even though the book is old I think it’s a worthwhile addition to any coffee fan’s library. It’s one of the few that covers the history of the roasting industry on the West Coast. 

Happy reading!