Coffee books – these novels you must read

Coffee books – these novels you must read

Coffee is not only the main protagonist at the breakfast table but also of many coffee novels. That’s why I’m introducing you to a couple of coffee book today.

Coffee Thief*

A historical adventure novel that takes place in 1683. Coffee houses are booming in Europe. The monopoly on coffee, however, have the Turks. Who wants to smuggle it out of the Yemeni mocha, will be punished with death. Obediah Chalon, speculator, trader and trickster should still dare. With financial support from the United East India Company, he assembles a troupe of international specialists. Will he succeed?

Ich will nich’ Kaffee trinken, ich will Geschäfte machen: Eine Satire über Wien, die Deutschen in Wien und den Kaffee*

With 21 cartoons for all Germans who finally want to understand Vienna – and all Viennese who are the same with the Germans. This first volume of the series WIENER MELANGE is about the coffee and the associated intercultural traps that Vienna has for Germans.

Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trade Company*

This coffee book is about an Amsterdam merchant named Droogstoppel who lives on the coffee market. A former, now destitute acquaintance, asks him for the aid to publish a manuscript. This manuscript, largely autobiographical, deals with the career of the colonial official Max Havelaar on Java in the Dutch East Indies. It ends when he reveals serious transgressions of his superiors and ultimately questions the entire colonial system. In 2002 the Dutch Max Planck Society declared the book “Max Havelaar” the most important work written in Dutch.


The Monk of Mokha*

In this coffee book Mokhtar Alkhanshali is twenty-four and working as a doorman when he becomes fascinated with the rich history of coffee and Yemen’s central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral home to tour terraced farms high in the country’s rugged mountains. He collects samples and organizes farmers and is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs the country. Saudi bombs rain down, the U.S. embassy closes, and Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen with only his hopes on his back.

Coffee Book: Die Kaffeemeisterin*

Frankfurt 1729: After the death of her husband, Johanna, with the help of the Jewish musician Gabriel, manages to make the family’s coffee house the best in the city. Until a nasty intrigue drives them out of Frankfurt. Via Venice she flees to Constantinople, where she ascends to the coffee master of the sultan. But Johanna can never forget her homeland – nor her secret love for Gabriel

Der Duft von Kaffee und Kardamom*

Badreya El-Beshr, born in Saudi Arabia in the early 1960s, tells the story of Hind, a young woman in her novel “The Fragrance of Coffee and Cardamom,” which is likely to be quite similar to the author’s. It is the story of the liberation from a tradition that can only appear to be of very limited appeal to those born as girls in Saudi Arabia.


CAMBUTA: Frost auf den Kaffeeblüten*

The young tropical planter Carl breaks in 1931 in a new life. At the tender age of only 21, he dares to step from the German colonial school in Werratal to the central highlands of Angola, where the cultures of the German and Portuguese immigrants and the long-established Umbundo clash. He builds his own coffee plantation despite all adversities. It tells of the beauty of nature, the peculiarities of people and the dramatic events of terrorism and civil war from the 1960s – and, of course, love.


Daniel fills an old dream and opens a cafe. Even the way to the opening is paved with good advice and disasters. But the worst is yet to come: guests! A restless poodle grandma, a down-to-earth hipster, a football coach with an alcohol problem, a supposed prodigy named Jonas Hortensius, and Daniel’s parents and his wife Aylin’s Turkish family. With all the absurd situations and wonderful characters, in the end you just want to be a regular at this café.

Ein Coffee to go in Togo*

One day, business consultant Markus Weber throws his perfect world over the edge and rushes headlong into an adventure. He sits down on his bike and drives off – through 26 countries, to Togo. His journey takes him through deserted Eastern European villages and over grueling sandy tracks in West Africa. He hitchhikes through the Sahara, cycles through the undeveloped Guinean rainforest and smugglers across closed border crossings in Liberia. Everything to answer two questions: Who am I? And: is there actually coffee to go in Togo?


Coffee Book: Der Duft des Kaffees*

Ethiopian highland or Colombian bad weather harvest? Hans Brionis is the owner of a small coffee roasting company. Just before Christmas, a story changes Brioni’s life. The cause is poisoned beans. Is it an extortion or the act of a madman? In search of the wire-pullers, an inexperienced reporter dives into Brioni’s world and discovers the magic of a drink. The hunt for the perpetrators leads across central Europe, from Berlin to Vienna, to the city of coffee houses.

Schwarzer Tod: Köstliche Krimis um heiße Getränke*

These twenty-four short stories are all about murderously inspiring hot drinks. Toxic mocha droplets, lingering night shift policemen and caffeine-addicted private snoopers offer a highly entertaining mix of tart and mild, from mild to vigorous, from sinister tragedy to serene crime comedy.

Kaffee oder Das Aroma der Liebe*

The story of this coffee book plays in 1895: London poet dandy Robert Wallis is in debt. But he doesn’t want to shake hands to earn a living. Then he receives the order: “Invent a universally understandable language for the aroma of coffee!” from Samuel Pinker, a very wealthy coffee trader and one of the first big players in the globalized business world at the end of the 19th century. The beginning of a furious love story that will lead to Africa, South America and death – and beyond.

Der erste Kaffee am Morgen*

Nothing is better than the first coffee in the morning. None tastes better, none smells more intense. Massimo Tiberi, owner of a small bar in Trastevere in the heart of Rome, knows this too. When a young woman strays into the Tiberi one day, the barista dies. Unfortunately, the young stranger does not speak Italian. And – which is almost worse! – she doesn’t drink coffee…


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