cover of book

A Rich and Tantalizing Brew: A History of How Coffee Connected the World
by Jeanette M. Fregulia
University of Arkansas Press, 2019
Cloth: 978-1-68226-086-9 | Paper: 978-1-68226-087-6 | eISBN: 978-1-61075-655-6
Library of Congress Classification GT2918.F74 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 394.12


The history of coffee is much more than the tale of one luxury good—it is a lens through which to consider various strands of world history, from food and foodways to religion and economics and sociocultural dynamics.

A Rich and Tantalizing Brew traces the history of coffee from its cultivation and brewing first as a private pleasure in the highlands of Ethiopia and Yemen through its emergence as a sought-after public commodity served in coffeehouses first in the Muslim world, and then traveling across the Mediterranean to Italy, to other parts of Europe, and finally to India and the Americas. At each of these stops the brew gathered ardent aficionados and vocal critics, all the while reshaping patterns of socialization.

Taking its conversational tone from the chats often held over a steaming cup, A Rich and Tantalizing Brew offers a critical and entertaining look at how this bitter beverage, with a little help from the tastes that traveled with it—chocolate, tea, and sugar—has connected people to each other both within and outside of their typical circles, inspiring a new context for sharing news, conducting business affairs, and even plotting revolution.

Nearby on shelf for Manners and customs (General) / Customs relative to private life: