For the true, blue coffee fanatic who wants to add another unique coffee book to the library.
Positive Product Points
This book will eventually reach collector's status and makes a worthy companion to William H. Ukers "All About Coffee." A large number of color photographs printed on heavy glossy paper.
Negative Product Points
Out of print. Somewhat expensive and the price will only go up. This book will not help anyone improve their espresso.
"Coffee Makers 300 years of art & design" was written by Edward & Joan Bramah. Copyright 1989. ISBN 1870948335. Printed 1995 in Great Britain with a jacket retail price of L 30 (British pounds). Large format book suitable for the coffee table with dimensions of 10"X12" 174 pages and large print.
This is probably a unique book because it documents the history of coffee makers for the last 300 years. The narrative is well written and the pictures are very interesting to see. The inspiration for the book is a collection of coffee makers that the Bramah's have accumulated while in the tea and coffee business since the early 50's. Given the publication date, it is hard to know if the Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum at Butlers Wharf, near Tower Bridge, London still is in existence. It would certainly be worthy of a visit.
Pictures and history are one thing, but Edward Bramah went the extra miles and went through the patent offices to see the actual filings for some of these coffee machines. The result being diagrams with explanation which indicate how some of these crazy looking things actually worked. For the mechanically minded, it could be fascinating. In reading through the book, one can see the evolution of today's coffee machines. Early on, coffee was for the wealthy as evidenced by some of the expensive, ornate hardware created for that class. Aside from some of the unusual external appearances, many of the internals of the various coffee making devices were quite intricate and devised by some very ingenious people.
And the question might be: why should one buy this book? With a copyright of 1989, it becomes more and more obvious to me that we, at the beginnings of the 21st century, are at the start of the golden age of coffee for consumers because of home roasting and the availability of high grade green coffee beans plus the affordable hardware to do what no rich person of a hundred years ago could even come close to duplicating. This book makes me appreciate what we have today, even more so. It then becomes important for the coffee aficiando to understand or have a feeling for the roots of coffee. And these coffee making devices are part of the roots.