A very nice and easy read - detailed, but not excessively challenging; filled with facts and anecdotes. Fantastic review on how the wonderful brew degraded and weakened over the 20th century, until the rise of the local and chain specialty coffee shop.
Negative Product Points
Agreed with Mark, as a Canadian this is a very US-centric book, although that is likely the largest market for it anyway. Published in 1999, it has not been updated at all, given the ongoing rise of Starbucks and the emergence of Seattle's Best, etc., etc.
This is a really fun read, and I've enjoyed the book immensly. I am rereading it as we speak and really enjoy the history of the spread of the bean from Africa, the global trade, and the ongoing history of the brew in North America.
He traces the history in several main sections - the first following the spread of the coffee bean throughout the world; the second tracking the spread of popularity, including across the American West, through the first canning of coffee; the third tracking the watering down of coffee in most households due to mass marketing, television and investigation by Congress into American coffee prices; and finally, the last, detailing in nearly 100 pages the rise of Starbucks from a small, single coffee house in Seattle to the boom of the specialty cafe.
Also of note is that he tries to educate - there is a (correct) recipie for making coffee in a press pot. Used copies available on both amazon.com / amazon.ca and on ebay.