Considered by many to be the definitive guide to learning basics around espresso, coffee and tea preparation, Scott Rao's handbook is a comprehensive primer that teaches everything from the theory behind extraction to best practices behind the barista counter.
While some of its focus is on the skills one might need to work as a successful professional barista, it also has a ton of great information that will help you understand how to make a better cup of coffee at home - no matter your tool set!
Ooooh, Science! - There are enough graphs and technical explanations in this book to make the mad scientist in you happy
How-To - There are step-by-step instructions for the different brewing methods, making it a great resource for beginners and coffee veterans alike
Over the Head - This book may go too in-depth for some people
Ease of Use
Overall Value for the Money
How Does it Compare?
This is a great guide for someone wanting to learn the nuances of coffee prep, especially espresso, as it goes more in-depth than other books.
Is there any reason to order this book instead of The Professional Barista's Handbook, other than the fact it's $10 cheaper? Is there any extra detail in this book for non-espresso brewing such as proper grinding, water/coffee ratios, or what have you that's not in the presumably more comprehensive "The Professional Barista's Handbook"??? As a beginner trying to get my grind and ratios right for the Espro Press and Technivorm, with the purchase of an espresso machine being possible 1-2 years down the line, which do you recommend over the other?
The Professional Barista's Handbook: An Expert's Guide to Preparing Espresso, Coffee and Tea
Everything but Espresso: Professional Coffee Brewing Techniques
Best Answer:Mitch, "The Professional Barista's Handbook" has about 64 pages on pulling a shot of espresso, and about 11 pages on drip coffee. While it is very informative in those 11 pages, you'll see that its focused on what an owner of a coffee shop needs to know about making and holding large batches of drip coffee. All good stuff, but not what a home drip coffee make needs to know.
"Everything But Espresso" is focused solely on drip coffee include grind and extraction ratios, heck even a section on bed shape of the grounds.
Frankly, the books don't overlap that much. I'd recommend everything but espresso now, and if you decide to get an expresso machine in the future, then get the professional barista's handbook.
Hi Mitch, The majority of Professionals Barista's Handbook covers topics specific to espresso. There is a small chapter on drip and another on french press. Everything but espresso covers a wide range of subjects and the chapters include: Introduction to Coffee Extraction, Grinding, Filters, Fines and Flavor Clarity, Coffee Brewing Control Chart, Reading the Shape of Spent Grounds, Automatic Drip, Manual Drip, French Press and Eva Solo Cafe Solo, Steep-asd-Release Brewing, Vacuum Pot (Siphon) Coffee, Water Chemistry. It doesn't specifically cover the Espro Press and Technovorm. For you I would recommend Everything but expresso.
I haven't read Everything But Espresso, but I have read The Professional Barista's Handbook, and basically the entire thing is about pulling a good shot of Espresso. Brewed coffee is touched on only lightly at the end and doesn't include anything about pour over or ratios, instead being tuned for a cafe owner's half-gallon coffee urn needs. It includes such gems as "brew coffee every thirty minutes."
If you aren't brewing espresso you won't get a lot out of it.