Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed the World

By Mark Pendergrast

Favorite Quotes:

- "The aroma is familiar and obvious enough - that fragrance that often promises more than the taste delivers. Body refers to the feel or "weight" of the coffee in the mouth, how it rolls around the tongue and fills the throat on the way down. Acidity refers to a sparkle, a brightness, a tang that adds zest to the cup. Finally, flavor is the evanescent, subtle taste that explodes in the mouth, then lingers as a gustatory memory." - pg xvi

- "So important did the brew become in Turkey that a lack of sufficient coffee provided grounds for a woman to seek a divorce." - pg 7

- "They came to be known as penny universities, because for that price one could purchase a cup of coffee and sit for hours listening to extraordinary conversations -or, asa 1657 newspaper advertisement put it, "PUBLICK INTERCOURSE." . . . "The coffeehouses provided England's first egalitarian meeting place, where a man was expected to chat with his stablemates whether he knew them or not." - pg 12

- "Wherever it has been introduced it has spelled revolution. It has been the world's most radical drink in that its function has always been to make people think. And when the people begin to think, they become dangerous to tyrants." pg 17

- "It wasn't enough simply to employ people. 'You love them, you love their families, you are part of them.'" - pg 126

- "Our judgement concerning the worth of things, big or little, depend on the feelings the things arouse in us." - pg 128

- "I believe the only way to conquer is to walk where the battle rages most fiercely, and fight, fight, fight until you win." (Alice Foote MacDougall) - pg 131

- "There have been many other extraordinary outcomes from the cooperation of roasters and growers. Paul Katzeff sells Delicious Peace, coffee grown on a Ugandan cooperative consisting of Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Community Coffee of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, convicted the feuding Colombian towns of Toledo and Labateca to work together to produce a great blend high in the Andes." - pg 358