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  1. #1
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    Writing a coffee book - what would you like to see?

    Hey everyone,

    My name is Colin Mansfield and I'm new to Coffee Forums but glad to be a part of the community. I've been running BoiseCoffee.org since 2009 and have enjoyed learning about coffee and meeting tons of people in that time. Recently, I've started writing a book that I'm calling The Beginners Guide to Excellent Coffee. It will be a self-published ebook that I'm planning on distributing from my own website. In it, I'm hoping to encourage people to ditch their Keurig and daily visits to Starbucks in favor of brewing coffee at home. I've done the math, and if you follow a few guidelines you can actually save hundreds of dollars a year by doing this. My hope is that the layman will develop a love for coffee - if only to save money - and that the experienced brewer will learn a thing or two as well.

    The book will describe what makes specialty coffee the best out there, and different ways you can brew it. I will also touch on home roasting, trusting in interviews from friends that have practiced this themselves.

    I'm writing this to ask you what you would hope to find out of a book like this? What are good tips and tricks that I should mention? What am I missing? Any and all feedback is welcome.

    If you want to learn more about the book, please go here: bit.ly/BoiseCoffeeBook
    Sign up for my email list at that link and I will make sure I get you the book at a discount when it launches.

    Thank you, and I look forward to hearing your notes!

    Colin

  2. #2
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    i would like to see different way to brew coffee. Not just drip but all the different ways. their pros and cons to each method. Also type of roast. Not just oily dark roast which most of the people think that is the best way to have coffee but light to medium roast to bring out the best flavor from each region. I think also interview artisan roaster and their special experiences with roasting I think maybe start the book with history of coffee. How people actually roasted coffee in Africa verse how we roast these days. ... lol ...Sorry for the long post....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeJunky View Post
    i would like to see different way to brew coffee. Not just drip but all the different ways. their pros and cons to each method. Also type of roast. Not just oily dark roast which most of the people think that is the best way to have coffee but light to medium roast to bring out the best flavor from each region. I think also interview artisan roaster and their special experiences with roasting I think maybe start the book with history of coffee. How people actually roasted coffee in Africa verse how we roast these days. ... lol ...Sorry for the long post....
    Thank you so much for the reply! I am planning on including several interviews with coffee shop owners, home roasters, baristas, and coffee bloggers. A history of coffee would be a great idea as well. Thank you for the idea to include a section about different roast types - I'll make sure that makes it in. It's crazy how people typically associate dark coffee with more caffeine when that's simply not true!

    Have a good one!

  4. #4
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    I think actually artisan roaster have more intriguing stories about their experiences. For example, one of the roaster on this site said, he had to twig few different ways roast one particular beans to bring out that blueberry flavor he was looking for. When i heard it, that really blew my mind. I am a home coffee roaster and I just roast same way with different beans. I think some people will appreciate art of roasting and hopefully they will see what we see in coffee.....

  5. #5
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    Good call, I'll definitely look into it. Do you have any recommendations for who I can approach on here to interview? This place sounds like a great resource.

  6. #6
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    i think they all know who I am shelling out here... hahahaha.. If you love high quality specialty coffee, this is the right place. I can name many on here who would rather not have coffee then drink staled, over roasted and awful tasting coffee. some call them Stalebucks. lol

  7. #7
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    Hello BoiseCoffee (Colin)

    Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

    It's interesting that you're writing a book about coffee, and it's great that you came to the Coffee Forums for some suggestions. We have a lot of experienced members who regularly share their insight and knowledge on this Forum.

    When you read through the topic areas and observe some of the responses, you will realize that some people know their craft, and some people pretend to know much more than they actually do. It may be wise to spend some time reading people's responses and then select a couple of people to approach for an interview. (In a private message through this Forum)

    Have you read any other books about coffee? Are you trying to do something that's different?

    You seemed very open to CoffeeJunky's suggestion about including a section on different roast types. I'm thinking that you would have considered that topic a long time ago. Are you just gettng started with your writing?

    When I read books about coffee, I usually skip through the "interviews" and go right to the topic areas. I'm not interested in reading about how someone started roasting coffee, or the struggles that they had building their business, or what inspired them, etc. I want to know what's worked, and what's not worked without wasting my time reading through a lot of jibberish. Interesting stores about "lessons learned" may be the exception, but sometimes those are long winded and a waste of time.

    As CoffeeJunky mentioned, it would be nice to include instructions, photos, etc. about how to brew coffee in different ways. People come to this Forum asking questions about how to brew coffee (French press, Moka Pot, Drip, Pour-over, etc.) and it's always handy to have the information all in one place.

    Best wishes and happy writing!

    Rose

  8. #8
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    PinkRose - it's an honor to have you comment! Thanks for the suggestions and thoughts.

    When you read through the topic areas and observe some of the responses, you will realize that some people know their craft, and some people pretend to know much more than they actually do. It may be wise to spend some time reading people's responses and then select a couple of people to approach for an interview. (In a private message through this Forum)
    Great point. CoffeeJunky sent me a private message with some leads for people that have been around the forums for a while. When it comes time to do some interviews, I will reach out and see what I can glean from their experience.

    Have you read any other books about coffee? Are you trying to do something that's different?
    Yes, and yes! My purpose for this book is to directly address the preponderance of poor coffee that is being widely adopted today (I'll be looking at three types specifically: k-cups and the like, Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/widespread chains, and commodity coffee like Folgers). While I will discuss what it takes to get coffee from the field to your cup in the broad sense, I am not looking to rehash information that others have provided in longer, better researched books. Instead, my plan is to write a succinct book about how brewing specialty coffee in your home is smarter, better for the environment, and can be much cheaper than more popular options. To date, I haven't seen a book that looks specifically at this. Some blog posts and articles, but no books.

    You seemed very open to CoffeeJunky's suggestion about including a section on different roast types. I'm thinking that you would have considered that topic a long time ago. Are you just gettng started with your writing?
    I wanted to express my thanks to CoffeeJunky for throwing out their ideas. I had already considered writing about roasting types, coffee varieties, along with what "coffee lingo" terms actually mean: things like "shade grown," "fair trade," and the like. I want this book to be friendly for newcomers and experienced coffee professionals alike. Some sections may be "skippable" for folks like you, but defining terms is very helpful for newcomers to coffee.

    While I am by no means an expert in all things coffee, I have been writing on the topic since 2009. Prior to that, I worked at a small coffee shop for about a year (what started my coffee journey). Are there people better equipped to write this book? Probably. But that's not going to stop me. I am an entrepreneur and plan on pursuing this book with passion and resolve. As Richard Branson says, "successful people start before they're ready."

    When I read books about coffee, I usually skip through the "interviews" and go right to the topic areas. I'm not interested in reading about how someone started roasting coffee, or the struggles that they had building their business, or what inspired them, etc. I want to know what's worked, and what's not worked without wasting my time reading through a lot of jibberish. Interesting stores about "lessons learned" may be the exception, but sometimes those are long winded and a waste of time.
    The interviews that I include will be focused around the section for that book. For example, I may follow the section about brew methods with an interview of an AeroPress competition winner about how they came up with their method. The section about roasting will be followed by an interview with someone who has spent years perfecting their roasting style. I too want to know "what worked and what's not worked" and don't care for extraneous information. Thank you for your feedback!

    I am going to sell the book in different packages. The "basic" package will include just the book, in a variety of formats for various devices (ePub and PDF primarily). The "premium" package will cost a little more but will include video tutorials and possibly audio interviews/podcasts with other coffee professionals. The idea is to give people added value, if they want it.

    Thank you again for taking the time to give me your valuable feedback! If you have any other ideas please keep sending them my way.

    Colin
    @BoiseCoffee on Twitter
    BoiseCoffee.org
    bit.ly/BoiseCoffeeBook

 

 

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