Free (or Near Free) Information

Ok, so I seem to get asked this question alot so I figured why not write a full blog post about it on my website and then I can just send people here for from now on.

People want to know where to find information about the coffee, and I happen to know where to find a lot of that information. So lets get started:

***Oh yeah, after adding a bunch of material to the roasting section, it became apparent I needed to add this disclaimer (which particularly applies to the roasting material but also the other sections to a lesser extent!!!). Just because I recommend certain information, it does not imply that wholeheartedly I agree with everything voiced by said source. Roasting, in particular, is both science and intuition, there’s a lot of good information out there, but a lot of those answers are just leading to more and more questions that we don’t know the answer to yet. You still need to be aware of the different methodologies currently being used by the industry. If for no other reason, than at least to try it and know that it doesn’t work for you***



The Professional Barista's Handbook: An Expert Guide to Preparing Espresso, Coffee, and Tea First Edition Edition. Scott Roa. The first really really good book I read that was written specifically for baristas. I think its about 10 years old at this point but I still see a lot of people using the guidelines in this book ( as well as a lot of people violating of the guidelines in this book :< ).

Everything But Espresso. Scott Rao: A concise, informative book about brewing coffee. Includes information about troubleshooting your brewed coffee, water composition, cleaning and maintaining equipment, etc.

The Coffee Cuppers Handbook or Basics of Cupping Coffee by Ted R. Lingle: Need to read and practice pretty much everything in this book if you want to have a career in coffee.


Cat and Cloud Podcast: Honestly, this podcast has been hard for me to keep listening to in the past 6 months or so (about when they opened their coffee shop) but you can go way back to the beginning and learn basically everything you’ll ever need to know about opening a specialty coffee shop from these guys. They are smart and very open about their opinions. Specifically, their episode with Jen Apodeca was outstanding, but really, with these guys, there’s really no excuse to not just start at the beginning and listen all the way through.

Shop Owning:


Everything But Espresso by Scott Rao: Important for shop owners too.


Cat and Cloud Podcast: For reasons cited above.

Coffee is Me Podcast : Weird name but super great info. There’s stuff about opening a shop, creating espresso blends, roasting coffee, promoting your brand, running a successful kickstarter campaign, etc.... It’s all relevant and important.

Keys to the Shop: Ooph… this one is dry and hard to listen to. Which is unfortunate because it is packed with really, really great information. But boy, howdy, it feels like homework. Do your best.



Everything But Espresso by Scott Rao: Also good for roasters.

The Coffee Cuppers Handbook or Basics of Cupping Coffee by Ted R. Lingle See above.

The Coffee Roaster’s Handbook. Scott Rao. Well, if you weren’t aware. This is a very controversial book. Scott put a lot of stuff out there and drew very definitive lines in the sand. Some of it I agree with, some of it I don’t. Regardless, however, I 100% believe that if you want to be a competent roaster, you need to read this book and you need to implement the principles in it. Then, you have to decide if the product has improved or not. If you cant decide, then do it again until you can decide. It’s a simple yet very involved process but there’s just no other way of growing as a coffee roaster.

Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee. Rob Hoos. I would rate this one as maybe a… 7/10. Its got some good stuff but .. idk… its also quite difficult to put what he says into practice (which is why I struggle to fully recommend it). Last year, I took a roasting class by this guy at an SCA event and the class had so much good information. It was a total crash course in coffee roasting, and I learned a ton. Which makes it so unfortunate the book wasn’t quite that.


Coffee is Me Podcast (again): For all the reason cited above. The one with Gwilym Davies is perhaps one of the best coffee related podcasts I’ve ever listened to, it’s a 3 parts series though, so listen to all 3.

Cat and Cloud Podcast: The one with Scott Rao has some really good stuff.

Keys to the Shop: Specifically go find the one with Rob Hoos. Tons of good roasting info.

Coffee Roasting Navigated Podcast: Short and great. No reason at all to not listen all the way through.

The Exchange Podcast: Also a short but very informative podcast about coffee roasting. It is a little insidery, but for coffee roasters its all good stuff. 10/10


Roaster School Online by Millcity Roasters .

I’m going to come back to this and add a bit more later. There’s also some pretty good trade magazines I can recommend. But just doing this took me around 2 hours. Hope it helps someone out there!!!