The first comprehensive business and social history of coffee, from the author of the widely acclaimed For God, Country and Coca-Cola From its discovery in ancient Ethiopia to its role as a millennial elixir in the Age of Starbucks, coffee has ...
has dominated and molded the economies, politics, and social structures of entire countries. The second most valuable exported legal commodity on earth, it has sparked revolutions, romances, business deals, and friendships. Uncommon Grounds traces the journey of coffee from its origins on tropical mountainsides cultivated by poor laborers to the coffee bars of the United States, Europe, and Japan, where cosmopolitan consumers pay half a day's Third World wages for one good cup. Pendergrast's scrupulously researched and lively anecdotal history provides a window through which to view broader themes of modern-day media and marketing, the rise of mass production, colonialism, women's issues, and international commodity schemes.