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by Stewart Lee Allen


“Essential reading for foodies, java-junkies, anthropologists, and anyone else interested in funny, sardonically told adventure stories.” —Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential

Full of historical insights and laced with humor, The Devil’s Cup is not only a history of coffee, but a travelogue of a risk-taking seeker.

In this captivating book, Stewart Lee Allen treks three-quarters of the way around the world on a caffeinated quest to answer these profound ques-tions: Did the advent of coffee give birth to an enlightened western civili-zation? Is coffee, indeed, the substance that drives history? From the cliff-hanging villages of Southern Yemen, where coffee beans were first cultivat-ed eight hundred years ago, to a cavernous coffeehouse in Calcutta, the drinking spot for two of India's three Nobel Prize winners . . . from Parisi-an salons and cafés where the French Revolution was born, to the roadside diners and chain restaurants of the good ol' USA, where something resem-bling brown water passes for coffee, Allen wittily proves that the world was wired long before the Internet. And those who deny the power of cof-fee (namely tea-drinkers) do so at their own peril.

Praise for The Devil’s Cup “Absolutely riveting . . . Essential reading for foodies, java-junkies, anthro-pologists, and anyone else interested in funny, sardonically told adventure stories.”—Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential

“Hugely entertaining and thoroughly edifying.” —Dave Eggers, author of The Monk of Mokha

“Stewart Lee Allen is the Hunter S. Thompson of coffee, offering a wild, caffeinated, gonzo tour of the World of the Magic Bean. His wry, adven-turous prose delights, astonishes, amuses, and informs.” —Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds

“Allen's endless stream of coffee-related stories—from hunting down the French coffee prophet De Clieu's sole living relative to seeing the Whirling Dervishes perform in a Turkish basketball stadium—makes for a fascinat-ing read.”—The Austin Chronicle

Stewart Lee Allen's books on how food and drink shape human society have been translated into 15 languages. He currently lives in Manhattan.

US publication (new edition): December 2018

UK: Canongate

China: Guangdong People’s Publishing

Turkey: Kitap Yayinevi

Korea: Imago

Italy: Feltrinelli

Taiwan: China Times

Finland: Werner Soderstrom

Israel: Kinneret


US paperback: Ballantine

Germany: Campus Verlag

Spain: Oceano

France: Editions Noir Sur Blanc

Netherlands: Uitgeverij de Boekerij

Latvia: Janice Roze