Former Marines Michael Haft and Harrison Suarez are thankful to be alive, and they’ve been busy since returning home from Afghanistan. The close friends attended college together, joined the Marines together, fought in Afghanistan together, and returned home safely together.
Their next step?
Write a book about coffee together.
Their brand new book “Perfect Coffee at Home” was released this past week onto the Apple iBookstore and features an immersive and interactive reading experience complete with how-to videos, recipe cards, interactive graphs, and brewing checklists.
The goal of the book, according to Mr. Haft and Mr. Suarez, is to make a lot of information about coffee as accessible as possible, and as approachable and simplified as possible.
Going well beyond brewing methods, the authors detail their journey through coffee, their coffee experience while in the Marines, as well as an entire chapter dedicated to coffee science. In the brewing chapters, the book features seven different brewing methods and the benefits of the e-book format are easy to see. Each brewing section gives a brief history of the device, an interactive graphic explaining the components, a brewing video, and an illustrated recipe card and checklist.
We’ve written a lot about coffee books on Sprudge, but this is the first time we’ve come across a fully interactive e-book, and it’s exciting to see the e-book publishing world and the coffee world finally collide.
I sat down with the authors to learn a bit more.
Why did you decide to write “Perfect Coffee at Home?”
Writing Perfect Coffee at Home was never the plan. Basically, we stumbled into the world of specialty coffee after we had been back from Afghanistan for only a few weeks. We happened to be in the car one day listening to On Point with Tom Ashbrook. The subject was “The Hot Blonde in the Coffee Shop” and the evolution of America’s taste for coffee. For us, coffee had always just been a means to an end; it was always just a way to stay awake. But that podcast inspired us to learn more.
Our situation meant that as relative newcomers to coffee we could write a book about it while still remembering what it feels like to be completely and utterly confused. As in, we still remember those days of wondering “what’s a burr grinder and why does it even matter?” even though these days we’re more interested in fine-tuning our extractions using a refractometer.”
How would you describe the book? What is its purpose?
Perfect Coffee at Home is written as the definitive guide to coffee, and it’s designed to be an immersive reading experience. There are videos, illustrations, checklists, interactive graphics, a caffeine calculator, and even a jazz soundtrack complementing the text.
We wanted this knowledge to be accessible, but we also wanted to connect with people on a deeper level, because coffee is about so much more than just coffee. It’s about community. It’s about connection. It’s about special moments around the table with your family and friends. So we hope this book has a wider appeal because of how many ways you can interact with it.
There are things for newcomers. There are things for experts. And the idea was to communicate the concepts in the simplest way possible.
By choosing to only publish this book digitally, we were able to price it at $4.99. It means that for the price of a (specialty) coffee (in New York), you can learn everything you need to know and have a good time doing it.