We just love Hanna Neuschwander's new book, out next week by Timber Press and titled “Left Coast Roast: A Guide To The Best Coffee And Roasters From San Francisco To Seattle.” Neuschwander's book is a complete guide to Northern California and Pacific Northwest coffee roasters, both large and small, from Seattle's Best Coffee to Kuma, Boyd's to Heart. Left Coast Roast also includes around 90 pages of top notch coffee primer material, offering succinct definitions to coffee terminology (“Direct Trade” and others) while providing invaluable, easily-to-reference guides to international growing seasons, processing methods, and brew methods.
The book manages to be introductory and authoritative at the same time, no small feat considering the breadth of Ms. Neuschwander's subject matter – the 90 page primer that begins the book should be required reading, and not just for West Coast coffee types. Also worth noting: Left Coast Roast is an absolutely beautiful printed object, stunningly designed by Timber's Breanna Goodrow and rife with lively, playful illustrations by Allison Berg and Ryan Bush. Sprudge was lucky enough to score an early copy of LCR, and seriously, it's a playground of information and art.
Hanna Neuscwhander is currently the Director of Communication for the graduate school at Portland's Lewis and Clark College, and she has extensive experience on all sides of the specialty coffee journalistic equation: as a barista (she helped open Portland cafe Extracto), as a contributor to Portland Monthly and Wilamette Week, and as a travel guide editor. Her publishing process for Left Coast Roast was remarkably swift: all the writing and research was completed in a period of 5 months, a breakneck clip considering that she interviewed and profiled more than 50 unique roasters total for the project.
“People love coffee,” Ms. Neuschwander told us, “and this book is meant as a way to hold their hand toward loving it even more.” Lucky Portlanders can get their hands on a physical copy of Left Coast Roast this coming Monday, August 27th at the official Left Coast Roast launch party, hosted by Spirit of 77 (500 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, PDX). Look for more with Hanna at the upcoming Feast PDX event, Portland's annual Wordstock festival, and elsewhere this fall. Watch the Left Coast Roast website and follow @hneuschwander on Twitter for updates.