Coffee Reads

A selection of coffee-inspired reads for the coffee soul in you

local delights

picks from the island

know your coffee

explore the world of coffee

the barista in you

tips & recipes to make your home brew

a little light reading

quirky reads inspired by coffee

other resources

it's not all about books!

(tip: if you're looking for more books on coffee, browse the call numbers 641.3373 or 641.877 in our collection)

Local Delights

Chope!: The Eccentric Lingoes of Singapore's Kopitiam Culture

Call no.: SING 959.57 TAN

O”, “si”, “kosong”, “siu dai” are familiar lingo in our rich and eclectic kopitiam culture; a mash of dialects and cultures unique to Singapore. Learn the art of ordering teh and kopi in this book of kopitiam lingo.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

La Kopi

Call no.: SING 394.12095957 TAN

Artist Alvin Mark Tan brings you on a discovery journey of Singapore’s coffee through his sketchbook of oils, inks and watercolours.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

One Kopi at a Time : Retracing Singapore's Coffee Culture

Call no.: SING 959.57 TAN

Do you know what goes into making a cup of local brew, or the difference between Nanyang coffee and other types of coffee? Catch a glimpse of Singapore's coffee culture from its Nanyang coffee roots.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Singapore Siu Dai (volumes 1-3)

Call no.: RSING S823 CHE / SING CHE

Felix Cheong takes a satirical view in these short stories of Singapore life, a witty and humorous series based on the hot topics of the everyday Singaporean. Now in its 3rd volume, the series makes for a good coffee companion.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy:

volume 1
volume 2
volume 3

Tiong Bahru : Portraits of History IV : Book 2 (the colour sketches)

Call no.: RSING 743.945957 CHO

In this book by Choo Meng Foo, a collection of colour sketches depicts the neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru, home to many coffee shops and hipster cafés.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

The Top Toast : Ya Kun and the Singapore Breakfast Tradition

Call no.: SING 338.76164795 KOH

Starting from a humble coffee stall in in the 1940s, Ya Kun has become a household name in Singapore. Find out how Adrin Loi, son of the founder, has taken the business further, expanding overseas with more than 50 outlets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Know Your Coffee

Coffee Gives Me Superpowers: An Illustrated Book About the Most Awesome Beverage on Earth

Call no.: English 641.3373 IWA

Inspired by the popular website “I Love Coffee” (, this fully illustrated book provides facts about coffee and caffeine, including the best time to drink coffee and coffee consumption trends in the workplace.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Coffee – Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate

Call no.: English 641.3373 COF

What is your philosophy towards coffee? Sharing the dark and light side of coffee, this book explores the metaphysics, culture, aesthetics and ethics that go into the simple (or not so simple) cup of coffee.

Read it online or visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Joe : The Coffee Book

Call no.: English 641.3373 RUB

Fully illustrated, this beautiful and hip guide brings you into the community of speciality coffee, where coffee is not just about a drink, but also about philosophy and beliefs.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

The Little Coffee Know-It-All : A Guide to Growing, Roasting and Brewing the World's Best Coffee, Uncompromising and Unapologetic

Call no.: English 641.3373 STE

If you think you know all about coffee, think again. With deeper history, techniques, science and tasting guides, get to know the what and whys of coffee in this fun book to know it all.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

The Starbucks Story : How the Brand Changed the World

Did you know the name “Starbucks” came from a character in Moby Dick? Find out how this coffee brand with a Seattle fish market origin has become a global presence today.

This book was originally published in 2004 as 'My Sister's a Barista: How They Made Starbucks a Home Away From Home'.

Read it online.

Tokyo Cafe

Call no.: English 641.33730952 TOK

Explore the cafes of Tokyo from Shibuya to Kagurazaka in this second edition of Tokyo Café, before you embark on a café hunting trip in Tokyo for that cuppa that speaks to you.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

The World Atlas of Coffee : From Beans to Brewing – Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed

Call no.: English 641.3373 HOF

Charting the coffee production of over 35 countries, champion barista and coffee roaster James Hoffmann examines the key factors that influence the taste of coffee, from where the beans come from to how they are brewed.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

The Barista in You

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee : Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes

Call no.: English 641.3373 FRE

One of America’s most celebrated roasters, James Freeman coaches you in the choosing, brewing and enjoyment of the new breed of artisan coffees at home. It comes with over 30 inventive recipes and a step-by-step guide on roasting and cupping.

Read it online or visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Coffee Nerd : How to Have Your Coffee and Drink It Too

Call no.: English 641.3373 BRO

Be a coffee nerd and navigate through the world of coffee. From brewing equipment to recipes and techniques for home-brewing, discover new coffee possibilities.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Coffee : The Home Barista's Guide to Making the Perfect Cup

Call no. English 641.3373 BAN

What can be more satisfying than a well-made and aromatic cup of coffee? This guide book explores all aspects of coffee from the industry and range of beans, to equipment and how to make the best-known coffee at home.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee

Call no.: English 641.877 STE -[COO]

From history and cultural influence to buying and brewing, this book serves as an essential guide for the curious barista in you.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

顶级咖啡师的极致追求. 自家焙煎篇 = Super Barista Book

Call no.: Chinese 641.6373 NAG -[COO]

Learn from some of Japan’s artisan brewers through interviews, their styles and practices in this book.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

花式咖啡拉花制作大全 = Latte Art

Call no.: Chinese 641.877 LAT -[COO]

Learn some of the tips and tricks in creating latte art with more than 60 designs and an illustrated step-by-step guide.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

A Little Light Reading

Brokenomics : 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime

Call no.: English 332.024 GAC -[BIZ]

It’s not just a coffee shop. It’s an experience.”

If you must have your morning brew, here are 50 ways to save money for the things in life, without sacrificing that daily perk-me-up.

Read it online or visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte

Call no.: English KEL -[MY]

Join Tara Holloway, U.S. Treasury’s latest tax investigator as she deals with the country’s richest and dirtiest felons. Crime-fighting is like an artificially sweetened skinny latte...bittersweet.

Read it online or visit our libraries for a physical copy.

Espresso for Your Spirit: Hope and Humor for Pooped-Out Parents

If you’re a parent, recharge with this book of humorous vignettes by Pam Vredevelt. Another similar title by the author includes Espresso for a Woman's Spirit.

Read it online.

Eva, Kopi and Matcha

Call no.: SING 741.595957 NEO

In this humorous book of daily musings, Eva compares the cultural differences between Singapore and Japan through a series of comic narratives of life in the two countries.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

How to Predict the Weather with a Cup of Coffee : And Other Techniques for Surviving the 9-to-5 Jungle

Call no.: English 646.7 COL

Author Matthew Cole’s humorous take on the little tricks and solutions of old, using the laws of science, nature and human behavior, will make life more interesting for your daily routine.

Visit our libraries for a physical copy.

On What Grounds

The first book of Cleo Coyle’s popular Coffeehouse Mystery Series, the series features Carolyn Cosi, manager of Village Blend, a landmark coffeehouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Comes with recipes!

Read it online.

Other Resources

Prefer reading the news? Check out our online archive of Singapore's current and historical newspapers dating all the way back to 1831* at

* For more current news, you may access NLB’s subscribed e-databases, PressReader and Factiva, at

Looking to pair your morning brew with some music sampling? Explore our online archive of digitised Singapore music where you can find music ranging from classical and jazz to xinyao and pop. Find out more at


Compiled by:

Kong Leng Foong

The information in this resource guide is valid as at July 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete listing on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2017.

Written by Kong Leng Foong