Coffee coffee table book was a great impulse buy

Coffee coffee table book was a great impulse buy


Title: Coffee Gives Me Superpowers
Author: Ryoko Iwata
Price: $9.99 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781449460839

I'm like you, in that I don't think internet advertising works on me.

I'm like you in that I am completely wrong about that — most internet advertising does not work on me, but there is good, cleverly crafted stuff that works on me.

I'm also like you in that if I have had a drink or two I am capable of exercising poor judgment.

There are other ways that I am like you, but you already know about those because of all of those poems I keep putting in your locker.

So, thanks to the insidiously clever nature of marketing on the internet, I was pleasantly surprised when the new book by Ryoko Iwata called Coffee: It Gives Me Superpowers showed up on my doorstep — or my kitchen floor, really, shoved through my mail slot.

I had completely forgotten I ordered it when Matthew Inman (arter and writist of The Oatmeal and the upcoming game Exploding Kittens) pimped it on his page, as he is a contributor to the book.

These sorts of things happen occasionally. One day a Tom Waits shirt showed up which I had apparently acquired via an Facebook ad after, appropriately, enjoying a few whiskies at some dive with friends.

The book was pre-ordered soberly but offhandedly via Amazon's insidious 1-click, which I had neglected to turn off on my new phone when I installed everything.

It was so easy and thoughtless, and it is not an expensive book; the absolute definition of an impulse buy.

Barely more electrical activity happened in my brain to make this purchase than was absolutely necessary to make my thumb move and tap the screen.

I am here to tell you why you should, with planning and forethought, seek out this coffee book for your coffee table.

Ryoko Iwata is, by her own description, "A caffeinated Japanese lady living in Seattle." She writes a popular design-centered coffee blog called I Love Coffee at, and it is all far less cutesy than it sounds.

The book is built around Iwata's knack for graphic design which is very much in line with what you'll find in Inman's The Oatmeal.

The layout of the book is super friendly for causal browsing by friends who you imagine might one day visit your house and sit on your couch with time to do such things; I imagine many coffeehouses will buy this to leave out in their common spaces amongst other reading material.

It's small enough, colorful enough and funny enough that it will probably be among the first things stolen.

The book is 93 pages full of really interesting trivia and factoids about coffee, presented in graphs, charts, cartoons and in whatever other interesting ways that Iwata can frame them.

Topics include: When You Should Put Coffee In Your Face (based on science and when your body will most benefit from the boost; spoiler: it isn't first thing in the morning or even before 9 a.m.), Is Coffee A Bean Or A Fruit?, The Six Worst Types Of Coffee Drinkers, and so on. The book finishes with a poem by Iwata called "If Coffee Were My Boyfriend," illustrated by Inman.

All in all, the book sounds like it could be as insipid as a sincerely presented "Hang In There!" kitten poster, but Iwata never even skirts the edge of too-cute with her actually interesting facts and intelligent perspective accessible to coffee lovers either novice or expert.

She dispenses with coffee snob pretense and creates a really entertaining, beautiful little book that I guarantee you'll learn something from whether you're a coffee apprentice or full Jedi.

I'll be writing next week about my visit to the in progress space at Monroe Coffee Roasters.

Their public space is just about to go under real construction, and I'm very excited about how their very different offering will augment what's available in ICT.

In the meantime, their subscription and mail-order coffee service are up and running, so you can bring their excellent wares home right now. Visit them at