Reveals the shocking exploitation that has always lurked at the heart of the industry.
Antony Wild isn't kidding. The history of coffee is indeed as "dark," as his subtitle puts it, as the cup of Colombian that sits on my desk as these words are written. Himself a coffee lover and an expert on the subject -- he worked for more than a decade as the buyer for a prestigious British specialty-coffee company -- Wild is nonetheless no sentimentalist when it comes to the human and natural toll the bean has extracted -- "poverty, violence, exploitation, environmental devastation, political oppression, and corruption" -- nor to the threats that caffeine poses to the health of those who consume it. As he writes, with the wry touch that makes his book a pleasure: