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15 Essential Books for Coffee Shop Owners

Books for Coffee Shop Owners

Let's face it, running your own coffee shop isn't easy. Even though it's a labor of love, there are so many moving parts that need to come together at the end of the day to make things run smoothly. 

These essential books for coffee shop owners will help bring insight to various aspects of the operation whether it's brewing or official business.

Quick Summary

Don't have time to scroll through this whole post? Here's a quick list of all the books we picked:

Essential Books for Coffee Shop Owners

The Coffee Dictionary by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood

The Coffee Dictionary: An A-Z of coffee, from growing & roasting to brewing & tasting (Coffee Lovers Gifts, Gifts for Coffee Lovers, Coffee Shop Books)

This book is subtitled "An A-Z of coffee, from growing and roasting to brewing and tasting." Its handy size and digestible presentation makes it an ideal reference for the busy entrepreneur.

It contains more than 200 entries covering terms and techniques, beans and roasts, and equipment and methods, accompanied with colorful illustrations and artwork.

What I Know About Running Coffee Shops by Colin Harmon

What I Know About Running Coffee Shops


This is arguably the best-known book on this list. What makes this book special is that its author narrates from his own experience building the Dublin-based 3fe Coffee.

The book lets you in on the story of how he started with a coffee cart and turned it into the world-famous establishment it has become. 

The book contains a lot of practical insights too, such as pricing, customer relations, staffing, and marketing. 

Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business


Unlike the books featured above, this one addresses topics not specific to running a coffee shop, but is an essential guide to anyone planning to run any business in the hospitality field, coffee shops included.

The book was written by restaurateur Danny Meyer, famous for restaurants like Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, and Shake Shack. His thesis is simple yet often taken for granted: the key to the success of such business is hospitality. 

The Founder's Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman

The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup (The Kauffman Foundation Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 13)


This book addresses the fears of the apprehensive businessman, regardless of the type and the size of the business they run. 

It answers the beginner's common questions such as, should they go alone or with partners, how much capital should they put in, and other early decisions that make or break their business.

This is an excellent source for coffee shop owners as it tackles the side of things that compliments good coffee and pastry, prudent management.

The Daily Grind: How to Open & Run a Coffee Shop that Makes Money by Andrew & Claire Bowen

The Daily Grind: How to open & run a coffee shop that makes money


There's no denying the risk of opening a coffee shop. Unfortunately, most of them fail very soon after opening for any number of reasons.

This book was written to prevent that from happening to your dream business. In this book, you'll find advice on how to choose the right location, hire the best baristas, and even ideas on what to sell in your shop.

Who are Andrew and Claire Bowen to give you all these recommendations? They're successful coffee shop owners who were able to open three outlets. You can trust that the book is packed with expert advice. 

How to Open a Financially Successful Coffee, Espresso & Tea Shop

How to Open a Financially Successful Coffee, Espresso & Tea Shop: With Companion CD-ROM


This book by Elizabeth Godsmark is a very practical manual for anyone who wants to start a coffee shop business. 

The book includes topics such as business forms, contracts, worksheets, and checklists. Everything you need to know from planning, running, and the day-to-day operations is answered in this book. It even includes sample menus, recipes, inventory, and floor plans. 

The templates needed for a successful and profitable coffee shop can be found in this book.

Pour Your Heart into it by Howard Schultz

Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time


One cannot speak of successful American coffee shops without mentioning Starbucks. In this book, former Starbucks CEO and now chairman emeritus Howard Schultz tells one of the most amazing business stories.

The books tells of Starbucks' beginnings as a single store in Seattle, to how it has crossed over and became the world's biggest chain of coffee shops.

The biggest takeaway a coffee shop owner can gain from this book is how passion can be profitable. 

Read Also: What Makes a Coffee Shop Successful? 10 Must-Have Habits for Success

Coffee Obsession: More Than 100 Tools and Techniques with Inspiration Projects to Make by Anette Moldvaer

Coffee Obsession: More Than 100 Tools and Techniques with Inspirational Projects to Make


No matter which country your coffee shop is located in, you should keep in mind that your country is far from the only one that produces coffee on a mass scale. Coffee is an integral part of cultures all around the world. 

There are hundreds of brewing techniques, equipment, and types of coffee that you've likely never even heard of. This book sets out to describe many of them to you.

You'll take a journey around the world, discovering various styles and techniques from other nations. There's even detailed guides on how to make an assortment drinks. It may give you ideas for things you can add to the menu in your own shop.

Wake up and Smell the Profit by John Richardson & Hugh Gilmartin

Wake up and smell the profit: 2nd edition


This book is a collection of insights from two of the UK's top coffee business gurus. It's witty, funny, but authoritative and comprehensive at the same time. 

The book promises great ideas on helping you make more money while working less, making your customers happy, and running your coffee shop more enjoyably.

The most valuable insight a coffee shop owner can get out of this book is how to make customers rave about their shop so that they bring in more customers and make the business more profitable.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting and Running a Coffee Bar

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting And Running A Coffeebar


This book written by three authors (Linda Formichelli, W. Eric Martin, and Susan Gilbert) is exactly as its title suggests: a complete idiot's guide. 

It's ideal for those who have always dreamed of starting their own coffee shops, but do not quite know how to begin. 

This step-by-step guide shows what it's like to work behind the counter, creating a business plan, brewing your beverage, and pricing them, all written in layman's language.

Related Post: Coffee Shop Sales Ideas (10 Exciting Ideas for Your Sales)

Espresso! by Joe Monaghan and Julie Sheldon Huffaker

Espresso! Starting And Running Your Own Coffee Business


This A-Z guide offers tips and tricks on how to start your own specialty coffee business.

It contains valuable information that's difficult to find anywhere else - how you can start with a capital of as low as $15,000, finding the best location, dealing with suppliers, marketing your business, hiring the right people, and most importantly, brewing delicious coffee.

The New Community Rules by Tamar Weinberg

The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web


One of the most crucial aspects of managing a coffee shop, or any business for that matter, is marketing. It is made even easier and less expensive today because of social media. 

This book explains how to start an online presence and how to leverage it to keep the customers coming. It explains web jargon and shows through case studies how blogging, microblogging, Twitter, and Facebook can all be used to create brand awareness.

This is definitely a must-read for any business owner.

Start and Run a CoFfee Bar By Tom Matzen

Start and Run a Coffee Bar (Start & Run a)


Coffee shops these days have become not just places to literally buy coffee, but have transformed into the choice of a local hangout. A coffee shop owners needs to understand and use that to their advantage, says this book.

This book addresses that side of things, making your coffee shop an ideal place for people to linger while sipping a cappuccino. It has an extensive section on designing your shop's interior, picking the right furniture, and playing the perfect music.

It also includes other essentials such as financial management and creating a marketing plan.

The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman

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


This book is a very informative reference to anyone that's interested to find out more about any aspect of coffee.

James Hoffman, 2007 World Barista Champion and author of this book, comprehensively covers all aspects of coffee from growing to tasting.

It's an end-to-end guide for anyone starting to take an interest in coffee. It can also be placed in your coffee shop bookshelves for customers to read a page or two of while they're hanging out.

The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee by Tristan Stephenson

The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee


Coffee is a beloved beverage with far-reaching historical roots. While the average barista knows how to whip up a quick latte or cappuccino, they likely don't know as much about the historical importance of the drinks they're making.

The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee can fill you in on all the fascinating background you might not know about. On top of teaching you about the origins of coffee, this book even has a handful of recipes you can test in your shop.

At the very least, this could be an excellent training resource for your baristas. Consider keeping it on your shop's bookshelf if you keep books in your business.

Wrap Up

It's never a wise idea to assume you know everything about a subject. Even experts need to return to basics sometimes to sharpen their skills. 

The books on this list are perfect for those who are just starting to think about opening a coffee shop and those who already have a coffee shop alike. Books are the best teachers - they allow you to learn at your own pace and on your own time. 

Don't stop with just books, though. If you need more help running your business, consider checking out our post on coffee shop promotion ideas.

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