Reviews

  • Wonderful, energising ... Coffeeland is a data-rich piece of original research that shows in compelling detail how coffee capitalism has delivered both profit and pain, comfort and terror to different people at different times over the past 200 years ... Sedgwick's great achievement is to clothe macroeconomics in warm, breathing flesh.

    Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian
  • Thoroughly engrossing ... his literary gifts and prodigious research make for a deeply satisfying reading experience studded with narrative surprise. Sedgewick has a knack for the sparkling digression and arresting jump cut, hopping back and forth between El Salvador and the wider world.

    Michael Pollan, The Atlantic
  • Both a curio-shop of forgotten snippets of history and quirky facts - who knew mocha was so called because it was shipped out of a Yemeni port of the same name? - as well as a theory of the modern world ... there is much here to entertain, educate and - dare one say it of a book about coffee - stimulate.

    David Pilling, Financial Times
  • Sedgewick's gripping book exposes the dark heart of what goes into making a ubiquitous commodity, cherished every morning, enshrined in the workplace and appreciated after a meal. It provides a devastating answer to the question: 'What does it mean to be connected to faraway people and places through everyday things?'

    Colin Greenwood, The Spectator
  • An erudite and engrossing socioeconomic history ... With a forensic grasp of detail, Sedgewick charts the rise of mass-marketing and modern retail strategies through the story of the humble coffee bean ... Yet Coffeeland's poignant message runs wider still. Ultimately, the story of coffee, today's 'unrivaled work drug', is also the story of globalisation.

    Oliver Balch, Literary Review
  • Many fascinating details... Mr Sedgewick's book is a parable of how a commodity can link producers, consumers, markets and politics in unexpected ways. Like the drink it describes, it is an eye-opening, stimulating brew.

    The Economist
  • [A] beautifully written, engaging and sprawling portrait of how coffee made modern El Salvador, while it also helped to remake consumer habits worldwide.

    New York Times
  • It's a rich and complex story and the book is full of glances at the history of the times ... This is a staggeringly well-researched piece of work.

    Roger Alton, Daily Mail
  • Impressive ... People and food as much as coffee itself are the focus of Sedgewick's concern and the nexus of some of the most surprising connections in Coffeeland ... A powerful indictment of labour relations in El Salvador and capitalism in general.

    Judith Hawley, Times Literary Supplement
  • Informed and entertaining ... Coffeeland is thoroughly researched and Sedgewick is a stylish writer.

    Ed Cumming, i newspaper