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From the internationally bestselling author of The Wedding Officer comes a novel whose stunning blend of exotic adventure and erotic passion will intoxicate every reader who tastes of its remarkable delights. When a woman gives a man coffee, it is a way of showing her desire.—Abyssinian proverb It was a cup of coffee that changed Robert Wallis’s life—and a cup of veFrom the internationally bestselling author of The Wedding Officer comes a novel whose stunning blend of exotic adventure and erotic passion will intoxicate every reader who tastes of its remarkable delights. When a woman gives a man coffee, it is a way of showing her desire.—Abyssinian proverb It was a cup of coffee that changed Robert Wallis’s life—and a cup of very bad coffee at that. The impoverished poet is sitting in a London coffeehouse contemplating an uncertain future when he meets Samuel Pinker. The owner of Castle Coffee offers Wallace the very last thing a struggling young artiste in fin de siècle England could possibly want: a job.But the job Wallis accepts—employing his palate and talent for words to compose a “vocabulary of coffee†based on its many subtle and elusive flavors—is only the beginning of an extraordinary adventure in which Wallis will experience the dizzying heights of desire and the excruciating pain of loss. As Wallis finds himself falling hopelessly in love with his coworker, Pinker’s spirited suffragette daughter Emily, both will discover that you cannot awaken one set of senses without affecting all the others.Their love is tested when Wallis is dispatched on a journey to North Africa in search of the legendary Arab mocca. As he travels to coffee’s fabled birthplace—and learns the fiercely guarded secrets of the trade—Wallis meets Fikre, the defiant, seductive slave of a powerful coffee merchant, who serves him in the traditional Abyssinian coffee ceremony. And when Fikre dares to slip Wallis a single coffee bean, the mysteries of coffee and forbidden passion intermingle…and combine to change history and fate....

Title : The Various Flavors of Coffee
Author :
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ISBN : 9780553807325
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 560 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Various Flavors of Coffee Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    2018-10-01 17:59

    Rating: 3.875* of fiveThe Publisher Says: From the internationally bestselling author of The Wedding Officer comes a novel whose stunning blend of exotic adventure and erotic passion will intoxicate every reader who tastes of its remarkable delights.When a woman gives a man coffee, it is a way of showing her desire.—Abyssinian proverbIt was a cup of coffee that changed Robert Wallis’s life—and a cup of very bad coffee at that. The impoverished poet is sitting in a London coffeehouse contemplating an uncertain future when he meets Samuel Pinker. The owner of Castle Coffee offers Wallace the very last thing a struggling young artiste in fin de siècle England could possibly want: a job.But the job Wallis accepts—employing his palate and talent for words to compose a “vocabulary of coffee” based on its many subtle and elusive flavors—is only the beginning of an extraordinary adventure in which Wallis will experience the dizzying heights of desire and the excruciating pain of loss. As Wallis finds himself falling hopelessly in love with his coworker, Pinker’s spirited suffragette daughter Emily, both will discover that you cannot awaken one set of senses without affecting all the others.Their love is tested when Wallis is dispatched on a journey to North Africa in search of the legendary Arab mocca. As he travels to coffee’s fabled birthplace—and learns the fiercely guarded secrets of the trade—Wallis meets Fikre, the defiant, seductive slave of a powerful coffee merchant, who serves him in the traditional Abyssinian coffee ceremony. And when Fikre dares to slip Wallis a single coffee bean, the mysteries of coffee and forbidden passion intermingle…and combine to change history and fate. My Review: Um. Well. Uh. I have a problem here. I started reading one book, thinking I was getting one kind of thing, and I ended up getting rather another, and along the way I oscillated between irked and amused often enough that I thought I was on some sort of story-magneto, swinging from pole to pole.There's a good deal of energy in this tale, no doubt about that. It's got a swinging pace, it's got an emotional charge from its characters' absurdities and failings, and it's set at a time of radical change which is always good for a sense of urgency.The irked pole on the mageto, for me, was narrator Robert himself. His studied, dandyish pose of Oscar Wildean epigrammatic speech made me homicidal. That the conceit of the book is a tale told in retrospect prevented me from hurling the damn thing aside, as the narrator-Robert shared my amused, then annoyed response to character-Robert, is both a good and a bad thing. I got the sense that narrator-Robert and I were in cahoots, smiling with impatient indulgence on the emotional excesses and self-delusions of Those Young People. It also popped me out of the story a good deal, at least until I'd made my peace with its narrative drag on the pace.Also on the irked pole of the swing was the romance Robert clearly has with himself, and extends to Emily, a Modern Girl (in the 1897 meaning of those words) working (!) in her father's firm before entering into marriage. As Robert is hired to create a coffee vocabulary with Emily's help, the story being told about coffee seemed to suffer from the superposition of A Romance. That the romance was doomed (not a spoiler, Robert says so) is no surprise whatsoever. No one's first love is his last. More to the point, Robert's constant use of prostitutes isn't gonna fly with a Modern Girl, and one can always rest assured that the secret one least wants revealed will be known by those one least wants to know it at the worst, most embarrassing moment. In fiction as in life. So the doomed-ness of the romance was crystal clear and left me waiting for the other shoe to drop, rather than being a sad case of readerly anticipation followed by a wistful sense of opportunity lost. It might be an inevitability of the retrospective structure used here. I would have thought, however, that the author would have expended more effort in making this Grand Passion more immediate, no matter the structure.But the real annoyance to me was the occasional interpolation of present-tense bits into this review of the life and times of Robert, when the PoV shifts to others. If these aren't Robert's memories, why are they here? So annoying to have the rules the author himself chose broken with such complete, unexplained violence. So. Annoying.But there were positive pole-swings, too, and really good ones. The author has narrator-Robert decrying the change from Victorian to Edwardian worlds, from hidden, gaslit Vices to unforgiving, electrically lit Morality...a point I found really interesting. The backdrop of Africa was also deeply felt and wonderfully evocative. I have no gauge to measure its accuracy, as I've never been to East Africa, but it felt wonderful and enfolding and right to me. The author, I will note, was born in Uganda. This makes me inclined to trust his evocation of place.But the main pleasure the book afforded me was coffee. The smell, the taste, the politics, the essence of the world in these pages is coffee. The vocabulary character-Robert develops with Emily, the first of its kind, is delightful. The descriptions of the coffees, their differences, their quirks, all superbly rendered and skillfully deployed to avoid both the dreaded info-dump and the (inexplicably, to me) less-dreaded light garnish or inadequate gilding of fact on a wodge of story that could be anywhere, anywhen, about anything and/or nothing.And while I've mentioned in positive terms the pace the author sets in the book, I can't overlook the sheer length of the opus. Over 500 pages. Oh dear. One hundred fewer, with the simple alteration of no annoying PoV switches, and I think this would have been a more exciting, more fully enfolding book.It's a good read that could have been excellent. *sigh*This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Gayle
    2018-10-02 15:56

    This was an interesting book - a mix of love story, adventure, women's history and coffee growing text book. The first 100 pages are dry and I found myself wondering why this book had been so highly recommended at the library. Once the main character is sent on his African safari style adventure it picks up and becomes quite interesting. There are some graphic scenes in the section that covers one of the characters involvment with the militant women's rights movement (a step by step discription of a woman on a hunger strike in person being force fed) but overall it was interesting. I loved the ending. Ultimately I can only give it an "okay" because I feel the book tries to be too much - if it had stuck with the african story or the love story or the woman's rights story and expanded it would have been fascinating. As it is, it's just enough to get you interested, then it jumps to another subject. I'd have to read Capella's other novels to decide if this is just the author's style, or simply an overambitious attempt.

  • Carey
    2018-10-18 18:03

    "A well made cup of coffee is the proper beginning to an idle day. Its aroma is beguiling, its taste is sweet; yet it leaves behind only bitterness and regret. In that it resembles, surely, the pleasures of love.....Although in this case, it seems to taste of nothing much except mud. With, perhaps, a faint aftertaste of rotten apricots."With these words Robert Wallis seals his fate. Not that it didn't need to be sealed. After having been expelled from Oxford (too much partying, no studying) and cut off by his father, Robert is living in London on credit from various tradesmen. He is the very picture of a dandy, dressing in the most fashionable manner, writing marginal poetry by day and visiting local brothels by night. A dissolute young man who is nevertheless endearing from the very first page.While sitting in a cafe one morning his remark is overheard by coffee merchant Samuel Pinker. Mr. Pinker wants to develop a reference manual to describe the tastes & smells in the various coffee beans that he imports. He needs someone with a discerning palate and the vocabulary necessary to complete the task. He offers Robert the very last thing that he wants, employment. But even Robert realizes that he will not be able to maintain his lifestyle with no income, so he reluctantly accepts.The dreadful dullness of employment is greatly reduced when Robert meets his assistant. Mr. Pinker's lovely daughter, Emily, serves as secretary and partner in the task. Robert, of course, is attracted to her (and her father's wealth). He feels that he is a wonderful catch, a view not shared by Mr. Pinker. In order to win her hand he is given a mission. A five year trek to Africa, to plant and grow a crop of the best kind of coffee available. Obviously this kind of job is not to Robert's taste but again, he sees that his life has left him few options and he agrees to go.Africa will profoundly change Robert in ways that he cannot begin to imagine. The man who returns to London has learned hard lessons and survived harrowing experiences. The years have changed London and its inhabitants, as well. When he returns he will have to rebuild his life and try create a future for himself. Mr. Capella has written a fantastic historical novel. He brilliantly describes London at the end of the nineteenth century with all of its wonderful depth, from the glamorous upper class drawing rooms to the seedy, poverty stricken streets. Then he takes us to the dusty plains and steamy jungles of Africa and introduces us to the native people, showing us their struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of outsiders in search of wealth and land. It is a rich, evocative, compelling story and I loved it.

  • Uci
    2018-10-07 20:10

    "Anggap mereka seperti pasukan tentara...Setiap resimen punya tempat asal, watak, tetapi setiap resimen terdiri atas individu-individu, pejuang-pejuang yang sudah melepas identitas pribadi mereka untuk menjadi satu kesatuan...Dan persis seperti pasukan tentara mengaktifkan kavaleri tergantung tugasnya, maka campuran bisa menyelamatkan kopi Brasil yang lembut dengan sejumput kopi Sumatra, atau menutupi kekurangan dari satu kelompok dengan sifat-sifat terbaik kelompok lain."Seperti halnya rempah-rempah, kopi menjadi komoditas penting yang ikut berperan dalam mengukuhkan penjajahan bangsa Eropa atas bangsa kulit berwarna. Kopi yang di Afrika dibiarkan tumbuh liar dan dipanen secukupnya (sehingga menghasilkan kopi bermutu yang mahal), diubah menjadi industri oleh bangsa Eropa. Perkebunan luas yang dibuat dengan membabat hutan, perbudakan untuk memperoleh tenaga kerja, dan ketika sampai di Inggris, kopi-kopi bermutu dari berbagai belahan dunia dicampur dengan kopi yang tidak terlalu bagus guna mendapatkan keuntungan sebesar-besarnya. Maka legenda rakyat di Ethiopia tentang asal-usul kopi terasa sangat sesuai. Menurut legenda tersebut, air mata pahit Tuhan jatuh ke atas makam si penyihir; dan di tempat air matanya jatuh, semak kopi pertama tumbuh. (hal. 616) Untuk bisa terhidang dalam cangkir-cangkir cantik di meja orang kulit putih, di Afrika atau Amerika Latin sana ratusan orang harus bekerja keras tanpa bayaran yang adil.Membaca novel setebal 677 halaman ini bagaikan menelusuri sejarah kopi yang penuh darah dan air mata, juga kisah-kisah ajaib dan luar biasa. Saya pun makin sadar bahwa bagi penikmat sejati, kopi-kopi instan yang dijual massal dengan rasa yang terstandardisasi mungkin terasa palsu karena sejatinya, kopi dari tiap daerah memiliki keunikan dan rasa tersendiri, tergantung tempat tumbuhnya. Tentu saja ada kisah cinta dalam buku ini, karena Capella selalu bercerita tentang cinta sepasang manusia dalam novel-novelnya. Tapi saya puas dengan proporsi antara percintaan dan sejarah dalam novel ini. Percintaannya tidak mengalahkan cerita tentang kopi. Di awal kisah, karakter Robert Wallis, si tokoh utama, sama sekali tidak mengundang simpati. Tipe orang yang menggampangkan hidup dan bertingkah seenaknya. Tapi perjalanan ke Afrika yang dipaksakan kepadanya membuat dia lambat laun berubah. Saya pun senang karena di sana dia mendapat pelajaran yang benar-benar pahit karena mengira bisa menaklukkan seorang perempuan Afrika cantik dengan membebaskannya dari perbudakan. Dan bukan Capella jika tidak melebarkan ceritanya ke sana kemari meskipun masih berkaitan dengan tema utama. Dalam novel ini kita juga disuguhi sekelumit sejarah tentang bursa komoditas, perjuangan kaum perempuan di Inggris yang menuntut persamaan hak, serta awal mula iklan dan produksi bahan pangan secara massal yang dijual ke seluruh dunia.Tapi yang paling membekas bagi saya setelah menutup novel ini adalah ketamakan dan kejahatan penjajahan atas nama peradaban. Para penjajah mengira sudah kewajiban mereka untuk membawa peradaban ke seluruh dunia, tak peduli dengan cara apa pun. Pertanyaan orang-orang kepada Wallis sepulangnya dia dari Afrika dengan keyakinan baru bahwa bangsa Eropa tidak berhak mencampuri kehidupan bangsa lain adalah: "Tetapi kalau begitu, Mr. Wallis, apa yang harus Dilakukan dengan Afrika? (hal. 498)Sempat terlintas kalau Capella mungkin mendapat ide dari kedai-kedai kopi yang cabangnya menggurita ke seluruh dunia. Karena dalam kondisi demikian, yang menjadi ukuran adalah angka-angka, bukan aroma kopi yang dipanggang atau kualitas biji kopi yang diperoleh hari ini. Bukan pula perdagangan adil bagi petani-petani kopi yang menjual hasil panennya dengan harga murah untuk kemudian dijual dengan harga berkali lipat di kedai-kedai tersebut. Siapa tahu?

  • Allison Floyd
    2018-10-12 16:00

    Oh, man.At this tale's beginning, our hero, surveying himself from a distance of some years, warns us of his past self, "I doubt that you will like him very much: that is of no consequence, I do not like him very much myself. He is--well, you will see what he is."What he is is an insufferable (rabidly heterosexual) Oscar Wilde wannabe. These opening lines lead me to believe that our hero's character will probably follow an arc, and after experiencing Life, Love, and Distant Lands, he will acquire great reserves of Depth and Complexity.But in the meantime, are we really supposed to sit through such epigrams as "It is a curious thing with whores that one pays a premium for inexperience and lack of ability--surely the only profession in which this is the case. But I digress." But he digresses?!? Capital idea, old sport. I digressed after page 45.

  • Karina Vargas
    2018-09-28 19:06

    The Various Flavors of Coffee: 2,5 estrellas.Robert Wallis es un joven inglés aspirante a escritor, arrogante y sin escrúpulos. Un día, mientras toma una versión muy mala de café, conoce a Samuel Pinker, un importante empresario y dueño de una de las cadenas de café más grandes. Ellos mantienen una breve conversación, a partir de la que el hombre decide ofrecerle un trabajo. A pesar de que Robert no tenía intención alguna en dedicarse a otra cosa que no sea su vocación, admite que el dinero le sería útil, por lo que termina aceptando. Sin embargo, el empleo resulta ser completamente distinto a lo que él tenía en mente: el objetivo es construir un catálogo de las variedades de dicha bebida. Aunque podía sonar extraño, pronto comienza a sentirse a gusto en aquel lugar, especialmente porque se enamora de su compañera Emily, la hija del señor Pinker. La atracción hacia ella es tan profunda que incluso considera contraer matrimonio, pero el señor Pinker tiene otros planes para él: pues la única manera en la que aceptaría este compromiso sería si Robert viajase a África y se estableciese allí durante algunos años, para iniciar y llevar adelante uno de sus negocios. Si al regresar la empresa hubiese triunfado y el amor entre ambos continuase, podrían casarse. El joven, muy a su pesar, acepta y se encamina en esta dura prueba de afecto.En primer lugar, quiero hacer un pedido a Goodreads: ¿podrían colocar un cartel luminoso, fluorescente e intermitente, con sonido de alarma, a cada uno de los libros que tienen contenido erótico? Así ya sé cuáles no leer. Gracias.No sé si este libro y yo empezamos con el pie izquierdo, pero pasé más de la mitad del tiempo que duró su lectura odiándolo (más allá de que el género no es de mi agrado; trato de ser lo más objetiva posible). ¿Por qué? Acá van mis razones.Desde el principio queda claro que es Robert quien escribe la historia, aparentemente muchos años después de que haya ocurrido, e incluso se ataja y pide disculpas de antemano por su comportamiento. Sí, bueno, me temo que no fue suficiente. Robert es odioso, soberbio, misógino, superficial, engreído y lo aborrecí casi siempre. El trato y desprecio hacia las mujeres es realmente insoportable, y no se justifica por la época. El hecho de que era él quien relataba y teníamos acceso a sus pensamientos fue lo peor. Los capítulos son escritos desde su perspectiva, en primera persona, y se intercalan con otros que relatan lo que sucede con Emily, en tercera persona. Esto es algo confuso, porque no sé cómo habría tenido la certeza de los pensamientos profundos de ella también. Pero, bueno, supongamos que se lo contaron mutuamente.A lo largo de la trama, hay mucho tecnicismo acerca del café, sobre su elaboración, comercio y degustación. Esto me hizo descubrir que no tenía ningún interés sobre el tema, no me importaba nada de lo que decían.De la sección dedicada a África no tengo mucho que decir. Fue más de lo mismo en un escenario diferente y estoy dejando de lado la parte erótica (muy explícita), asumiendo que es personal. En realidad, me pareció que fue innecesariamente extenso y abarcó tantos temas, que terminó por desdibujarse; esa debe ser mi principal crítica, eso y el antifeminismo. Porque entiendo qué quiso hacer, que era a propósito, para reflejar la situación y el contexto de la época. No obstante, creo que hay comentarios que sobrepasan el límite, que están fuera de lugar, inclusive cuando es Emily quien las protagoniza. Si bien se muestra como defensora de los derechos de la mujer (y es la única la mayor parte del tiempo), tiene actitudes que dejan mucho que desear y que no nos reflejan para nada. No sé, si te vas a meter con este tema, tenés que hacerlo bien, porque inconscientemente tus ideas se van a filtrar de una forma u otra.Es irónico que el personaje principal manifieste que no le gustan las mezclas de café, que prefiere que sean puros, en lo que coincido, y que el autor haya mezclado tantas temáticas. El café, el derecho femenino al sufragio, el machismo, África, la esclavitud, la explotación, hasta el diagnóstico de histeria y el uso del oscilador, como lo llaman, fueron demasiado (esto último resultó algo interesante, pero igualmente tengo la sensación de que no se manejó bien).Claro que hubo cosas positivas, algunas. Pese a todo, es una historia bien escrita, no hay problemas de redacción y creo que la segunda mitad del libro, por los problemas que surgen y la madurez de los personajes, es más interesante. De hecho, esto me había motivado a darle tres estrellas, pero ese final me pareció irreal e innecesario. (view spoiler)[No hacía falta agregar más, no me parece que Phillomena se enamore de Robert y viceversa. No sé, no creo que las cosas sean tan simples como las plantea. La muerte de Emily estaba bien, en mi opinión debió terminar ahí. (hide spoiler)]The Various Flavors of Coffee es una novela histórica, más erótica que romántica, y muy ambiciosa. El café, en realidad, es una excusa para abarcar tópicos más complejos. En su afán por retratar la agresividad hacia las mujeres y el destrato que recibían en varios aspectos, el libro termina resultando casi insultante, aún cuando no pretende serlo. Se percibe cierta superficialidad cuando se supone ser serio y nunca llega a cerrarse la idea. En fin, creo que fue un buen intento, pero que se pudo ejecutar mejor.

  • Eva
    2018-10-17 17:50

    A fascinating fictional account about creating the language to describe coffee. The passages describing how coffee tastes, how each type of coffee tastes and feels, those passages are lovely to read. The story itself isn't so fabulous for the first 3/4 of the book. The protagonist is a self-centered shallow twit and about the hundredth time we've been treated to the same sort of description of just what a self-centered shallow twit he is, I had to re-read the reviews to see if I wanted to keep reading.The last quarter of the book is magnificent and worth all the slogging to get to it. Drama, drama everywhere, all expressed in achingly beautiful prose. The building and breaking of fortunes by manipulating the stock market was eerily familiar to our current economic crisis and fascinating to follow. Added to that, our hero the twit, accidentally learns that people are more than the clothes they wear, finds himself entangled in the suffragettes, and slowly becomes more human, less twit-like.I'm glad I read it.

  • Nina Draganova
    2018-10-02 15:55

    Не очаквах такъв край на тази история.Прекалено е разводнена книгата. Някак не можа да прикове вниманието ми и да бъде прочетена на един дъх , както много други. Може би чак в последните страници, където рязко стана много сериозна.Вероятно съм станала много нетърпелива и не отдавам нужното внимание на подробностите. Не харесвам по принцип прекалените описания, а те изобилстват в неговите книги. Но пък какъв език има този човек, изумителен. Дори си нямам представа какво богато въображение може да съществува."Очите не виждат това, за което сърцето не го е грижа".

  • Indri Juwono
    2018-10-03 19:52

    Aku bukan penggemar kopi. Bukan karena tidak suka, tapi lebih ke masalah kesehatan. Minum kopi bisa membuat perutku mual dan berkeringat dingin. Mungkin karena kandungan kafein di dalamnya yang memacu detak jantung lebih cepat dan juga memacu asam lambung untuk berproduksi sehingga hanya kembung yang kurasakan ketika memaksakan diri menenggak segelas kopi yang berbau harum untuk memaksa mata tetap melotot ketika lelah.Sialnya, aku mencintai aroma kopi.Lalu kusadari, masalahku dengan kopi ini hanya terjadi ketika minum kopi instan dalam sachet. Semua kopi sachet yang kuminum, sampai yang namanya terkenal secara internasional pun berefek sama pada perutku. Sampai aku menemukan satu merk yang dihidangkan padaku ketika aku meeting di pabrik pembuatnya. Yang juga memproduksi permen kopi terkenal. Harumnya membuatku mencicipnya sedikit ketika masih panas dan berbuih. Eih, satu jam, dua jam, sampai pulang, tak bermasalah dengan perutku. Akhirnya sesekali aku mencobanya, hanya dengan merk dan jenis itu. Namun memang kopi itu harus diminum dalam kondisi tertentu. Kadang aku nyaman meminumnya, kadang juga tidak. Mungkin ada satu kondisi lelah yang tak tertanggungkan oleh kopi.Awal tahun ini aku terbang ke Belitong. Di sana terkenal dengan kedai kopinya sebagai tempat bermasyarakat, bersosialisasi antar penduduknya. Aku mencoba minum kopi di saat sarapan di satu kedainya. Aromanya yang harum, dari bubuk kopi lokal yang dimasak terus menerus di tungku batu, menguarkan bau yang menggoda untuk dicicip. Dan ternyata, tidak bermasalah dengan perutku.Aku jarang minum kopi kecuali butuh. Dan terkadang aku lebih memilih minuman lainnya untuk menjaga mata dari kantuk. Namun kopi-kopi lokal ini, yang dimasak dengan air mendidih, bukan dengan air dispenser, memang memberikan sensasi menggoda. Sehingga aku pun jadi rajin mencobai kopi-kopi lokal di tempat-tempat yang kudatangi.Membaca buku ini membuatku merindukan lagi harumnya kopi. Bagaimana ia berada di gudang dan meraup segenggam biji kopi untuk dibaui, membuatku kembali ke gudang harum di belakang toko Kopi Aroma Bandung. Cara menikmati kopi dengan mencium dan menyesapnya sebagai teman diskusi membuatku percaya bahwa peminum kopi adalah pemikir. Bertualang mencari bibit kopi terbaik hingga Afrika dan Brasil, hingga sejarah moka yang berasal dari kota Mecca. Dalam beberapa cerita lain yang pernah kubaca juga dikisahkan bahwa kopi dibawa ke Indonesia oleh pedagang dari Arab.Kopi yang tersaji dari rumah hingga gelas di warung atau di kafe mahal di sebuah pusat perbelanjaan memberikan gengsi pada lokasi meminumnya.Tapi untukku tempat minum kopi hanya satu : di material berbahan gelas. Aku nggak suka kopi di cangkir kertas.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2018-10-10 22:43

    This book's plot was a pleasant surprise. I expected a romance, but not politics. I really cannot fathom that absolute disrespect and utter violence that occurred during the British suffrage movement. why was it so inconceivable to give women the vote??? The hunger strikes, the prison terms, the beatings-all to have political voice. Also the way the flavor of my coffee hits my tongue will never be the same. I drink it differently now. I roll it around, check for notes just like a wine.

  • Desty
    2018-10-16 23:57

    Pertama kali melihat buku ini di toku buku, saya langsung tertarik dan ingin memilikinya. Saya jadi impulsif gara-gara ada kata kopi pada judulnya. Sebagai penikmat kopi (meskipun lebih sering minum kopi instan), saya merasa wajib membaca novel yang satu ini. Dan ketika saya membuka halaman pertama, saya tahu membaca buku ini seperti menikmati secangkir kopi. Sesapi rasanya perlahan-lahan, rasakan kepahitan, manis, legit, dan aroma kopi memenuhi pikiranmu. Dan ketika halaman terakhir ditutup, ada rasa puas dan menyenangkan yang ditimbulkan seperti efek secangkir kopi.Robert Wallis, seorang pria yang pandai merangkai kata, menjalani hidupnya dengan gaya mewah dan dipenuhi wanita penghibur. Robert selalu ingin menjadi seperti penulis favoritnya, Oscar Wilde. Di suatu ketika, saat keuangannya sudah mulai menipis, dia masuk ke sebuah kafe dan memesan secangkir kopi. Tetapi saat dia meminum kopinya, seketika itu juga dia mengumpat karena kopi itu berasa seperti karat di lidahnya. Umpatannya didengar oleh seorang pengusaha kopi, Samuel Pinker. Samuel menawarkan pekerjaan untuknya, membuat semacam pedoman mengenai cita rasa kopi. Pedoman itu selanjutnya akan dinamakan Pedoman Wallis-Pinker.Dalam menyusun pedoman itu, Robert harus berkerja bersama Emily Pinker, anak sulung Samuel Pinker. Semakin sering bertemu Emily, Robert jatuh cinta padanya. Dengan memberanikan diri, Robert melamar Emily. Ternyata Mr. Pinker meminta mahar sebesar seribu pound. Robert tidak punya uang sebanyak itu. Mr. Pinker pun mengusulkan kepada Robert untuk pergi ke Afrika dan membuka lahan perkebunan kopi miliknya di sana. Demi cintanya, Robert berangkat ke Afrika.Di Afrika, Robert mulai mengenal adat istiadat termasuk upacara meminum kopi khas Abyssinia tradisional. Dalam upacara itu, Robert melihat seorang budak wanita yang langsung memikat hatinya. Perasaan Robert berbalas. Dengan mengambil resiko, Fikre, budak wanita itu, menyelipkan sebiji kopi ke tangan Robert. Ketika seorang wanita memberikan biji kopi pada seorang pria, itu artinya dia juga memberikan cintanya pada pria itu. Biji kopi pertama diikuti oleh biji kopi – biji kopi berikutnya. Robert semakin yakin akan cintanya pada Fikre. Hasrat liar dalam dirinya membuatnya mengirimkan surat untuk membatalkan pertunangannya kepada Emily.Di London, Emily yang sedang menunggu kepulangan Robert menyibukkan dirinya dalam pergerakan politik. Emily berjuang untuk hak suara wanita dalam politik. Ketika surat pembatalan pertunangan dari Robert datang, Emily patah hati. Untungnya ada Arthur Brewer, seorang politisi yang menghiburnya. Singkat cerita, Arthur melamar Emily dan mereka menikah. Tetapi ketika Arthur kemudian menjadi seorang politik sukses di parlemen, kehidupan pernikahan mereka mulai berubah. Sembunyi-sembunyi, Emily melakukan pergerakan di bawah tanah memperjuangkan hak wanita. Hal yang tentunya bertentangan dengan kedudukan Arthur di parlemen.Membuka lahan perkebunan di Afrika bukanlah hal yang mudah. Robert harus berurusan dengan penebangan hutan, perbudakan, pemberontakan kaum pribumi, utang piutang, dan kondisi alam yang tidak ramah. Seakan belum cukup masalah yang diterima Robert, dia pun menjadi korban penipuan yang telak. Penipuan yang hampir saja membuatnya mati di Afrika, seandainya saja dia tidak ditolong oleh pekerjanya.Seperti kata pada judul aslinya, the various flavors, buku ini membahas mengenai politik, ekonomi, agronomi, humanisme, hingga percobaan medis yang berkaitan dengan orgasme dirangkai dengan apik. Dan bagi anda pencinta kopi, jangan lewatkan pengetahuan tentang aneka ragam jenis kopi di seluruh dunia yang diangkat dalam beberapa bagian buku ini. Buku ini layak untuk dikoleksi. Saya mengacungkan jempol untuk semua riset yang dilakukan oleh penulis.

  • Abiyasha
    2018-09-29 22:45

    I was a fan of Anthony Capella's The Wedding Officer and when I found this book in bookstore, I grabbed it right away. The synopsis seemed so exciting. Not a coffee lover myself, I thought this book would turn me into a coffee lover.I still don't like coffee after reading this book.I don't know why, I feel like he was trying to tell a lot in just some hundreds pages. I found some unimportant scenes that has no relation at all with the whole idea of the book. I forced myself to finish this book and I relieved, when I did. It just didn't appeal me the way The Wedding Officer did.

  • Jenny
    2018-09-24 22:48

    I just cannot finish this book (have read about 125 pages). It is your classic bad--as in cheesy and affected--historical romance. Tries too hard to be shocking and sensual, and ends up being sadly comic. I could look past this if I wanted an easy fun read, but I don't even like the characters enough to continue at this point...

  • Mariazita
    2018-09-28 17:58

    Este livro foi uma boa surpresa, confesso que foi com uma certa reserva que o comecei a ler, o último livro do autor, Rainha dos Gelados foi uma leitura que não me convenceu, mas este revelou-se uma leitura muito interessante.Conhecemos Robert Wallis, um poeta a quem é encarregue de encontrar as palavras certas para os vários sabores do café. E assim Robert embarca numa viagem que ira mudar a sua vida radicalmente, passando pelo inicio da industria do café, desde a sua plantação, comercialização e pelo inicio da publicidade ao produto.Os vários cheiros e sabores do café são descritos de uma maneira que qualquer amante do café consegue senti-los.O inicio do combate das mulheres pelos seus direitos é também descrito neste livro, pela mão de Emily, a mulher que é a paixão de Robert.Gostei muito da maneira como o autor descreveu e interligou todos estes acontecimentos do fim do Século XIX .Uma leitura bem interessante.

  • L F
    2018-10-12 16:52

    A 3.75. This book is a perfect example of "judging a book by its cover" or the first 1/3 of the book. The book "appears " to be a historical romance. But it includes a muddle of subject matter. It is starts in the late 1800's in London. It is told be the protagonist , as he remembers his youth. He is a dandy who thinks he is the next great poet. But he has a lot to learn about love, the coffee business , politics, traveling and starting a coffee plantation!The author seems bent on providing every bit of detail he thinks necessary to tell this tale. But, it is not necessary at all, in fact it brings confusion to plot line. Because, exactly how do you classify this book? What is it really about? I'm not sure the author even knew, he just started writing without a solid idea of the point of this story. This should have been a much better book and it's sad that it did not succeed.

  • Eva
    2018-10-09 00:09

    Esta foi uma leitura deveras interessante de um livro que, surpreendida, li com entusiasmo e vício.Atrever-me-ei, até, a dizer que poderá suscitar os mesmos sentimentos a muitos potenciais leitores, pois a narrativa gira à volta de uma bebida apreciada por muitos portugueses!Passo a explicar.“Os vários sabores da vida” é, sobretudo, a história de uma viagem pelo mundo dos aromas do café, desde as plantações até à indústria e à comercialização em grande escala, com os novos rumos da publicidade. Mas o autor vai mais além e interliga, com mestria, factos históricos relacionados com os primeiros movimentos feministas pelo direito ao voto das mulheres, na sociedade civil inglesa do final do século dezanove. Estes acontecimentos estão muito bem descritos e tornam-se vívidos pela postura e ação de Emily, a paixão de Robert Wallis.Os factos têm lugar maioritariamente em Londres, nos últimos anos da década de 1890, mas também em pleno continente africano. É para aí que, contrariado, mas convencido, o nosso herói parte, a certa altura, em busca do melhor café do mundo.Robert era, por esses dias, um jovem aspirante a poeta que, de forma impetuosa, mas sem dinheiro próprio, desfrutava dos prazeres da vida e se arrastava por ambientes de cariz boémio e decadente.O comentário que faz, certa vez, sobre a bebida que lhe é servida à mesa, vai-lhe proporcionar um encontro acidental com um mercador de café da praça. É, a partir de “... este café sabe a ferrugem...”, que ele iniciará o trabalho de busca de um “vocabulário de cafés” que capte os seus mais variados sabores. Passará a provador de cafés de Mr. Pinker e, sob as suas ordens, embarcará numa viagem que lhe abrirá horizontes com que nunca sonhara e lhe mudará por completo a vida e a maneira de a encarar.Os leitores terão, então, a oportunidade de passar em revista as suas vivências e experiências, bem como os momentos de reencontro e redescoberta que encetará no seu regresso à capital do império.Trata-se de um romance bem escrito, com personagens fortes, e o tom, se bem que, por vezes, poético, não descura uma visão realista da vida, em geral, e das envolvências do comércio do café, em particular.Por isso, julgo, também, que o título em português, sendo mais abrangente que o original, será mais consentâneo com todo o conteúdo da narrativa. O que lemos tem origem e ponto de chegada no café, mas vai muito para além dos seus vários sabores, misturando-se com as voltas e reviravoltas de muitas vidas.São muitas as referências gastronómicas aos prazeres da mesa e à descrição dos sabores e cheiros da produção cafeeira, até se tornar num produto de elite gustativa, olfativa e visual.É uma história com um agradabilíssimo gosto ao melhor café e que recomendo vivamente.Eva Laginha

  • Ladiibbug
    2018-09-23 17:57

    Historical FictionLondon, 1895Robert Wallis leaves Oxford under less than honorable circumstances. He fancies himself a poet or writer, but isn't actually talented or motivated. To support himself, he finds employment with a coffee merchant -- tasting various coffees and finding the precise words to systematically categorize the various blends.Robert is sent on a five year journey to the coffee producing areas of the world (Africa, the Middle East) to establish plantations. This part of the book is very interesting and reads like a historical travelogue. The white man's heartless exploitation of the land and people of Africa is hard to read about, but interesting from a historical perspective. Later in the book the wheeling and dealing of major coffee merchants (trading, speculation, etc.) to drive small competitiors or tiny coffee farms out of business is explored.One of Robert's love interests is a young lady with modern ideas. There's a lot of interesting historical info on the Suffragette Movement and women struggling for equality in turn of the century London.I wish I could say I enjoyed this book more. It was interesting. The author's The Food of Love: A Novel is a 5++ star read imo -- a Cyrano de Bergac (sp?) like story, only with food -- a gem of a read, lots of humor. I will definitely be buying The Wedding Officer by this author and am glad I got to read this one.

  • Rio Johan
    2018-10-12 22:05

    I have never ever in my life tasted any single drop of coffee, thus I was completely trapped in a certain state of confusion when the book said a coffee could taste like "mud," "apricot," or even "sex," and "lovemaking"—sounds more like pussy to me, but I bet most girls will prefer their pussy tastes like roses or jasmines or anything else instead of coffee. Fortunately, there is more about this book than just coffee—there are surely a lot of other things on this book, actually, and of course they all are related to coffee, if not the main hero, the dandy poet, voyage that is, yes, again, centered and circled around coffee; the book assured that lot of issues talked, pasted, and inserted: from the huge and noble ones like slavery, global economy, woman right, to something kinky like the use of vibrator and emasculated penis—it depends on how you see it. At some point, those variety range of topics make this book loaded, too much charged, without really saying anything about the majority of them. But, on other perspective, actually I feel that this book is really more about the voyage of a dandy poet, his love-life tragedy, his coming of age, flavored with a lot of this and that. Nevertheless, it is quite an enjoyable book, despite of having never ever in my life tasted any single drop of coffee.

  • George Straatman
    2018-09-29 20:49

    This is a novel that would not normally find its way onto my rather narrow reading list of late...it is proof that an interesting cover...a unique title and a fascinating teaser can be effective in drawing readers...This is a book that has many distinct facets and though unrequited love might be the primary underlying theme of the story...it is by no means the only one. Set in turn of the century Victorian England, it explores the relationship between aspiring poet Robert Wallis and two very different women who radically change his perception of life...That both relationships end rather tragically adds a bitter-sweet aspect to the novel...the exploration of the fledgling coffee industry and the effects of capitalism on Africa and South America are well developed side texts as is the tension that revolved around the suffragist movement in England at the time. Mr. Capella succeeds in conveying the psyche of that particular era in history...I genuinely enjoyed this novel and consumed it greedily...rather like an excellent cup of coffee.4.1/5.0

  • Isaura Pereira
    2018-10-10 20:54

    Decidi ler este livro pois precisava de um leitura leve para sair da reading slump em que me encontrava. E acertei.Esta história tem como cenário Londres, em 1896. O autor, Anthony Capella conta-nos a história de Robert Wallis, um boémio e aspirante a poeta, que aceita a proposta de um comerciante de café para compor "vocabulário de cafés" que capte os mais variados sabores. Robert apaixona-se pela filha do mercador, Emily. No entanto, contra a sua vontade, Robert é enviado para África em busca do melhor café do mundo. E é lá que começa a sua aventura.Foi uma leitura muito agradável e, surpreendentemente, viciante. Posso dizer que quando iniciei esta leitura pensei que fosse ser um romance com "mais do mesmo". Fui surpreendida. Para além de todas a envolvência do comércio do café e dos seus sabores, este livro aborda a história das mulheres que lutaram pelo direito ao voto.Um romance bem escrito, envolvente, com personagens fortes e claro com um leve aroma a café! Recomendo!

  • Kate
    2018-09-24 15:59

    I had read another book by Capella, The Food of Love, and I loved that book, which was why I bought this one. I had high hopes for this, considering it has the word "coffee" in its title :). And it wasn't disappointing, but it definitely was a lot different from The Food of Love. It had an overall darker tone to the plot and the main character, Robert, fell victim to a series of unfortunate events. So, in that respect, it was a much sadder book, but it was also very interesting. Robert lived in England but traveled to Africa and South America, which gave the book nice changes of scene. He witnessed many events, whether they be historical, like women's suffrage, or fictional. And, I also learned a lot about coffee, that is, if this book had any historical accuracy in that respect... But overall, I did like this book and if readers are Capella fans, I would recommend it.

  • Steve
    2018-10-18 22:01

    This is an entertaining book; it is a quick read despite its length. The main character is not immediately sympathetic, but as he learns about himself and those around him, we watch him grow. Much of this book takes place toward the end of the Victorian era in London, and the book -- descriptions, quotes, and lore -- are steeped in coffee. The book is shot through with politics: of gender, of commerce, or economics, and theology. The author has a healthy appreciation of what it means to engage all of the senses. A worthwhile read.

  • Renee Mihulka
    2018-10-02 17:52

    If I could have given this book 3 and a half stars I would have. Not sure it deserved four but I feel generous. It was beautifully written and interesting. I didn't like the main character, but I think that was the point, he was supposed to be flawed. I enjoyed the suffergette information and particularly the economy of the coffee trade. Actually, I suppose based on that it did deserve 4 stars, despite the weak African adventure and convenient love match at the end. I am glad I read it as I would not have but for our book club.

  • Nicole
    2018-09-23 17:51

    Wow. Diese Mischung aus Dandy-Roman, Abenteuergeschichte, Sufragettenhistorie, Wirtschaftskrimi mit erotischen und humorvollen Elementen ist genau das, was ich mir unter einer richtig gut erzählten richtig guten Geschichte vorstelle. Immer wieder überrascht der Autor mit interessanten Wendungen, stets begleitet von sinnlichen Kaffee-Beschreibungen und serviert uns somit mit diesem Roman einen ganz besonderen "Blend".

  • L.C. Lavado
    2018-09-25 18:58

    I've read this book during the summer 2009 and loved it!A. Capella it's a master in writting about the five senses. We can really taste and smell the coffee while we are reading his words on white paper.I recomend this book to every one.Even if you don't like coffee, you surely will love A. Capella.

  • Deana Weibel-Swanson
    2018-10-11 15:49

    One of the most enjoyable books I've read, but that may be because so many issues and topics in this amazing turn-of-the-20th-century novel are totally in alignment with my personal interests: coffee, colonialism, feminism....

  • Marg
    2018-10-19 15:54

    Liked it more than I thought I would by the end, but I can't grade higher than 3.5/5 given how objectionable the main character was.

  • Jennifer
    2018-09-22 15:43

    This is another of those books that is probably unfair of me to rate because I would not have picked it up for myself. A friend of my mom's bought it for her because my mom likes coffee, and my mom passed it on to me because I also like coffee.On the surface, this is a work of historical fiction about a man who finds himself employed in the coffee distribution business, and it addresses British colonialism and the free market, touches briefly on slavery, and ends by focusing on the women's movement. On the surface, it sounds like a perfect blend of politics, history, and coffee.I just...wow. Wow. There are so many things about this book that turned me off. The main character is terrible; in the beginning, he admits he's terrible. He changes throughout the novel, and we're supposed to like him at the end (I think we were also supposed to like him at the beginning but just...I couldn't), and I did like him better at the end, but I still didn't enjoy reading about him.And then there were things that felt anachronistic. Not that the events were wrong for the time, but certain conversations and the narrator's commentary often took me out of the narrative. Unfortunately, these were often conversations or asides the author included to make the book sound as if it took place at the end of the 19th century - he had a habit of explaining historical events or practices, which made the effort involved in creating the time period too apparent.While this book did not fail in producing a politically charged love story that began with a business based in coffee, I did not like much about how that was accomplished.Near the end, I thought I might up my rating to two stars, and then some things happened, and it became a solidly one-star read. I could definitely see why some people might like, but it was not for me.

  • Denise Biancardino
    2018-10-06 19:52

    Di questo libro ho apprezzato soprattutto l'evoluzione. Evoluzione degli eventi, dei personaggi. È palese, ma anche credibile e gradevole, il modo in cui Robert ed Emily evolvono: lo fanno riuscendo a tirarsi via di dosso l'uno lo stereotipo del dandy dagli scarsi contenuti, l'altra quello della ragazza perbene moderatamente idealista. Robert cresce, ma lo fa mantenendo alcune debolezze e la conclusione non fa che confermare quanto poco scontata sia stata la scelta dell'autore; il personaggio evolve come potrebbe farlo chiunque di noi, senza trasformarsi o perdere di credibilità. Cambia ma mantenendo le proprie caratteristiche. Cresce ma lo fa rimanendo, credibilmente, se stesso. A sua volta Emily ne assume di nuova, di credibilità, abbandonando sempre più l'immobilismo dei propri valori per scendere in campo ed, in campo, trovare la fine. La fine di una vera suffragetta, che sceglie di non calpestarsi e calpestare i propri principi neppure per un lieto fine che io, lettore, avrei ritenuto troppo degno di un romanzo rosa. Un po' prevedibile la conclusione con la nuova storia d'amore, ma in fondo lo si perdona all'autore in quanto questa scelta fa parte di quell'iter che rende il "nuovo Robert" amabilmente credibile. A tratti ridondante il tema del caffè, che è stato però per lo più reso appassionante e accattivante. Darei quattro stelle e mezza ad un libro che mi ha catturata e trasportata in Africa, in saccoccia solo chicchi di caffè di cui non avrei saputo descrivere la natura meglio di quanto la Guida non abbia già fatto.

  • Sergiu Pobereznic
    2018-10-10 00:11

    THE VARIOUS FLAVOURS OF COFFEE by Anthony Capella reviewed by Sergiu Pobereznic (author) amazon.com/author/sergiupobereznicExcerpt:"A well made cup of coffee is the proper beginning to an idle day. Its aroma is beguiling, its taste is sweet; yet it leaves behind only bitterness and regret. In that it resembles, surely, the pleasures of love... Although in this case, it seems to taste of nothing much except mud. With, perhaps, a faint after-taste of rotten apricots."The above statement was the point in Robert Wallis' life (a poet/dandy reminiscent of an Oscar Wild-ian character, but with a deep seated hunger for women) that took a sudden about turn he would never had dreamed possible. The novel is a love story set in the late Victorian epoch of atmospheric gas-lit streets – fin de siècle – which eventually spills into the Edwardian era, travelling to places such as: Africa and Brazil in the process. The topics within were many: suffrage, slavery, prostitution, capitalism, commercialism, social change and lots and lots of hedonism. Be warned, the book is at times quite pornographic. There are some humorous chapters on Hysteria. Funny now, but I should think not so then.Basic summary: The poet, with an obvious talent for words, is offered a job by Pinker (owner of the vast firm, Castle Coffee) after hearing him utter the words in the opening of this review. I know what you are thinking. A poet with a job? Poets are turning in their graves as I write.The job being: Robert is to compose a standardized vocabulary for coffee. Something that everyone could relate to , and in turn help simplify trade description of coffee globally. Why? Because, for a long time, coffee was simply... just coffee.Many people that have read this work did not like the protagonist (the dandy/poet), which seemed to ruin their enjoyment. One review said: "Robert had so many non-endearing flaws & sometimes was downright offensive. It ruined it for me."Oh No! A human being with character flaws?! What next?! Why would you have to like the protagonist? Not all people in life are likeable characters. He was what he was, which I presume the author wished. Could it be that the author intended it to be so?Another reviewer said:"It's not really about coffee."Ha Ha Ha!!!! I actually sat at the computer and laughed out loud. And yes, I did feel a little stupid on my own. I think this person must have bought the wrong book. Anyway...No, the book is not perfect. But is anything ever perfect? other than the beauty in the eye of the beholder.Let me explain my perception of Capella's prose and subject matter.The main delight of this book is really the coffee aspect. Yes, it was about coffee. Starting with the politics behind the rise of coffee trade (the global market) and cafes (coffee culture), through to the vocabulary that is developed by the poet for its smell, taste, colour and much, much, more. The love and coffee facets within the tale are both closely interleaved. Coffee being a metaphor for how we love and experience with all our senses. And, how we can evoke someone more vividly from memory, by recalling a cup of coffee once shared together. These parallels between love, life and coffee were a wonderful touch. The book was essentially part hidden-history-lesson and part love-affair.The other aspect of the book I enjoyed was travelling around Victorian London. Covent Garden, The Strand et cetera– my old haunts. Comforting.Capella is obviously a writer with a quality pedigree who did lots of research. He is obviously skilled when it comes to the written word. However, the last handful of chapters could have been deleted without so much as a moments worry. For me the book ended well before the conclusion he envisaged. I won't spoil it by telling you Where, How and Why. I will say this though: He attempted to wrap everything up so neatly. Too neatly. With closing chapter, after closing chapter, after closing chapter, that the book began dying a long, long interminable death; reminding me of a scene in the movie "The Party". In the opening, Peter Sellers is an unknown Indian actor (an extra in a movie) Hrundi V Bakshi, who plays a bugle. Remember him?? He is shot but continues to play on and on and on. That was very funny. This was not. I became quite agitated, (2–15am) searching for the end. The End! The End!! The End!!! Where I thought the story ended for me – a handful of chapters before the actual end – was a bitter sweet conclusion, which I was content with. I was ready to go to sleep... but NO!! Half an hour or so later, perhaps longer, – I don't know, I was bleary eyed by then – it finally finished. Flat.AND, the biggest annoyance of all was the sudden changes in POV (point of view) in the novel. Not necessary. This padded the story out further and it certainly did not need padding. It is well in excess of 500 pages long. Perhaps 600.Having said all that, I am still glad I read it. It was an interesting journey even if some of the locations I travelled to unwillingly. I detest helicopters, but it was worth going up in one to capture the Grand-eur in the Grand Canyon. At times I almost forgot that this book was fiction, which it is.A word of warning. This novel may change the way you perceive coffee. It's possible. It certainly made me re-evaluate my daily drink that I love dearly and won't give up. It has brought about more variation and nuance to what I was already aware existed, but more colourfully and intensely. This new lexicon of subtle texture, flavour, smell variation makes it, for me, an even more satisfying drink that we call, simply... coffee.To close, I leave you with this: “Just as good coffee might smell of, perhaps, leather and tobacco and honeysuckle, all at once, so love is a mixture of any number of feelings: infatuation, idealism, tenderness, lust, the urge to protect or be protected, the desire to ravish, comradeship, friendship, aesthetic appreciation, and a thousand more besides.The laugh of a woman, the scent of a child, the making of a coffee – these are the various flavours of love.”– Sergiu Pobereznic (author) –amazon.com/author/sergiupobereznic