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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Before I go ahead and write this review, I have to confess.

I don't like coffee.

I get the opposite effect when I drink coffee. It doesn't help wake me up, so it makes no sense for me to order a coffee based drink. Unless of course it's White Chocolate Mocha, which I drink occasionally, not to wake me up, but to try and see if I'll appreciate coffee more. So reading this book, I was pretty skeptical if I'll be able to appreciate the "coffee" part, and how it can possibly be related to relationships. Love + Coffee = unsure combination. But it looks like The Espressologist was able to pull off quite a fun story to read.

I couldn't have picked a better book to read because today is Jane Austen's birthday, true to the summary, this book has overtones of Emma all over it.

Title: The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
Pages: 184
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Source: Borrowed
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers.
Jane, our 17 year old heroine on her senior year of high school, would rather work than go to her classes. She's a barista at Wired Joe's who developed a habit of jotting down her observations of people based on the drinks they order. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal, until Jane started match making her friends based on their choice of coffee based drinks, and she was in over her head. It didn't help that she matched her best friend, Em, with Cam, and she wasn't happy that they were in love. Not the least bit happy at all. But why should she be bothered when there's Will?

I have to say that I enjoyed this novel more than I thought I would. It was interesting to see how Jane seems so much like an expert at matching people when she can't even find one for herself. She was so good at observing them, but she can't seem to see Will for the (user) jerk that he is. And most of all, she was oblivious to what Cam feels about her. It's a bit contradicting for her character, if you ask me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Jane was very perceptive of the people who orders coffee at Wired Joe, but not of those who matter.

I will not complain about how short this novel is, because it has a lot going in it. It wasn't just focused on Jane matchmaking people, but also her friendships with Em, and how strong their friendship is, her encounters with her school's resident mean girl, and all the other typical conflicts a teenager experiences. I did feel like it didn't give a bit of justice to Cam's character though. Cam is a very lovable character but it would have been nice if his character appeared stronger and had developed well like Jane's.

Having said all of that, I guess it goes down to the fact that one's choice of drink, may it be coffee or not, reflects a bit of your personality, of who you are, and that was what Jane sees when she takes people's orders.

Like Emma, Jane has unwittingly made herself the resident matchmaker in town. She might not seem to be "meddling" with people's relationships, but she's certainly a big help!

The Espressologist is Emma re-invented in a world filled with espresso shots and skimmed milk~!

True to the title, this novel has a lot to say about coffee. I learned a lot about it in those 184 pages! People who have no idea about coffee will also appreciate reading this because things were kept simple to the point that anyone will enjoy reading it, coffee lover or not!

If you're looking for a fast, fun read, grab a copy of The Espressologist!

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:

I really really love this cover!


  1. I loved this novel. After working at a coffee house attached to a bookstore for a year, I had come to realize that this was completely true and it was fun to see it written about in a novel. Like you wrote, it didn't need to be long because there was a lot going on. Thanks for the great review!

  2. I don't like coffee either - I'm not alone! ;)
    I've never been in a Starbucks or other coffehouse but this sounds like a cute book based on the match-making alone.
    Thanks for the review.

  3. Mkay, I love coffee. I sobbed for ages when I finally quit drinking it due to the excessive pH levels/over-production of acidity it caused me. (My noobish chemist way of saying it gives me heartburn every time I drink it lol). So, really, you had me at the synopsis. Using coffee to describe a person is ingenious. I sort of used to do something similar, but with fast food - you can tell a LOT about a person by what they eat or drink! :)

    So, Kai, since I do not have this book (yet I'm totally planning to get it), what does a medium caramel frappucino say about me? Or a white chocolate frappucino? Or a chai latte? :P

  4. I LOVE coffee, and this book sounds so cute! I'm a little skeptical of its shortness, but I think I want to give it a try!

  5. This one sounds cute. Thanks for your review.


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