I’m a coffee lover, but I have to say I knew nearly nothing about it. I certainly didn’t know that it originated in Yemen, and I didn’t know the story of its spread around the globe. Dave Eggers tells the remarkable story of Mokhtar, a young American-born Yemeni man, who discovers his passion for the land of his ancestors, and at the same time, his life’s work.

Mokhtar decides that he can resurrect the Yemeni coffee industry and bring the best of Yemen coffee to the world, while improving the lives and fortunes of the farmers who grow it. The problem is that Yemen is in the grip of a dangerous civil war, and just moving around the country is challenging, never mind setting the structures for exporting coffee in quantity in place. Mokhtar goes about his quest with a single-minded energy and uses his charm to persuade people to hire him, believe him, and do business with him. This is page-turning non-fiction.