We live in an era of constantly accelerating scientific and social change brought about by developments in education, technology and modem communication. This is a time of questioning and new perceptions affecting all facets of our daily lives. With increasing frequency issues are being raised which demand answers and new approaches. This increases the responsibility of those involved in determining the future shape of the world of coffee. The dependence of developing countries on income generated from trade in coffee, the emergence of new processing techniques, health implications and questions of quality of coffee in the cup are among the issues related to coffee. The knowledge required to form the basis to resolve these issues for the benefit of the multitudes of coffee drinkers will be generated only through the systematic build up of information and its subsequent evaluation. Science and modem technology provide essential tools for these endeavours. This book should act as a stimulant to thought and creativity so the issues facing the industry may be fully analysed and a healthy future for coffee secured. It marks a step forward in laying the foundation for coffee's future. Alexandre F. Beltrao Executive Director International Coffee Organisation London PREFACE We have long been fascinated by coffee and on many occasions bemoaned the lack of a comprehensive text dealing with the varied scientific aspects. With the encouragement of Tim Hardwick of Croom Helm Ltd, we decided to pool our resources and produce just such a multi-author volume.