Book Review: Hollywood Cafe: Coffee with the Stars by Steven Rea

Author Steven Rea has collected photos of over 200 Hollywood stars enjoying coffee in his book Hollywood Café: Coffee with the Stars.

Rea has crafted a very funny and witty introduction to the book where he playfully mocks the modern-day hipster attitude of this timeless beverage. He discusses how he has chosen the photos for the book and the fact that he has done his due diligence in making sure to the best of his knowledge that the stars in the book are indeed enjoying coffee and not another beverage. Rea also explains how he has broken down the book into sections and that some stars appear multiple times in multiple areas. The change in sections throughout the book is a subtle one and they are not delineated by a section break or an obvious tagline change on the bottom of each page.

The photos Rea has included in this book are black and white shots from the early 1920s through the 1960s. While the photos are very interesting to look at, they can get a bit repetitive at times. It would have been nice to break up the photos with more writing from Rea. It would have also been nicer to see some photos from some more modern shows or movies that highlighted coffee specifically like Singles or Friends.

Many of the photos include taglines from the studios who used these photos for publicity. As a reader, be aware that many of them are gendered and sexist but of the time they come out of.

As a coffee enthusiast myself, it was great to see photos of the brewing equipment that so many people are just now discovering, but that have clearly been around for decades. If you look closely you can catch photos of French presses, siphon brewers, and Chemex brewers.

Hollywood Café: Coffee with the Stars retails for $29.99 and is now available from Schiffer Publishing.

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Darcy Staniforth

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