The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Kristina Springer

Bookcloseouts is the cause of many impulse buys – the prices on their discount books make it very easy for me to try out a new-to-me author whose book I don’t see in my library catalog. During one of my periodic checks for Jane Austen modern-day retellings (shh, it is my weakness, don’t judge), I came across a mention of the Emma-like heroine of The Espressologist. Before you get excited – this is not a retelling of Emma, but the comparison was made because the heroine of this book, Jane, is a young matchmaker who does a great job matching others, but not herself.
The Premise: Jane Turner is a barista at Wired Joe’s, who spends her time on an idle hobby – taking notes about how a person’s favorite coffee drink matches their personality. She’s a senior in high-school with a final semester of fluffy subjects to take and a couple of college credit classes in community college, but with all that and a job, she enjoys figuring people out based on their drinks. It doesn’t take long before she realizes that her personality test can be used to hook up her friends based on their drink orders. She even matches her best friend Em, with Cam, the cute boy in her English class. When her manager, Derek gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, it becomes a marketing device for their coffee shop. But why is Jane feeling unsettled?
Read an excerpt of The Espressologist via google books
My Thoughts: At 184 easy pages, this is another short read (I’d been in the mood for short reads this last week). I had no trouble reading this book in one sitting. I would call this a light, untroubled story. It was sweet and passes the time. I wouldn’t necessarily call it shallow, but the story is light on complications. Jane is the narrator and she describes her day to day goings on, where her job and the observations are the highlight of her days. We meet Jane’s regulars, her best friend Em, her co-workers, and even a nemesis in the form of a high school mean girl who discovers where Jane works.
The behind-the-scenes look at a local coffee shop was appealing – just the description of the drinks made me want one, and it seems like the author did her research in that area. And this setting is a good one because the most interesting part of this story has to be the concept of matching personalities with drinks. There are several examples, and some of them are quite funny, including the one the book starts off with, the “Large, Non-fat, Four-shot, Caffe Latte”, which Jane calls the “Cocky sex-deprived butthead guy drink.” I had fun reading about the customers that went with each drink and Jane’s attempts at matchmaking, which she turns out to be very good at. Other than that though, there is relatively low conflict in Jane’s life. She may have to deal with snarky comments from her high school nemesis and she has trouble finding a guy for herself, but these aren’t life changers. When something does happen that knocks Jane for a loop, it’s settled quickly. I found the coffee and matchmaking concept memorable, but not really the rest of the story. I was hoping the romance in this one would be a bigger part of the story, but it ends up feeling underdeveloped.
Overall: I liked the concept of coffee and matchmaking, and that part of the story enlivened the plot, but outside of that concept, The Espressologist isn’t very meaty.  I still found it a fun little book, but a passing diversion more than anything else.
Buy: Amazon | Powell’s | The Book Depository
Other reviews:
The Hiding Spot – C+
Amaterasu Reads – Shining. 4 (out of 5)

2 thoughts on “The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

  1. This book is on my wishlist because sometimes a nice book without too much drama is exactly what I crave.
    However I just realized that the book is shorter than I thought and still costs the same as books with 100 pages more. Think I will try to get a used copy of it.

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