“All right, Mr. DeMille. I’m ready for my close-up.” ~ Coffee
By Colleen Luckett
If you’re looking for a decent coffee-themed documentary for an exciting Friday night, look no further (and maybe rethink your beliefs about what’s an exciting Friday night! Tee hee ). Before we start, I have a disclaimer: I haven’t fully watched any of the following documentaries. But don’t fire me yet! I’ve suggested these based either on my interest after seeing the trailer or clips or because it was audience top-rated—or both. Check ‘em out and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
World’s Most Popular Drink – The History of Coffee
What better place to start than with the history of coffee in a cozy documentary from our favorite history channel: History (formerly, The History Channel). World’s Most Popular Drink also explores the process of making coffee. After going from plant to bees to coffee in your morning cup, it covers the rise of a “wee” coffee shop in Seattle that revolutionized the specialty coffee industry. You may have heard of it. Mermaid for a logo? Yeah, those guys. OK, confession: This film may be a little outdated, because I couldn’t find an official History website showing it. But I did find the film free by typing in the title at DocumentaryTube, and it’s informative, so give it a shot!
A Film About Coffee (Coffee around the world)
This documentary title is incredibly spot-on: it’s a film about coffee. The Boston Globe's cozy review of this movie gushes: “If you love coffee, you have to watch this film. If you want to understand what makes coffee freaks so passionate about their brew, you have to watch this film. If you want to understand the global coffee economy, watch this film.”
Specifically, A Film about Coffee focuses on specialty coffee, examining “what it takes, and what it means, for coffee to be defined as ‘specialty.’” It takes audiences around the globe on a coffee adventure, spotlighting cozy farms in Honduras and Rwanda, as well as cozy shops in Tokyo, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and New York. What else is up its coffee sleeve? Talk about baristas and farmers, old and new traditions of coffee production, and where to find the best cup. Plus, you’ll drink in the gorgeous cinematography (see what I did there?). A Film About Coffee has had multiple international screenings and been well-received on the global stage. You can now type this title into Vimeo's search engine and rent the video version to stream for a limited time at $4.99, or buy and download it for $12.99
Roasted: A Coffee Documentary (one independent coffee shop owner’s journey)
Roasted: A Coffee Documentary is a 25-minute long documentary about Chuck Patton and his company, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, and his growth from owner of a home coffee roaster to becoming a big-time coffee roaster in the independent coffee shop business. The film is reported as having “…a fantastic personal insight into the development and growth of a small business by a man who had the guts to open a small independent coffee shop right across the road from a Starbucks.” Many folks thought he was crazy challenging the likes of Starbucks. Nevertheless, neither the skepticism nor Starbucks have hampered his success.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters shop, open seven days a week, is in Del Mar, California. For a really authentic experience, if you’re in the neighborhood, grab a delicious cup ‘o Joe while enjoying the documentary on your e-tablet (don’t forget your earplugs!). Be sure to bring along your favorite Kup Kap or Kup Kollar to keep those drinks hot or cold as you take your time and settle in. [Use photo of you reading e-reader with Kollar]
Coffee-Hunting: Kenya (sourcing coffee from overseas)
I’ll finish off with what looks to be a quirky documentary: Coffee-Hunting: Kenya. During the last decade, Aaron Blanco, owner of Brown Coffee Co., had been cultivating relationships with coffee farmers from countries like Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. When he decided to make a documentary on the ins and outs of coffee sourcing, though, he wanted to challenge himself and go somewhere he had never been before—enter Kenya. “There are funny parts, serious parts, plot twists and a finale that hopefully sends you home smiling," said Blanco of the film. You can access the documentary at Amazon.com, and if you’re a Prime member, looks like it’s free! (If you scroll to the bottom of that Amazon page, you’ll see many more coffee documentaries to peruse if none of these rev your engine).
You can also visit Brown Coffee Co. in person. There are a couple locations in San Antonio. If you’re in the area, drop by and let us know how it was !