Sweeping panoramic vistas of Rwanda high tropical gardens, delight in the faces of farmers, snippets of a variety of interviews brokers and big-gun roasters on coffee, or Katzu Tanaka romancing his espresso machine in a small Tokyo shop. Any one of these scenes would have been sufficient for the evening. Fortunately, they were bundled, edited, ribboned, and served up to us in one 18g/58mm film.
This month, on a cold night in the Twin Cities, a packed-house of competing Big Central baristas and coffee aficionados were treated to the evening of Avocados & Coconuts’s one hour documentary on specialty coffee thanks to Spyhouse Coffee Roasting, Minneapolis. Not a flick for the uninitiated, the in-crowd was treated to scenes from Japan to Rwanda, New York to Honduras, hearing once again about their passion — coffee — from the very farmers, brokers, and shops who labor daily to bring these stellar cups to our tables.
Director Brandon Loper took 70 hours of footage, 25 locations and 34 interviews and tied it together seamlessly in a fast-paced one hour flick about the bean.
- Marvel: Ritual Coffee loading up a ‘Zocco, a Mazzer and off they go to rural Honduras where coffee farmers taste their own coffee for the first time. Brilliant footage, catching expressions of wonder, puzzlement at the first sip, a bit of confusion, faces checking each others’ faces for reaction, and then — pure delight. Adios, Nescafe
- Sacredness: A Japanese coffee cafe, a Kissatan, where an elderly man painstakingly preparing a pourover as if he was an intermediary for the divine in touching our palate.
- Profound synthesis: George Howell waxing poetically on the ultimate in coffee preparation, brewed. Yes, George, tell ‘em!
- Bucket list material: Ballsy Katzu Tanaka preaching to our choir of competitors who were in town for the Big Central.
- Tanaka drew cheer upon cheer from the young crowd. He also got added to my must-visit list, Bear Pond in Tokyo. A 3/4oz ristretto is all he pulls! 5 commandments from Katzu.
Give yourself a treat. Find another coffee aficionado, do a short crawl, and then wander into the next theater that offers you a chance to take it all in. Trailers are always teasers – this one is no different. See A Film About Coffee online.