Caffeinated (2015) Movie Review: Like a Good Cup of Coffee

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for each new country visited

Take a Drink: whenever somebody waxes poetic about cafe

Take a Drink: whenever you really want a cup of coffee

Okay, Take a Coffee, and Maybe Irish It Up a Bit: for our most beautiful of addictions

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –

In Peace Corps training in Peru, a trainer told me way earlier than was logical that my site assignment was to a coffee-growing town in the mountains of Arequipa, Peru.  After I stopped jumping for joy, he, a bit mortified at the reaction his joke had gotten, informed me that coffee doesn’t grow over 10,000 feet.

andean-potato-field

Turns out, not much but potatoes do

I’ve been a very obvious coffee fanatic every since first mainlining everyone’s favorite wakeup drug in high school, but I’ve never known all the work that goes into brewing that perfect cup.  Caffeinated has that covered, tracing coffee’s journey from arabica or robusta bush to the cup in your hands.

A Toast

Caffeinated tries to tackle the entire subject of coffee in 80 minutes, tracing its history, reemergence as a gourmet product with its own particular jargon and rituals, and worldwide cultural footprint.  However, it’s strongest when it’s simply showing how much hard work and how many people are involved in its journey from field to table.  I learned all kinds of cool facts.

coffee-cherry

Did you know coffee is a cherry, and then basically a peanut?

The second aim of the documentary is social, as the second half shifts focus to the lives of coffee farmers, and their economic travails, which are lessening as gourmet, single-grower or regional blends surge in popularity, but which are still very much present.  Caffeinated presents a strong argument for consumer activism- that extra dime or dollar really does matter.

Beer Two

Some of what Caffeinated shows and tells of the lives of coffee producers, like how they often can only afford to send one child to school, or images of people painstakingly sorting bean by bean or trudging through them to sift them as they dry in the hot sun, begs the question of whether we’re doing enough.

When I point this finger, I’m also pointing it at myself from my Peace Corps days, but scenes of white people (it’s always white people) “motivating” farmers by describing how their “calidad” (quality) is important to the enormously privileged customers sipping their coffee a world away smacks as tone deaf.   The blank nodding of the farmer in that scene (and others mixing the two worlds) is immensely recognizable to me.  He doesn’t really give a shit about the suburban mom quaffing his coffee.  After all, he can’t even afford to drink the stuff himself.

Beer Three

On a happier note, I wish they’d talked about kopi luwak.

kopi-luwak

This stuff.

Best coffee I’ve ever drank, seriously.  Two more things: the little bit of slo-mo is a bad call.  This isn’t an ASPCA commercial.  Also, Danny Glover? (Not that every movie couldn’t use a dash of Danny Glover.)

Verdict

If you drink coffee at all, you should watch this- for entertainment and education.

3beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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