Saturday 11 July 2009

The Perfect Cappuccino Movie

I don't have very many coffee related DVDs on my shelf except for Black Gold, which I have previously blogged about, and Paul Bassett's 13 part TV series called Living Coffee, which has helped me in the preparation of my coffee at home - including my choice of cups! I suppose some DVDs in my collection feature coffee/cafés in someway, like Rik's Café in Casablanca or the railway station tea room in Brief Encounter (plus the strangest looking coffee contraption towards the end of the film that I later discovered was called a vacuum pot), but now I'm getting off track...

This morning a new addition to my collection arrived: The Perfect Cappuccino. I've just finished watching it this evening and really enjoyed it. The film is an hour and a half documentary following the journey of the film maker in search of a decent cup of coffee while asking the question of why people settle for a mediocre cup. While the film speaks from an American viewpoint it is quite easy to relate to what is being said by anyone whose life is surrounded by brands, mass marketing and consumption. That said, the movie does bounce back and forth a bit from the U.S. to Italy - the home of espresso and the cappuccino.

A large part of the film examines the ubiquitous nature and goings-on of Starbucks as aposed to small coffee chains or independent unique coffee houses. And while the film doesn't totally slam the mermaid it does set up space in your head for you to do that yourself. That said, the public have a lot to answer for in the fact that they continue to feed the animal - or do they not realise the animal is feeding them?? I digress again. Much of the documentary features the predicament of a small cafe (that seemed to be creating the reality of community and not just the experience of it) as it faced legal action from the bux over the café's name: DoubleShot.

The film will give the average coffee drinker a good introduction to the wider world of coffee without getting bogged down in the stuff that coffee geeks love. What I also liked is that it was filmed, scripted, directed, edited, etc by one person! The only thing that I don't think Amy Ferraris did was actually make any of the coffee - though she did recieve a grant to live in Italy for a year to study the cappuccino!!!

Because it is an independent film it made the price of it a little higher (plus shipping to Ireland almost doubled that!), but that is a price I am willing to pay to support a project like this - plus because it is independent it can say what it likes about globalized coffee companies.

The film has been playing in a number of places across North America and elsewhere. It hasn't been shown publicly here in Ireland yet, but I'm in the process of figuring out with the film maker as to how to do that!

Here's the trailer to whet your appetite.


jsi said...

I believe the best cup of cappuccino is made on my kitchen counter. Actually the perfect cup was actually made on Friday, July 31 by my son Tyler. The perfectly ground bean, the exact amount of sweetness, the perfect foam, the exact amount of steamed was perfect.
It is so much more affordable to eat and drink at home, especially when you can have "the absolute perfect cup." We do not have a Starbucks in our town...the closest is about 32 miles away, highway traffic - a fine distance to prevent anyone for needing or desiring the yuck.

Cosmo said...

Yeah, the home crafted cup is often the best. It sounds like Tyler knows what he's doing!