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Spilling the beans

OUT NOW! CAFFEINATED is bean porn for caffeine lovers, but its claim to tell the 'real story' behind coffee falls short.

This independently produced documentary is a love letter dedicated to coffee, as the globe-trotting directors assembled a mosaic of intimate encounters with coffee from various countries in Asia, Europe, North and Latin Americas. Interviews were conducted with coffee enthusiasts across the industry, ranging from coffee-growers, barista to coffee taster; the entire process of coffee-making starting from coffee cherry is documented in a Discovery channel manner. Yet these glossy images of bubbling coffee pots and affectionate close-ups of coffee beans, accompanied by somewhat clichéd soundtrack, do not conceal the film’s overall jumpy narrative and lack of a critical stance. By shying away from crucial issues related to the supply chain of global coffee industry, the film makes one crave a more balanced view, as well as a more solid and well-researched argument. At the same time that a lot of answers are overly simplified, a lot of questions remain unasked. 

Caffeinated | Directed by Hanh Nguyen, Vishal Solanki (USA 2015). Starts July 2