Best documentaries about coffee

For coffee enthusiasts and curious minds alike, documentaries about coffee provide a rich blend of culture, history, and social impact. Here’s a guide to some of the best coffee documentaries, featuring sections on “Hot Coffee” and “Connected by Coffee.”

1. “Hot Coffee” (2011):
We’ll start with a bit of a curveball – directed by Susan Saladoff, “Hot Coffee” takes a compelling look at the infamous McDonald’s coffee lawsuit, revealing the true story behind the widely misunderstood case. The documentary delves into the legal system, corporate influence, and the media’s role in shaping public perception. “Hot Coffee” challenges preconceptions and prompts viewers to question their understanding of personal responsibility and justice.

2. “Connected by Coffee” (2014):
Directed by Aaron Dennis, “Connected by Coffee” provides a global perspective on the coffee industry. The documentary follows the journey of coffee from farms in Ethiopia and Guatemala to coffee shops in the United States. Through the eyes of coffee producers and consumers, the film explores the social and economic connections forged by this beloved beverage.

3. “Barista” (2015):
This documentary, directed by Rock Baijnauth, offers an intimate look into the world of competitive barista championships. “Barista” follows the journeys of five baristas as they prepare for the National Barista Championship, showcasing their passion, creativity, and dedication to the craft of making the perfect cup of coffee.

4. “A Film About Coffee” (2014):
Directed by Brandon Loper, “A Film About Coffee” is a visually stunning documentary that explores the global journey of coffee, from bean to cup. The film delves into the stories of farmers, roasters, and baristas, emphasizing the cultural and ethical dimensions of the coffee industry. It’s a sensory journey that celebrates the artistry and interconnectedness of coffee.

5. “Black Gold” (2006):
Directors Marc Francis and Nick Francis tackle the complex issues of fair trade in the coffee industry in “Black Gold.” The documentary follows Ethiopian coffee farmers as they navigate the challenges of an industry where prices are dictated by global markets. It raises questions about the ethical responsibilities of consumers and corporations in supporting sustainable practices.

6. “The Coffee Man” (2016):
Directed by Jeff Hann, “The Coffee Man” follows the journey of Australian barista Sasa Sestic as he competes in the World Barista Championship. The film captures Sestic’s pursuit of perfection, the challenges of the competition, and his quest to discover the best coffee beans around the world.

7. “Coffee for All” (2013):
Directed by Oskar Rosetti and Rasmus Boserup, “Coffee for All” explores the third-wave coffee movement, focusing on the specialty coffee scene in Denmark. The documentary delves into the cultural shift toward appreciating high-quality coffee and the relationships between consumers, baristas, and coffee producers.

8. “Starbucks Unfiltered” (2019):
Produced by Bill Kurtis, “Starbucks Unfiltered” takes a critical look at the global coffee giant and its impact on the industry. The documentary explores issues such as fair trade practices, the environmental impact of coffee production, and the complexities of sourcing beans on a massive scale.

Indulge your love for coffee and expand your understanding of its journey from seed to cup with these captivating documentaries. Each film offers a unique perspective on the world of coffee, inviting viewers to savor not only the flavors but also the stories behind their favorite brews.


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