Coffee enthusiasts explore the grounds

Anthony Nathan

San Francisco-based director Brandon Loper’s documentary “A Film About Coffee” caters to more than your neighborhood caffeine snob.

The documentary exposes the efforts of overseas coffee farmers and their retail partners in making specialty coffee, coffee produced outside the mass consumer production, unlike Folgers or Starbucks.

Three specialty coffee shop owners in Portland, San Francisco and Tokyo, respectively, share their experiences with the ubiquitous beverage. The labor and passion revealed in their production is something few people see, even though the end product is shared by almost everyone in American culture.

The average coffee consumer would be surprised to see how hands-on the process is.

Harvesters in places like Rwanda and Honduras hand-pick the ripe Coffee cherries. They are later cleaned, left to dry and sorted by hand. The green coffee beans are packed and shipped to the U.S. where they are roasted to the retailers liking.

This extensive man-powered process explains the higher cost when it gets to your cup.

Also, nuances in the preparation of coffee are featured in the film like the finer details of making espresso.

The best attribute of “A Film About Coffee” is its human element.

A memorable scene is when the Honduran farmers are tasting their harvested coffee in the form of an espresso for the first time, courtesy of their American business partner. Two cultures share a smile over their love of the bean.

By the film’s end you get a sense of where these coffee connoisseurs are coming from.

American society is consumed with coffee and a very small portion of the population considers where it came from; although the film does make a point not to advocate anything.

It can be seen that an affinity for making coffee is no different than one’s love for brewing beer or baking cakes. Anyone with a passion will find this movie relatable.

The documentary will be playing for one night only at the Crest Theatre on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.