A Film About Coffee

From Source to Mug, Tracing the Workings of the Specialty Coffee Industry

‘I was having this “coffee journey” that I had a hard time explaining to most people,’ Brandon Loper, director of A Film About Coffee, told us. Hailing from Alabama, his primary drink of choice was originally Folgers with Hazelnut creamer, and he only started drinking coffee to impress a girl in college. ‘It worked!’ he assured us.

After moving to San Francisco, energized by the buzz of his new city, he began to notice the differences in coffee; tasting the subtle differences of what he liked and didn’t like. In 2009, he had a coffee at Blue Bottle that kick started a new level of dedication to coffee for him.

‘It was a blend called Misty Valley from Ethiopia, I didn’t know then, but I know now that it was a natural coffee because the blueberry flavour was off the charts.’

Since this defining moment in his coffee journey 5 years ago, Brandon has dug right to the source of coffee, and it’s making. The film was in production for about 2 years (in-between commercial projects) and in post production for almost a year. It is now currently on a worldwide screening tour. We asked Brandon more about it:

The Plus: What was the most memorable moment during the shooting process?
Brandon Loper:
Getting to go to the origin and seeing where coffee is produced was a really special moment. Filmmaking aside, I’m a huge coffee nerd so this is like going to Mecca. Being able to see all the work and details that goes into every cup was fascinating.

TP: What does coffee means to Avocados & Coconuts?
On one level it’s a part of our daily grind. Producing commercial content requires a lot of coffee! On another level it’s been a project that has been a great morale boost for everyone at the company. We are all Filmmakers, whether they collect a check as an editor or post-production supervisor, everyone at the company loves filmmaking so it was a way to get everyone on board, and we’ve all taken it on as our own. It’s been a really fun process.

TP: What would you like people to take away from the film?
I really want people to walk away with a lasting feeling that there are caring people behind each cup of coffee that they drink. On some sort of larger level I believe thinking about others as the first thing you do in the morning could really impact the way you live your life, and you can do that while enjoying your morning cup of coffee. I also feel the need to advocate for the specialty coffee industry. I believe in the process and that buying better coffee from individual farms can slowly start to improve the lives of people in coffee producing countries.

The film will be available to buy online by December.You can purchase that and anything from their online store.