To add to the growing list of well-produced coffee videos that I continue to share, New York based artist Alan Gastelum recently finished his latest film, which captures one of my personal favorite shops—RBC NYC.
Alan’s foray into coffee films didn’t start with RBC though, it began with his personal experiences at Abraço, which changed his perception of and relationship with coffee.
I moved to New York City 3 years ago from Los Angeles. Before I lived here, I was never really into coffee and I believe it was because everything I had up until then was unimpressionable. I wasn’t impressed with “coffee”, until I stepped foot into a few small places in New York, Abraco being one of them.
I dont know if it is so much the actual coffee or the romance of the coffee culture, that had me. Walking into Abraco somewhat transports you into its own world and for the 10, 20, 30 minutes you spend in there, you are held in this wonderful world until you leave. Spending time in this small world I have learned to appreciate coffee and all that goes into it.
I love to hear a good “conversion” story, but it’s even better when a person has the ability to capture the romance visually to share with others. The entire five part series about Abraço is worth watching when you have the time, “Open” happens to be my favorite.
Great video by Stumptown from a recent sourcing trip in Colombia. Enjoy!
Over the last several months, Stumptown has continued filming coffee farmers in their element. The latest in our series of Source Trip Films features Colombian coffee producers and the intense relationship between growers, the coffee and their communities.
I’ve never been to Arizona, but I’ve recently noticed an increase in Twitter followers from the Grand Canyon state that may signify the growing interest in Specialty Coffee there, which I’d previously been ignorant to. After seeing this video made by Ah Dios for Cartel Coffee Lab—it looks like they’ve played a big part in that growing interest.
Founded in 2007, Cartel Coffee Lab now has 4 locations in Arizona (Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix & Tucson) and roast their own coffee in a lovely San Franciscan roaster at the Tempe shop. They are active in organizing educational classes—and based on this video—have a humble, but principled approach to serving great coffee.
This video is great for blending commentary from the founder with high-def coffee porn and incredible facial hair cameos. Bonus points for the “Stranger Than Fiction” style annotations and their future expansion into beer brewing.
Michael Phillips, the 2010 World Barista Champion and 1/3 of Handsome Roasters, recently gave a Super Talk about coffee at a TED-like event in Korea called Super Series.
The talk, named “Cultural Coffee & Artistic Barista” begins with a brief definition of Specialty Coffee before Mike goes on to share his passions for coffee and being a barista. As the talk progresses, he discusses important changes taking place in the world of coffee guided by cultural interest in the process and origin of the things we consume and a desire for authenticity in our every-day experiences.
After briefly explaining barista competitions, Mike elaborates on why they are good for baristas and the positive innovations they have led to in the industry, which results in better coffee for the consumer and inspired new ways to look at coffee.
Things like this have caused coffee to be reborn, re-examined, and challenged in entirely new ways.
This video is an approachable explanation of the changes people have begun seeing in their local coffee shops, read about online and heard about from their friends. There’s a lot of great information delivered without pretension and a handsome face.
Another visually stunning look into the world of coffee bars and roasteries made by Charley Voorhis for Olympia Coffee Roasters in Washington. I never get tired of watching these. Take a coffee break and enjoy!
If you haven’t seen the others, check out the videos from MadCap & Doma.
From the same people who created “Green Bean,” a beautiful video I posted back in April, comes another equally as stunning video featuring the team at MadCap Coffee. Showing off their latte art skills and their custom MadCap tampers, combined with the talented video work of Hybrid Media Co. make this some of the best coffee porn online.
Just like last time, turn up the speakers, watch it fullscreen and enjoy.
I’ve been sent this video by roughly 20 people and it’s been making rounds on the internet so hard that even Gizmodo has posted it. The video is interesting, and though not necessarily incorrect, I find it really annoying. Describing it as “everything you need to know about coffee in less than five minutes,” while only spending 8 seconds on the actual process from crop to cup, overlooks all of the work it actually takes to produce coffee. The rest of the video is little more than a 4-minute ramble about the effects of caffeine. There’s far more to coffee than caffeine. If that’s the only reason you drink it, you’re missing out on so much more. Just sayin.
Last fall, two friends embarked on a cross-country road trip to experience and capture Canada’s independent coffee culture. What resulted was a 20 episode series called Common Ground TV that highlights the many different places, personalities, and perspectives within the Canadian coffee scene.
I know very little about Canadian coffee aside from the names of a few roasters and a couple baristas I met during Coffee Common, so I’ve learned a lot during the first six episodes. The 10-minute episodes have featured everything from interviews with coffee notables like Zane Kelsall and Sevan Istanboulian—to a trip to the Canadian Barista Championship. There’s also a bit of cultural insight and good clean fun along the way.
The two hosts, Nik and Edan, spoke with DCILY about their project, what they learned during their journey, and what the future holds.
— What spurred you to make this trip? Have you always been so enthusiastic about coffee?
NIK:Ever since about 16, I’ve had an addiction to coffee. I’ve always had a decent surface knowledge of what makes a good cup. After being a barista on and off for about 15 years, I found the culture to be very interesting as far as the characters you meet across an espresso machine. People never set out to be baristas, they’re always led there and often times down some colorful paths. Those are the stories that we have been capturing. Ex-engineers, athletes—you name it—they’re often very eccentric and intense folks.
EDAN:When I was in high school, a cafe opened in Grand Forks called ‘River City’; they made really good coffee, and I started to appreciate the differences between gas station swill and proper espresso. When Nik opened his cafe, I got a chance to learn the finer nuances of pulling a good shot of espresso and how to steam milk properly. From there, Nik and I wanted to create a guide to the best coffee in BC, but I ended up doing my masters in architecture, and Nik got busy with film school, and we took a few years away from the project. Last year, we finally decided to stop talking about it and do it, and that idea ultimately turned into this film project.
What was the most enlightening thing you learned about coffee on the trip? Has it changed your perception of coffee since learning it?
EDAN: We started the trip as reasonably well informed coffee drinkers, but we soon learned that there is just so much more going on behind the scenes when it comes to getting the most out of green coffee beans. Sevan Istanboulian of Cafe Mystique showed us a lot: from the temperature and humidity the beans are kept at during transport to the roaster, to the exact conditions of roasting, to blending—before a barista ever has a chance to grind, tamp and extract a shot, there is a tremendous amount that goes into ensuring the roasted beans are absolutely the best they can be.
NIK: Personally, I learned, or at least reinforced my belief that the scenario affects the cup. As much science, heart and energy obviously dictates the flavour, taste, profile, etc—the scenario really is what rounds out the experience. We visited cafes that weren’t as highly regarded as others but the staff and locations would be so nice that they would supplement the overall enjoyment. Counter to that we visited a couple of the countries highest regarded and found people to be arrogant and unwelcoming thereby ruining the experience.
I’ve always dreamt of doing something like this in the US, do you plan on taking your crew abroad anytime soon?
NIK: We are currently prepping both Series Two on the West Coast of the USA and we’re shooting Series Three in Europe shortly there after.
EDAN: The US West coast is extremely appealing right now, and we are starting work on establishing connections to cafe’s and roasters from Seattle to San Francisco, and we are hoping for a summer launch. Europe, we hope, will happen in the fall.
What’s the connection between Global Authority and CGTV?
EDAN: The notion of ‘Global Authority’ was a tongue-in-cheek response Nik and I had while driving around BC a few years ago in the midst of a highly opinionated caffeine-fueled rant. It morphed into a proper company in 2010 in order to give ‘Common Grounds TV’ a proper business foundation, and Nik and I remain the primary members.
NIK: We have found great success across numerous intertwined industries including photography, film-making, reporting, small business and architecture. Global Authority is the umbrella under which we operate and explore avenues that interest us. We recruit also, if we feel we aren’t as good as we can be in an area, we refer and outsource work to driven creative types. We have a network of incredible sound techs, sound designers, graphic designers and marketers. Our biggest thing is that we work with nice, driven creative people. Life’s too short to work with awful people and by varying our interests we’re never stuck in a position of dealing with unsavory folks for extended periods. When you drink this much caffeine, outside aggravation has to be kept to a minimum.
You have a couple big sponsors, including Krups, how did that relationship form and what role did they play in the project?
NIK: They’re certainly the biggest name we’re associated with and their sponsorship made the logistics that much more possible. We certainly don’t reap a wage from Series One but being able to cover gas and hotels to minimize our personal outlay is a godsend and we couldn’t have done it without them. They certainly took a chance on us but we feel we are able to reach their target demographic with our humour, content and fanatical approach.
EDAN: Basically we needed someone to fill the gap between the funding Nik and I had ourselves, the the amount needed to pay for the trip (food, gas, gear, etc) without bankrupting us completely, which is where Krups came into play. They had confidence in the concept early on, and with their help, we found a way to take the time off our ‘real jobs’ to make the show.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with DCILY. Good luck with the upcoming seasons.