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Black Coffee

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Jul 22, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Exploring the dark, rich world of coffee

The Cola Conquest filmmaker Irene Angelico is back to investigate the java equivalent of beverage corruption with Black Coffee, a documentary that explores the dark side of dark roast, light roast and everything in between.

Black Coffee examines the impact of the potent bean throughout history. Sparking social, economic and even sexual strife, coffee consumption became not only a status symbol of social class, but a patriotic duty in colonial America. As brilliant marketing campaigns branded coffee society’s most essential drink, mass production would pave the way for subjugation and oppressive barriers that desperately needed to be broken.

From coffee’s production to its commercial distribution and the capitalization that follows, Black Coffee documents the culture and the counterculture forged by the world’s favorite drink.

INCLUDES: The Irresistible Bean / Gold in Your Cup / The Perfect Cup

approx. 174 mins.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Irene Angelico
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001AEF636
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,513 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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3 star
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Top Customer Reviews

By Howard S. Gay Jr. on February 8, 2009
Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding documentary about the bean which affected all continents. It is an intimate, lavish, round the world tour of coffee farms, coffee house meccas, interviews with experts, growers, and baristas who exude a religious ferver for the art of brewing the black gold! It is also romantically filmed, and narrated with appropriate music. The amazing rich history, and legends are included. It is believed that the bean was first discovered by goats in Ethiopia, which attracted the attention of the goatherder, and he too was entranced. There is even a connection between Moby Dick and the Starbucks chain. The name "coffee" may have derived from the Ethiopian province "Kaffa". Once in Arabia it was called the "Wine of Arabia" and was served in wine glasses. The bean has spawned coffee cultures and counter cultures and even as we speak there is concern for the future of quality harvests and enough afficianados to mantain the high end market of the trade. A world leader committed suicide and a potentate once declared the bean to be evil and immoral, but later, a Pope tested it and gave it his Blessing! Here is a three disc armchair tour from the vine to your loving cup. Enjoy!
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FASCINATING story of what we drink every day

"Coffee is the second most valuable traded legal commodity in the world.". That statement is made at the beginning of each of the three "episodes" of this 3 hour documentary produced for Canadian TV in 2005. So the subject of "coffee" affects nearly everyone.

I'm not sure how this DVD release is being marketed, but if you found this review while searching on Amazon you probably have an interest in the subject. That said, I couldn't recommend this highly enough! I'm a coffee drinker (probably too many cups a day) and have learned the difference between Maxwell House's Robusto beans and the Arabica beans used by my local coffee shop (as well as Starbucks, and even A&P's Eight O'Clock brand.) But I didn't know where coffee started, how it got to Central and South America and lots of other pieces of coffee history. Writer-Director Irene Angelico has made that history both educational and entertaining but traveling, literally, all over the world to film this project. The experts she has chosen are, not only authorities, but great personalities as well.

The First disc tells us the history of the coffee been and features some great art. We even learn that it was the pre-cursor of Viagra in ancient civilizations!). Then we move on to Disc Two, which follows the coffee bean from Ethiopia to Brazil. (Wait until you learn how a romantic tryst was responsible for it's travel to South America). WE lean how Folgers and Maxwell House and Chase & Sanborn were created (and that they once used real high quality beans). This section includes some great TV commercials from the 1950s. The last disc takes us into the 1970s through today with Starbucks and Peets dominating the market and the rise of the Fair Trade coffee commission.
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Interesting documentary that you'll find informative. It offers a lot for the coffee enthusiast in us all. However, I found parts of this a little drab, somewhat monotone, and a bit preachy. I understand the sensitivity of the subject about the farms these beans come from, their communities, economy, and how they can get taken advantage of. I understand the whole Fair Trade thing, but there us negatives that come with the positives of that. Portions of this 3 DVD Doc, take aim at us, the consumer, and even try to guilt us. I like to know the history about coffee without getting political and that's what i found here. If you can look past all that, it's worth a look at how the coffee industry works and where it all started.
I think that a lot more could've been covered. I would've like to have seen more about the Processing of the beans, different plantations, how important climate is, other coffee brands and where they get their beans from, different ways of making coffee, etc.
To me, that's a lot that went unnoticed. But im sure theres other documentaries out there that can show us all of those things.
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I found BLACK COFFEE to be a powerful social commentary, one which has changed my appreciation of fine coffee.
Although the pervading theme is corporate greed with its negative outcomes for product and people, potential solutions
provide hope of a better future for both producers and consumers of the magic bean. Why not sip a good coffee while
you absorb its history, from BLACK COFFEE?
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