The Perfect Cappuccino
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Top Customer Reviews
When Amy said she had a Fulbright scholarship to study the cappuccino, I knew things were looking up. It was a well-researched movie, following Italian and American coffeemakers and scholars, giving a strong historical basis on the drink, and managing to find interesting storylines.
The movie inspired me to seek out the best coffee in my city (Los Angeles) and I found a new, independent, award-winning microroaster who reminded me of Double Shot Coffee Company.
About fifteen minutes into the film (this would be about the time I finished the stiff demitasse of Dominican coffee I'd pulled for myself on the stovetop) I realized something important: this is an intelligent piece of work. The front half of the research was funded by Ferraris' one-year grant from the Fulbright commission to study the history of Italian cafe culture. In the course of the film, she consults with professors of history and literature, representatives from Italy's oldest espresso roasters, former Starbuck's CEOs, and intellectual property rights lawyers. With an MFA from UCLA's film program and an obvious knack for assembling a coherent narrative, Ferraris brings a touch of academic heft to a subject matter that would appear hopelessly superficial in other hands.
Ferraris' penchant for broad contextualizing is manifest almost immediately: it is not long before we realize that the scope of her inquiry transcends the mug's rim, that her search for the perfect cappuccino is as much practical as it is metaphorical. And she doesn't pull many punches either.
In just a few steps, we see the damning juxtaposition between Italy's cafe culture and our own. We bounce back and forth between shots of thick, dense cappuccinos served in pristine white ceramics and soapy, spit bubble hogwash that's been dumped into recycled paper to-go cups. The cause of the deficiency?Read more ›
I bought this not knowing what to expect, and rightly so. This documentary is unexpectedly personal, about the film maker's cappuccino obsession and independent cafe owners. This movie has uncanny depth and is probably achieved by making coffee-loving people as the center theme rather than the beans.
For those who like more coffee specific subjects, the DVD Extras are superb. I particularly enjoyed the interviews with 2 U.S. Barista Champions. The DVD Extras worth every penny i paid for.
Although, the documentary may start a bit slow, after 15 minutes, it quickly picked up the pace with more interviews, dived into the cultural and philosophy aspects. The author crafted this movie with 2 major countering points - Large Corporation vs. Small Privately Owned Cafes, and U.S. and Italian coffee cultures. Through this, the coffee's 3rd Wave is explained.
There are funny bits sprinkled all over the movie such as Amy's mother playing Starbuck's Howard Schultz.
Super! Love it!
The next 30 minutes or so went back to the United States and complained that Starbucks cappuccino was really bad. This was probably right. But, why was this so long in a movie that was searching for the perfect cappuccino. Boring and irrelevant.
Then there was some 15 minutes devoted to good cappuccino in the United States at a place called DoubleShot. But this morped into a drama about how this little shop in the middle of the United States was being sued by Starbucks because of their copyright on the name "Starbucks cappuccino. A human interest story but boring again if you were looking to find out how to produce and find "The Perfect Cappuccino".
After a good start, there was very little time spent on the science and art of espresso / cappuccino.
The extras were interesting if you were interested in a description of the strategy needed to succeed at barista competitions. Again, we have to ask: "where was the coffee?"
I just took a better look at the "extras" on coffee roasting and brewing.
The "extras" are more interesting than the movie and are worth 4 or 5 stars.
Definitely watch the roasting one that contrasts the very traditional Italian roaster who works with a wood burning roaster and describes the cracking stages as the "singing" of the coffee with the American Doubleshot roaster in Tulsa who is a modern craftsman trying to get the best out of the beans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great insight into the world of coffee! The ones who are in search of the true cappucino or good quality coffee available in the US will appreciate this film.Published 4 months ago by MichSSF
Fun documentary that takes a look at the emerging third-wave coffee scene and contrasts it with the omni-present Starbucks coffee ethos. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Netizen
I learned a bit about cappuccino, but also learned a lot about the American coffee business. I've probably mentioned the movie to 10-15 people over the last couple of weeks.Published 20 months ago by Alex Modelski
Very enlightening. . . worth the watching. If only they could provide a cuppa, oh the pleasures! We need more of these in Michigan!!Published on April 17, 2013 by R Jones
This documentary starts off great then turns into a mind numbing useless complaint about Starbucks and issues related not really having ANYTHING to do with coffee or the work of... Read morePublished on December 26, 2012 by siekret
I really enjoyed this film. It just got better and better as I watched it. I would recommend this to all baristas and coffees lovers.Published on September 6, 2012 by Steve Smith
As another reviewer has already posted a brilliant analysis of this film, I'll keep mine to the perspective of a film and coffee consumer. Read morePublished on March 4, 2010 by T. Smith