Person watching coffee documentry on his TV

From Steam to Stream: Top 5 documentaries about coffee

Audrey Harrison
Home brewer

Aren’t documentaries just a great way to educate oneself while having fun? They provide us with a peek into worlds that we otherwise would not be able to see. Without compromising the audiovisual quality, they communicate compelling stories in a realistic way.

If you're anything like us, your love of coffee goes beyond your daily cup (or three cups) and pretty much takes up the majority of your day. Seriously, we understand how it can be to become fascinated with coffee and the culture surrounding it, whether you discuss coffee with friends or family, hunt for new coffee places to try, or locate recipes to prepare great coffee concoctions.

Here are the top 5 documentaries for a cinematic caffeine rush that you can stream right away and explore the coffee industry from a variety of angles.

Top 5 documentaries about coffee

Connected By Coffee (2014)

Directed by: Aaron Dennis 

Runtime: 70 min


The documentary “Connected By Coffee” chronicles the tale of Latin American coffee producers and demonstrates how closely tied the region's tumultuous past and bright future are to our daily cup of joe. The movie follows a 1000-mile journey from Mexico to Nicaragua and demonstrates how fair trading connections are enhancing community empowerment and advancing social justice.

We witness the unwavering energy of people who are determined to live blissfully in spite of economic, social, and environmental difficulties at every turn of the movie's journey. Some of them are former soldiers who gave up their firearms to work as farmers.

Others are farm owners and operators who have gotten together to help one another. Others are independent farmers who have organized cooperatives to better their quality of life and serve as vital catalysts for social change. We discover along the voyage how each cup of coffee links us in a very genuine way to the individuals who are most in charge of producing it: the growers themselves.

A Film About Coffee (2014)

Directed by: Brandon Loper 

Runtime: 67 min


As IMDB puts it very well, “A Film About Coffee" is a love letter to, and meditation on, specialty coffee.

The movie takes viewers on a journey around the globe, stopping at coffee shops in Tokyo, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and New York in addition to farms in Honduras and Rwanda. The movie provides a distinctive overview of all the components—the procedures, preferences, and preparations—that come together to produce the best cups via the eyes and experiences of farmers and baristas. The coffee industry, its producers, and its consumers are the subjects of this endearing, surprisingly intriguing, and incredibly cozy documentary. In fact, I think it will increase your appreciation of coffee a little.

Caffeinated (2015)

Directed by: Vishal Solanki y Hanh Nguyen 

Runtime: 80 min


To capture the entirety of the specialty coffee production process, the directors spent several years traveling and filming abroad. This documentary “Caffeinated” depicts the coffee consumption landscape in different American cities and follows Geoff Watts on several of his coffee excursions. It highlights the significance of who is involved in each process by highlighting the growers, importers, roasters, or baristas involved in it.

According to the movie, cultivation first began in East Africa and afterward spread to India, Central and South America, Asia, and other highland tropical regions. Diehard consumers may find that all these insider details on the coffee trade measurably add to the enjoyment of their favorite beverage. We definitely recommend the movie!

The Coffee Man (2016)

Directed by: Jeff Hann 

Runtime: 85 min


Sasa Sestic's path to the 2015 World Barista Championships is a significant one, starting with modest beginnings in war-torn Yugoslavia and ending in his adopted home of Australia, the movie chronicles his journey. You'll be gripping your nails, rising up and cheering, and longing that you, too, could experience Sasa's Holy Grail: the ideal cup of coffee, after watching the deeply personal, observational documentary "The Coffee Man."

According to Jeff Hann’s website, more than 350 theatres in 50 different countries have shown “The Coffee Man”. The movie was nominated for an ATOM 2016 (Australian Teachers of Media) Award for "Best Documentary - Bio" and won "Best Australian Documentary" at the 2016 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival as well as the 2017 James Beard Award for "Best Documentary Film." From the farm to the cup, Sasa's journey takes the audience to the breathtaking heights of international competition, where Sasa will win at any costs, even if it means smuggling Australian milk past US customs to get the ideal flavor profile. Damn!

Black Gold (2006)

Directed by: Marc J. Francis, Nick Francis

Runtime: 78 min


“Black Gold” is a realistic documentary that focuses on the painstaking efforts of the manager of an Ethiopian cooperative of coffee growers to increase the pay of its members.

The film's structure examines coffee in Ethiopia, Seattle, London, and other locations while presenting the reality that the producers are paid a pitiful sum in comparison to what a Western coffee drinker would pay for even a homemade cup prepared from coffee granules. Customers will want to support Fair Trade and Third World coffee growers after watching Black Gold. You can already only buy Fair Trade brands of coffee and that is a start.

In conclusion

I feel like a new person when I sip hot coffee and watch movies that are fully based on historical occurrences. If you have an opportunity to view these documentaries, you might experience the same thing.

Did you know there are more than a thousand distinct varieties of coffee? Do you know what year coffee first became popular? Did you know that one of the most popular drinks in the world is coffee? These are just a handful of the amazing details you'll discover about coffee in these documentaries.


Audrey Harrison

Team TAB
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I am a coffee aficionado based in Seattle. I have devoted my passion and expertise to perfecting the art of home coffee brewing. I became known for my exquisite pour-over and espresso creations. I source coffee beans from local roasters and explores ...