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Five top baristas find themselves pushing the limits of coffee perfection to win the National Barista Championship - a surreal competition where even one mistake is far too many.

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Five top baristas find themselves pushing the limits of coffee perfection to win the National Barista Championship - a surreal competition where even one mistake is far too many. Once a year, thousands of baristas square off in competitions around the U.S., but only one will become the National Champion. BARISTA takes viewers on a humorous, emotional and enlightening look into the unimaginable world of coffee competitions and the passionate, lovable and quirky characters who devote their lives to them. If you think you know coffee - this film will make you think twice. These baristas take this universally beloved beverage seriously. Their passion for it can be felt through every frame of the film. BARISTA will take you beyond the drink and shine a light on a unique world very few of us ever knew existed. Written by Anonymous

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6 November 2015 (USA)  »

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More than just coffee
13 December 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I didn't know what to expect of this documentary BARISTA partly because I grew up in a region that was more into tea than coffee but I find BARISTA to be enlightening, it gives me newfound appreciation for what otherwise would be just a drink we'd consume every morning to keep us awake in the office and not think much about it.

Before BARISTA, I didn't know that that there was such a thing as a baristas competition, I didn't know that there was a skill to tasting coffee. Before BARISTAS, I only saw them as the guys with green aprons behind the counter writing my name on a white styrofoam cup and nothing more.

From writer/director Rock Baijnauth, BARISTA focuses on five top baristas in a national competition. You get to know each of these people, their lives, their families, their methods, their hopes, their ambitions, and most importantly why they choose to do what they do for a living. That's the part that arrests my attention because these guys, just as they point out themselves in this docu, get asked that same question a thousand times over by their peers and family members who just don't understand; they think this is just a stepping stone to another career. But as one of them points out, some of us just feel OK or content with what we have and that's OK. A lot of folks especially millennials today can relate to that. But to their credit, they love it so much that they become masters of their own craft, coffee artists if you will. And that's something to take away for those watching BARISTAS, it's informative and entertaining and passionate. It's a great little documentary. BARISTA is as much about the artists as it is about the coffee.

The only thing that would've made things much more interesting is if the story had had some kind of antagonist, to make the competition fiercer, like something would have to be on the line, it's all or nothing because the stakes are higher than just the idea of getting your name out there or the possibility of endorsements. But the movie settles for solidarity, which is fine by me, perhaps they could save that antagonist for the narrative feature version.


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