Monday, August 24, 2015


Learn the story behind your morning cup of Java.  From seed to mug, production to consumption, coffee has shaped the lives of thousands of individuals worldwide. Working with Geoff Watts, famous green-buyer, the filmmakers travel to America's most populous coffee-drinking cities and to producing countries, interviewing connoisseurs and farmers alike. With a focus on the social and cultural landscape of coffee, Caffeinated is a new movie that gives the coffee consumer unprecedented access to the farmers responsible for growing that perfect bean, and the producers responsible for brewing that perfect cup.

Caffeinated, directed and written by Hanh Nguyen and Vishal Solanki doesn’t focus on the experience of having caffeine.  It’s all about the experience of the aroma and taste  In fact the goal is to find the perfect coffee that when reaching your cup smells just as great as the waff you get when the coffee beans are first ground. 

Coffee is actually a fruit grown much like cherries and picked when ripened to give the sweetness.  Instead of a pit, there is a bean and the result all depends upon the farmers and those that roast the beans.  

The origin of coffee is said to date back to Ethiopia where they would have coffee ceremonies first in the household and extending to the village.  Ceremonies were conducted by the women in the home.  Drinking coffee became a social experience and apparently still is. 

Hawaii is the only place in North America that coffee is grown as the tropical band around the Equator, along with mountains at 6,000 lend the perfect atmospheres. 

Coffee tasting is almost like tasting wine.  You smell the aroma and then taste it black by slurping; sipping with air.  That means no sugar or milk. 

Espresso began in Italy where workers did not want to wait for the 5 minutes to brew.  Here you are forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.  Although espresso has a larger amount of caffeine, the amount you drink is much less that a cup of regular coffee.  Acidity content is less as well.  In 1901, the Italian inventor Luigi Bezzera came up with a workable solution. Pavoni manufactured the first espresso machines in 1905. 

There aren’t many places in Queens that actually roast the coffee beans.  One of the largest is Fairway Market with one location in Douglaston.  There is a huge variety of coffee to choose from regarding location, flavored and both caffeinated and decaf. 

Native Coffee Roasters is located in Astoria but is not open to the public.   They roast small batches: El Salvador; NYC Diesel; and Colombia.  They have locations in Queens where you can buy the coffee.  Check them out at

Coffeed comes out of Long Island City.  Their flagship location at 37-18 Northern Blvd.  features a full-service café, a roasting facility, a bar with local beers and wines, and the Brooklyn Grange’s acre-sized rooftop farm, source of much of COFFEED’s produce.  It is also where they test, cup and experiment with different beans, techniques, and technologies.
The 3000 sq-ft space has ample seating and has played host to events of all types and sizes, including roasting classes, charity fundraisers, open mic nights, movie screenings, and even a wedding proposal.  Now that’s a coffee house!  

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