In my recent video “why coffee?” I spoke about the metaphysical dimensions of coffee, and why I thought the pursuit of that perfect cup was a worthy aim that even had some spiritual dimensions to it. Following up on that thread, I’m very excited to bring to you this short documentary by Liam Dousti that follows the quest of an emerging roasterie and coffee shop from Toronto, Canada. As you watch it, keep an eye out for what this pursuit of material excellence represents, what’s beyond the bean, where’s the metaphysical? But first, here’s a few notes from Liam about why he chose to make this film.

Galen Humber, Editor

I made this film to show how a simple thing like coffee can shed light on how we are all connected.

Coffee is a drink that brings people together. In every corner of the world, at any given moment, there are people sharing stories, generating knowledge and connecting over a cup of coffee. It transcends culture, language, ethnicity, beliefs and identity.  I made this film to show how a simple thing like coffee can shed light on how we are all connected, we are all one.

Before we go any further, you are probably wondering why the film is titled Coffea. What does it mean? Is it a typo? Coffea is actually a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. This genus encompasses over 120 species, and each species has numerous varieties. This results in a very diverse plant family that produces seeds commonly referred to as coffee beans. The two most common species are Arabica and Canephora (or Robusta).

I named the film Coffea because of this diversity. Regardless of the species that the seed (or coffee bean) is harvested from, the end result is a beverage that we call coffee. There’s something really beautiful there. There’s all these  differences and complexities amongst these species, and yet there’s unity. This diversity has led to agricultural research, new farming techniques, specialty coffee and a pursuit of knowledge of a cherry as old as humanity itself.

So, on a botanical level, coffee can serve as a metaphor for our shared humanity. This is manifested on a social level when we meet up for coffee. When I invite someone to grab coffee it’s usually an indication that I want to spend some quality time together developing a relationship.. This creates an open and comfortable environment, even if it’s our first time meeting. I wonder, is it possible to treat every interaction like a coffee date?

If you liked the film, don't hesitate to reach out! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Liam Dousti
Liam Dousti is a filmmaker and photographer located in Toronto.