Consumable media remains in high demand as shelter in place orders continue to have folks staying home to avoid spreading COVID-19. Stumptown TV offered an albeit brief respite from the non-weird and the UK’s Dark Arts Coffee have also been churning out some high quality coffee content of the off-kilter variety. But what if you are looking for something with a little more of a serious tone, maybe something more feature length? For you there’s Shade Grown Coffee, a new documentary about, well, shade grown coffee.
Over the course of the 75-minute runtime, Shade Grown Coffee takes a deep dive on the positive impacts the titular crop has both ecologically and on local communities. The coffee, grown under a canopy of shade provided by much larger trees, allows for a much greater biodiversity than that of mono-cropping, “[halting] deforestation and protect critical habitat for wildlife,” per the documentary’s website.
To tell this story, director Alexander Kinnunen talks with producers in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, and Jamaica as well as ecological and agricultural experts about the benefits of shade grown coffee to their respective fields. Kinnunen then follows the coffee all the way down to the supply chain until it ends at some of the most well-known coffee shops in the world, including The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, Drop Coffee in Stockholm, Sightglass in San Francisco, The Coffee Academics in Singapore, and the Bay Area’s Blue Bottle Coffee.
Originally debuting at the 2020 Copenhagen International Documentary Festival, where it was an official selection, Shade Grown Coffee is now available worldwide via Vimeo for rent ($6.99) or purchase ($13.99).
So if you need a break from Netflix and Hulu or just want to enjoy some original coffee content, consider bumping up Shade Grown Coffee in the queue. It's a coffee documentary for the birds, which in this case is a very good thing.
All media via Shade Grown Coffee