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'The Coffee Stories' Examines Ethics, Politics, and Production in Coffee's Third Wave

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A new film series out of the UK is raising funds now on Kickstarter.

Coffee is the world's second most traded commodity, but few coffee drinkers know where their bags of coffee beans come from, who grows them, or how they're processed. A new trio of films called The Coffee Stories, perhaps inspired by coffee's third wave, aims to demystify that back end and mostly hidden process. It's no longer enough to be able to order a perfect flat white at any corner coffee shop; responsibility, ethics, politics, and origin are just as important as depth of flavor and the texture of that organic milk foam. A coffee professional said it best in the film: "Caring for the welfare of others has moved away from philanthropy... it's moved to the language all business speaks — it's about the bottom line."

Coffee Stories filmmaker, London-based journalist Daniel O'Donnell, is raising money for his project on Kickstarter as of today. Produced in the UK, the series will be filmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and London. It hopes to serve as a sort of primer to the consumer on coffee production, sale, trade, and consumption.

O'Donnell's project is not the first film in recent years to go behind the scenes in the coffee industry. Barista, a feature documentary produced by Samuel Goldwyn Films last November, took a close look at the National Barista Championship and the lengths a barista will go to serve the perfect cup.