Barista | Chicago Reader
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Barista

Barista

Rock Baijnauth's documentary follows five subjects as they train for and eventually face off in a national barista competition, creating an espresso, a cappuccino, and a specialty drink for four judges in less than 15 minutes. I'm someone who appreciates good coffee and the crafts of sourcing, roasting, brewing, and serving it, and I found the competition and the participants preposterous. The baristas are either painfully unfunny (when they acknowledge the ridiculousness of this enterprise) or overly serious (when they justify the profession and the competition). Part of that might be due to Baijnauth's adolescent filmmaking style, full of corny sequences and bland indie music that makes the documentary feel more like an extended advertisement. This is the only time coffee ever made me want to go to sleep.

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