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Five top baristas find themselves pushing the limits of coffee perfection to win the National Barista Championship – a surreal competition where even one mistake is far too many. Once a year, thousands of baristas square off in competitions around the U.S., but only one will become the National Champion. BARISTA takes viewers on a humorous, emotional and enlightening look into the unimaginable world of coffee competitions and the passionate, lovable and quirky characters who devote their lives to them. So lemme break down these competitions: You get 15 minutes to prepare three rounds of drinks, twelve drinks in total, for four stoic sensory judges, two technical judges and one head judge. That’s right, I said twelve drinks in fifteen minutes. The centerpiece of this event is the signature round where baristas push the limits of their imagination to create a coffee masterpiece that melds together a stellar coffee from the farthest reaches of the globe, out-of-the box ingredients and the wildest preparation methods one could think of. To do well is to sacrifice. It is to put a passion to succeed ahead of personal relationships. To win is to obsess over every last detail from the way your coffee tastes to what music you’re going to play to get judges to take notice (careful with the non-parental guidance Rick Ross tracks). Those who have won will tell you that it’s nothing short of life changing. For a barista who takes on the daily grind for very little compensation, winning is more than just a title. It means more money, more respect. It means the chance to open their own shop, or even start their own coffee empire. It’s the gold medal. It’s everything. If you think you know coffee – this film will make you think twice. These baristas take this universally beloved beverage seriously. Their passion for it can be felt through every frame of the film. BARISTA will take you beyond the drink and shine a light on a unique world very few of us ever knew existed.
Eden Marie Abramowicz