A brewed storyline: 10 memorable moments of coffee in film

Movies again! From romantic comedies to thrilling dramas, coffee has played an integral part in countless movies, serving as more than just a prop but rather a catalyst for action, emotion, and plot development. Here are ten unforgettable film scenes where coffee takes center stage:

  1. When Harry Met Sally (1989): Perhaps the most iconic cinematic representation of coffee culture occurs when Meg Ryan’s character famously fakes an orgasm at Katz’s Deli in New York City. This scene showcases the power of casual settings like coffee shops as spaces for intimate confessions and self-expression.
  2. Julie & Julia (2009): Julie Powell embarks on her culinary journey inspired by Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Throughout the movie, we see Julie sipping coffee as she diligently works through recipes – highlighting the crucial role that caffeine plays in fueling passion projects.
  3. The Godfather (1972): Michael Corleone meets with his future brother-in-law, NYPD Captain McCluskey, at an Italian restaurant to discuss business matters. Over espressos, Michael subtly poisons McCluskey’s drink – setting off a chain reaction of events leading to one of cinema’s most memorable climaxes.
  4. La La Land (2016): Mia Dolan and Sebastian Wilder first connect over a cup of coffee at Lighthouse Cafe in Los Angeles. Their serendipitous meeting sparks a whirlwind romance between two struggling artists trying to make it big in Hollywood.
  5. Heat (1995): Detective Vincent Hanna tracks down master thief Neil McCauley at a downtown LA diner. Over coffee, they engage in a tense conversation that foreshadows their inevitable confrontation later in the film.
  6. Before Sunrise (1995): Jesse and Celine wander through Vienna, discussing love, philosophy, and identity over cups of coffee. This leisurely exploration reflects how coffee encourages deep conversations and fosters unexpected connections between strangers.
  7. Sideways (2004): Miles Raymond, an aspiring writer and wine enthusiast, visits Jack Cole in San Diego before embarking on a weeklong road trip through California wine country. Before departing, Jack treats himself to a final cup of joe – symbolizing the last taste of normalcy before their wild adventures unfold.
  8. The Big Lebowski (1998): Walter Sobchak erupts in anger upon discovering someone used his cherished rug as a makeshift coffee filter. His outrage underscores the absurdities of everyday life while emphasizing the value we place on our possessions and rituals.
  9. Lost in Translation (2003): Bob Harris and Charlotte meet in Tokyo’s Park Hyatt hotel bar, eventually forming a bond over late-night conversations accompanied by glasses of sake and cups of frothy cappuccinos. Their unlikely friendship offers solace and understanding during periods of uncertainty and transition.
  10. Groundhog Day (1993): Phil Connors relives February 2nd ad infinitum, attempting to win over coworker Rita Hanson by ordering increasingly elaborate coffees at a local diner. Each attempt fails until he finally orders simply “black coffee,” signifying his growth towards becoming a better person worthy of love and respect.

These ten examples demonstrate how coffee transcends mere sustenance to become an essential component of storytelling in film. From igniting passions to sparking profound dialogue, coffee serves up endless possibilities for crafting compelling narratives that resonate deeply with audiences worldwide.

The role of coffee in literature: 10 iconic scenes and books

Coffee has long been a beloved drink, providing comfort, inspiration, and social connection for people around the world. It’s no surprise that the coffee has also made its way into literature as an essential element of many stories.

cup of coffee and the book
Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/coffee-cappuccino-caf%C3%A9-closeup-2151200/

Here are ten iconic scenes and books where coffee plays a significant role:

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – In this magical adventure, Harry shares a cup of hot chocolate with Sirius Black at the Three Broomsticks Inn. Although not technically coffee, this scene highlights the importance of warm drinks in creating bonds and sharing secrets.
  2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – Holly Golightly sips her morning coffee while gazing out of her New York City apartment window, establishing her character’s charm, quirkiness, and vulnerability. This simple act sets the stage for one of America’s most enduring literary heroines.
  3. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – When Hercule Poirot solves the mystery aboard the luxurious train, he does so over cups of strong black coffee brewed in his personal coffee maker – demonstrating how even seemingly mundane routines can contribute to extraordinary achievements.
  4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt – Richard Papen recalls being invited to join a group of students for afternoon tea, which turns into an evening filled with liquor and conversation. While tea serves as the initial offering, it soon transitions to stronger beverages like whiskey and coffee – reflecting both the allure and danger of new friendships.
  5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Montag meets Faber, who introduces him to the concept of intellectual conversations fueled by caffeine consumption. As they discuss literature and censorship, their shared love for coffee symbolizes enlightenment and freedom.
  6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – Lenina Crowne enjoys “synthetic” coffee in the futuristic society depicted in this dystopian novel. Despite lacking genuine human connections, she finds pleasure in routine activities such as consuming mass-produced food and beverages.
  7. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – Characters gather daily at Café Select in Paris, engaging in spirited discussions about life, art, and relationships over steaming cups of café au lait. These moments capture the essence of European café culture during the early twentieth century.
  8. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) – Set against the backdrop of colonial Kenya, coffee farming becomes a central theme throughout this memoir. The protagonist’s efforts to cultivate coffee plantations represent her struggles, triumphs, and ultimate disillusionment with the land she once loved.
  9. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – Another classic from Hemingway, this semi-autobiographical work features numerous references to cafés and bars frequented by writers and artists living in 1920s Paris. Among them, Les Deux Magots stands out as a gathering place where creative minds converge over bowls of café crème.
  10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Juliet Ashton discovers friendship and resilience among members of a small island community through letters exchanged after WWII. During these correspondence sessions, they often share pots of freshly brewed coffee – symbolizing warmth, camaraderie, and hope amidst adversity.

In each literature example above, coffee represents various aspects of storytelling, including comfort, companionship, creativity, escape, luxury, tradition, and survival. Whether enjoyed casually or ceremoniously, a well-crafted coffee moment adds depth and richness to any narrative – much like the complex flavors found within every sip.