GOLD IN YOUR CUP takes us back to examine coffee's stranglehold in Brazil and Central America, leading the way to coffee barons, the subjugation of Indians and Africans, the destruction of the rainforests and, ironically, the evolution of both democracy and dictatorships. These events are fueled by the North America's increased consumption of coffee, due to brilliant marketing and the new mass-production of branded coffee, but the quality of the coffee descends to an all time low.
In the Depression era, Brazilian dictator and patriot Getulio Vargas burns surplus coffee to maintain market prices, leading Pan American leaders to try to convince Americans that a fair price for coffee is the only way out of their desperate poverty, but their pleas fall on deaf ears.
After World War II, Cold War paranoia complicates matters and the U.S. invades Guatemala. Subway tickets rise from 5 to 10 cents with no fuss, but Americans are not yet ready to pay a social consciousness premium for their coffee.
Vargas commits suicide over the low price of coffee and it looks like the cycle of poverty and oppression will never end. But in urban centres across North America, people like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan are leading the emergence of a brand new coffeehouse culture.
No one knows it yet, but the new bohemians represent Latin America's best hope for a better future. They possess a heightened sense of social justice and best of all they're hooked on dark, rich, quality coffee.