Not a latte. Or a frappuccino. But a perfect blend of espresso and milk in that unique, unforgettable texture that can only be described as velvety? If you're like most Americans, you probably haven't. And I can tell you from personal experience that trying to find the perfect cappuccino in America is setting yourself up for heartbreak - they're nearly impossible to find, but then you find one just often enough to keep you hooked.

In my years of searching for the perfect cappuccino, I've always thought that cappuccinos were like snowflakes -- each one different, each one unique. But then Starbucks happened. And now I can't stop asking myself how and why we Americans managed to standardize and mass produce the cappuccino.

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THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO is the story of one woman's obsession with a beverage. The film accompanies me on a personally-narrated journey that traces the origins and social significance of the cappuccino. And along the way, the film confronts a series of larger questions: Why is the Starbucks chain-store model a uniquely American approach to coffee? Is there something in our character, as Americans, that pushes us toward expansion and mass standardization? Are we a culture that values business enterprise? Or a culture that is ruled by it?

Blending the voices of baristas, cultural critics, business leaders and coffee geeks everywhere, this film relies on the cappuccino to explore the strange intersections of individualism and mass culture in America.

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