Black Hawk Down

Updated: 20 Jul 2012 | By:

Thirst On Screen 5

The Film: Black Hawk Down (2001)

The Drink: coffee grinder

The Story: 1993, Somalia is gripped by civil war and famine. Outside the capital city of Mogadishu1, the U.S. Army has set up base at the airport. They are deployed to capture Mohammad Farrah Aidid, the self-proclaimed President of the country and leader of an army of men in a hostile district of the city.

Early on, desk clerk ‘Grimesey’ Grimes, played by Ewan MacGregor is making French press coffee at base, taking some care over it.

For reasons unexplained, he has been in several combat theatres, but never at the front line.

‘It’s all in the grind Sizemore2, can’t be too fine, can’t be too coarse. This, my friend, is a science. I mean you’re looking at the guy that believed the commercials, you know. About ‘be all you can be’. I made coffee through Desert Storm. I made coffee through Panama while everyone else got to fight, got to be a Ranger. Now it’s ‘Grimesy, black, one sugar’ or ‘Grimesy, got a powder anywhere?’.

An operation is launched to capture two of Aidid’s key advisers in the most dangerous part of the city. As one of the team has an injured hand, Grimesy is heading out on his first mission.

The advisors are captured, but a Black Hawk helicopter is shot down and the Americans lose the initiative. Things go badly off-plan, with several men killed and injured. A medical team is dropped in, setting up a temporary hospital to care for the wounded.

Grimesy is making coffee again. He is using a small manual grinder and tips the coffee into a saucepan. We shall let Grimesy off for not leaving some ammo behind to make room for a Rancilio Rocky3. As any java head knows, after bean quality, the secret is indeed in the grind!

For good, consistent espresso, you simply must use a good quality ‘burr’ grinder. The burrs are flat or conical metal blades, adjustable to leave an equal gap and give a consistent grind.

Where to Experience in KL: Hard to think of a proxy for war-torn Mogadishu in the Klang Valley. Outside Pudu Jail, perhaps? However, for advice on grinder choice and all your coffee needs, head to Cuppa on Jalan Ampang

1. Also known as Xamar, it is the capital city in Somalia and also the largest city in the country.
2. LTC Danny McKnight, the commander of the 3rd Ranger Battalion - casted by Tom Sizemore.
3. An Italian coffee grinder brand