Finca Chelín’s 22 Flavors

Finca Chelín’s 22 Flavors

In the early 1950s, the ice cream parlor chain Baskin-Robbins unveiled a new slogan.  Its iconic “31 flavors” tagline reflected its commitment to a menu so […]

Los Delirios Labor Diaries

Los Delirios Labor Diaries

Our current Nicaragua Flor Azul lot comes from Milton Canales and the Los Monos section of his family’s Los Delirios farm. It was shade-grown and […]

Our collective blind spot

Our collective blind spot

Intelligentsia’s Chicago Roasting Works is located in a light industry area a few miles west of the Loop, the center of the city’s financial and […]

ECW 2018: Bolivia

ECW 2018: Bolivia

As 2018 draws to a close, we look back at an Intelligentsia milestone: our 10th annual Extraordinary Coffee Workshop, held September 6-13 in Bolivia.

ECWx | The Big Idea

ECWx | The Big Idea

Before joining the team at Intelligentsia in 2016, I spent 14 years working for an international development agency.  A long-time collaborator in that work with […]

ECWx in Pictures

ECWx in Pictures

Intelligentsia partnered with Root Capital last month to adapt our Extraordinary Coffee Workshop for a new context and format we call ECWx.  We convened the first […]

Being there

Being there

The core principles and standard practices of our Direct Trade program contribute to the resilience of our supply chain partners by insulating them from risk. […]

ECW: What’s risk got to do with it?

ECW: What’s risk got to do with it?

Once a year, we convene all our Direct Trade partners from around the world — more than 50 growers and representatives of farmer associations, washing […]

Busting the microlot myth

Busting the microlot myth

The idea that Direct Trade is all about microlots is pervasive.  And persistent. And, at least in our case, dead wrong. Michaele Weissman wrote the […]

Escaping the commodity trap

Escaping the commodity trap

From the day we opened the doors at our original location on Broadway in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood back in 1995, our business has been built […]

The signal and the noise

The signal and the noise

Arguably the most important principle of our Direct Trade model is the one implied in the name: a commitment to direct engagement with the farmers […]

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen

Beginning about a decade ago, the term resilience began a steady climb to ascendancy in the field of international development.  In that domain, resilience refers […]