Recent Posts

El Cerro | Peru Cup of Excellence #2

El Cerro | Peru Cup of Excellence #2

From our Green Coffee Buyer for Peru Jay Cunningham: Most of the truly great coffee in Peru has been blended into obscurity.  There, coffee is mostly collected from thousands of growers and bulked into large, homogenized lots that dilute the quality of dozens or perhaps…

Three Cups of Excellence

Three Cups of Excellence

The Cup of Excellence (CoE) is the world’s most rigorous and prestigious coffee quality competition. With events in 10 different coffee-growing countries and an internet auction that exports winning lots to every major consuming market in the world, it is the only truly international coffee…

CoE 101

CoE 101

This week we begin our releases of not one, not two but three winners of recent Cup of Excellence competitions in Colombia and Peru.  It has been a few years since we have had CoE coffees on our menu, so here are some CoE basics…

Karyenda: Music (and coffee) worthy of royalty

Karyenda: Music (and coffee) worthy of royalty

The karyenda is a traditional drum in Burundi, but it is not just any drum.  It occupies the highest order of sacred drums in a country that takes its percussion seriously.  It once enjoyed semi-divine status in Burundi, heralding the proclamations of kings at royal…

An architectural approach to agriculture

An architectural approach to agriculture

From our Vice President of Coffee and Colombia Buyer Geoff Watts: The Santuario Farm Project was created in 1999 by visionary farmer-in-training Camilo Merizalde.  His explicit goal was to produce extraordinary coffee using traditional heirloom varieties that had nearly disappeared from Colombia. It was a…

Tres Santos Colombia: Linares

Tres Santos Colombia: Linares

From our Vice President of Coffee and Colombia Buyer Geoff Watts: Nariño, Nariño! The mere sound of the name raises expectations. This little state is located as far south in Colombia as you can get, just north of border with Ecuador. And it as has…

A symbol of coffee’s promise

A symbol of coffee’s promise

I began working in coffee nearly 15 years ago.  During that time I have been on more farms than I can remember and taken more photos than I can count.  But I can’t recall a farm photo that means more to me the one of…

How do you spell flavor at Finca Takesi? G-E-M.

How do you spell flavor at Finca Takesi? G-E-M.

Today we begin taking pre-orders for three coffees that are extraordinary by design: our Finca Takesi Bolivia Geisha Special Selection, our Finca Takesi Bolivia Typica Special Selection, and our Finca Takesi Bolivia Catuai Special Selection. They are the surest validation imaginable that the three letters that matter most for cup quality…

Introducing Axioma

Introducing Axioma

Our Direct Trade model has been more than 15 years in the making, and it continues to evolve. We love to tell the story of Intelligentsia Direct Trade: why we built a Direct Trade program to begin with, how it has evolved over time, who has…

The changing of the seasons

The changing of the seasons

The seasons are changing here at Intelligentsia.  Yes, the cold has descended on our home city of Chicago and the winter solstice looms, but that is not the kind of season I am talking about.  Next week, we will start updating our single-origin menus to include coffees…

Credit where credit is due

Credit where credit is due

I have been in coffee nearly 15 years.  For most of that time, I lived at origin, where I worked extensively with and on behalf of smallholder growers and farmworkers.  And frequently during those 15 years, I have been frustrated by how often the people who make…

The Intelligentsia Extraordinary Coffee Competition: Best in Inventory

The Intelligentsia Extraordinary Coffee Competition: Best in Inventory

Last month, we gathered our entire supply chain in San Francisco for the annual Intelligentsia Extraordinary Coffee Workshop. The event itself is nothing new: this is the ninth year in a row we have convened our Direct Trade partners from around the world for ECW,…