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Nobody does it better …. than…

posted by Scot McKnight

Intelligentsia.jpgNobody, and I mean nobody, makes coffee better than Intelligentsia. Never mind that this is pure Chicago, it’s a simple fact: nobody makes coffee better than Intelligentsia.

Just grab a cup of latte and answer me one question: “Does anyone make a better coffee?” In the background: “Nobody.” (I feel bad for all the rest.)

I’m drinking Black Cat Espresso, a gift from Laura and Mark for Father’s Day. The best.



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RJS

posted July 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm


Peets… need say no more.



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mike

posted July 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm


I’m with RJS – Peet’s is great. I haven’t tried the Black Cat Espresso, but the I had the Guatemalan from Intelligentsia and from Peet’s and I’d pick the Peet’s.



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John W

posted July 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm


Alas… Intelligencia does not appear to be Fair Trade coffee. I encourage you to seek our Fair Trade coffee and tea to promote the good benefits for the farm workers and everyone else who bring you your joyful beverage.
Peets, despite my dislike of how it tastes, *IS* Fair Trade. Kudos to them!!! I have found “Dean’s Beans” (out of MA) to be very nice tasting.
Intelligencia pursues “direct trade” which is not the same as Fair Trade. I have my opinions, but I encourage you to read up on both and draw your own conclusion about which more closely matches your ideal ethics for how coffee growers, workers, and the land should be treated.



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Jason Weaver

posted July 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm


I like Peet’s too, but Intelligentsia is on a whole other level. It is like comparing a production supercar to one that is handmade. Yes, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is an amazing drive with great power and handling, but it does not compare to a handmade Pagani Zonda Roadster. It’s handmade beauty and attention to every detail where nothing is spared.
That is how I see the great mass market coffee versus the micro-roasts.
Scot, I have been trying to make it back up to Chicago to finally visit Intelligentsia – didn’t you actually take their shot pulling class? Also, are you brewing coffee with the Black Cat, or all you pulling shots?
Peace,
Jason



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Scot McKnight

posted July 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm


Jason, I agree. I did take a class from the Intelligentsia folks but it was more how to use my Rancilio Silvia machine.
I pull shots for latte; no drip coffee for me.
I’m finding organic milk is smooth as silk after it is steamed with the machine.



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Jason Weaver

posted July 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm


I have wanted a Silvia for some time. It is a bit industrial looking, but they outclass machines costing twice as much.
One thing that intrigues me is the PID control. Have you looked into those?
Someday, I will convince my wife that I… I mean WE need one. Until then I will have to settle for my blown glass Chemex.



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Michelle Van Loon

posted July 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm


Amen! Preach it, brother!



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Mary

posted July 14, 2009 at 12:19 am


One fair trade coffee, which is excellent is Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee (Rwanda)…



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BPW

posted July 14, 2009 at 9:37 am


This guy learned to roast at Peet’s, and does a better job of it. Metropolis is only a little better than Intelligentsia.



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howie

posted July 14, 2009 at 10:32 am


Black Cat is a beautiful thing. However, if you get out to the beautiful city of Roses, have a seat and get a double shot of Hairbender at Stumptown. Finely crafted. I’m enjoying an Americano as I type this.
A word about Fair Trade in the coffee world. Fair Trade is a great program that guarantees better wages for farmers. It’s designed to rid lowball purchases from the big coffee purchasers (like Nestle). So, for a company like Starbucks, it is an awesome thing that they buy fair trade. However, just because the company pays more for the coffee, it does not mean that the crops the farmers produce are better. The best coffee places have “Direct Trade” relationships with individual farmers/co-ops/etc. This means that farmers who produce a better product get paid more. There is no need for a “bottom-line” price to the coffee, because the coffee being purchased is premium coffee. Both Intelligentsia and Stumptown have such relationships. Having worked in the coffee world, there are better programs than “fair trade” when talking about Specialty Coffee. We are talking about comparing box wine to a fine cup of Merlot. For some info on great coffee, check out the Cup of Excellence program.
BTW, Peets is good for a chain, but you’re not even comparing like to like. Jason is right on.



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Your Name

posted July 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm


Give me Kona any day… in leiu of that expensive treat, I really actually like Dunkin Donuts original blend the best. I think that exposes me for a knuckle-dragger. I’m not sure…
Intelligencia has too much of that “burnt” taste for my liking.



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