Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
|Owner||JAB Holding Company|
|Parent||Peet's Coffee & Tea
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea is a US coffee roasting company and retailer based in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1995 by Doug Zell and Emily Mange, Intelligentsia is considered a major representative of third wave coffee. In 2015, Peet's Coffee & Tea (itself part of JAB Holding Company) acquired a majority stake in the company.
History and locations
Aside from its headquarters at 1850 W. Fulton Street, Intelligentsia has several cafe retail locations throughout the Chicago area. They supply coffee to various Chicago-area cafes and restaurants, as well as other locations in the US and Canada. They generally buy their beans directly from growers in Central America, South America, East Africa, and Ethiopia. They currently[when?] operate four gas-powered Ideal Rapid Gothot Roasters at the Chicago Roasting Works. Two 90-kilo roasters and a 23-kilo reside in Chicago and a 40 kilo in Los Angeles. The machines date from the 1950s and were handcrafted from cast-iron and steel in Stuttgart, Germany.
On August 17, 2007, Intelligentsia opened its first store outside of Chicago at Sunset Junction in Silver Lake, a district east of Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. Intelligentsia has opened two additional stores in the Los Angeles area, in Venice and Pasadena. In 2013, Intelligentsia opened its first store in New York City inside the High Line Hotel. The second New York City location opened in June 2014, inside the Urban Outfitters store in Herald Square. This is the first location to offer a full food menu. A 2008 decision to stop serving 20-ounce coffee and espresso beverages in stores was met with controversy. Zell stated that the proportions are altered at such large quantities and certain drinks become watered-down, arguing that 20-ounce drinks end up "masking and adulterating the pure, intense flavors we work hard to source, roast and produce. We don't want this to just be a caffeine delivery device."
In October 2015, it was announced that Peet's Coffee & Tea would buy a majority stake in Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea by the end of the year, as part of an expansion of Peet's into third wave coffee that also involved the acquisition of Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Intelligentsia was expected to continue operating independently, with founders Zell and Mange retaining a role in the company. The announcement came weeks after Intelligentsia had made known that it was seeking a private equity buy-out over $100 million.
It has been winning local best of list recognition from 2000 to 2005. In 2005, the local recognition extended to national recognition. In 2006, Intelligentsia has been included on several local and national "best" lists.
- Michael Phillips (barista), won barista championship while working at Intelligentsia.
- List of coffeehouse chains
- Coffee portal
- "Peet's rides coffee's 'third wave' with stake in Intelligentsia". Reuters. October 30, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- "Hot" Chicago Restaurants get custom blends from Intelligentsia.
- Intelligentsia in LA
- Wicked Cafe in Vancouver, Canada serves Intelligentsia
- Shernoff, Leon, "Intelligentsia, more Cedars, Come to Co-op", ever Green, March 2007, Vol. 60, #3.
- Scattergood, Amy, "A Lucky Break For Drip Coffee", LA Times, March 14, 2007
- Hancock, Alexander (May 8, 2013). "Intelligentsia's Very First NYC Outpost Is So Open". NY Eater.
- Morabito, Greg (June 9, 2014). "Intelligenstia Opens in Herald Square Urban Outfitters". NY Eater.
- Eng, Monica (July 9, 2008). "Small. Medium. Gone.". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
- Dicum, Gregory (April 8, 2010). "Small Bay Area Coffee Roasters Spread Out". The New York Times.
- Galarza, Daniela (October 30, 2015). "Peet's Coffee & Tea Buys Intelligentsia Coffee". Eater. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- #2 in Chicago Citysearch Best Coffee category 2006
- AOL Cityguide - Best of Chicago 2006
- Chicago Magazine Best Coffee November 2006
- 10 great places to get jazzed about great java, USA Today, March 3, 2006.
- Foodandwine.com Best boutique roasters 2006
- Coffeegeek.com Best Expresso Blend December 18, 2006
- ABC U.S. Barista Championship story May 10, 2006
- U.S. and World Barista Championship results.
- Best Coffee Bar - Citysearch 2000
- Best cup of coffee - Citysearch 2001
- Best coffee - Citysearch 2002
- Best coffee - Citysearch 2004
- AOL Cityguide Winner, Best Coffeehouse 2005
- Best coffee - Citysearch 2005
- Chicago Magazine - Best Beans 2005
- Newcity Magazine Best place to buy beans and Best place to buy tea leaves
- Best coffeehouse - Playboy April 2005
- "Best Coffeehouse" by New City Chicago for 2006
- Zagats 2006 America's Best Beverage Bets (Best Cup of Regular Coffee, Best Espresso, Best Seasonal Coffee or Tea Beverage)
- Fastcompany.c0m - 12 Best Coffees
- Roast Magazine - Roaster of the Year for 2007