Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
Number of locations
|Owner||JAB Holding Company|
|Parent||Peet's Coffee & Tea|
Intelligentsia Coffee is an American 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. They also have 2 stores in Boston and one in Austin, Texas. 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.
In May 2022 employees working in Intelligentsia's Chicago locations and Roasting Works warehouse filed a petition for union representation. If successful they would hold a union election with an end goal of being represented by IBEW 1220, the same branch of IBEW that represents Colectivo Coffee Roasters.
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 was included on several local and national "best" lists.
- Blue Bottle Coffee
- Counter Culture Coffee
- La Colombe Coffee Roasters
- Revelator Coffee
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters
- List of coffeehouse chains
- List of coffee companies
- Third wave of coffee
- "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. Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Intelligentsia in LA Archived October 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- 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
- "Locations". Intelligentsia Coffee. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
- 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.
- Chaudhury, Nadia (December 10, 2018). "Chicago Craft Coffee Roaster Intelligentsia Is Opening First Texas Cafe". Austin 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.
- "Union sees grounds for organizing at Intelligentsia Coffee". Chicago Sun-Times. May 27, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- Cadwalader, Zac. "Chicago-Based Workers At Intelligentsia Have Filed To Unionize". Sprudge. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
- #2 in Chicago Citysearch Best Coffee category 2006
- AOL Cityguide - Best of Chicago 2006[permanent dead link]
- Chicago Magazine Best Coffee November 2006 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- 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 Archived January 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- ABC U.S. Barista Championship story May 10, 2006
- U.S. and World Barista Championship results. Archived December 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Best Coffee Bar - Citysearch 2000 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Best cup of coffee - Citysearch 2001 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Best coffee - Citysearch 2002 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Best coffee - Citysearch 2004 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- AOL Cityguide Winner, Best Coffeehouse 2005 Archived October 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Best coffee - Citysearch 2005 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Chicago Magazine - Best Beans 2005 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Newcity Magazine Best place to buy beans and Best place to buy tea leaves Archived October 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Best coffeehouse - Playboy April 2005 Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "Best Coffeehouse" by New City Chicago for 2006 Archived October 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Zagats 2006 America's Best Beverage Bets (Best Cup of Regular Coffee, Best Espresso, Best Seasonal Coffee or Tea Beverage) Archived December 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Fastcompany.c0m - 12 Best Coffees Archived January 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Roast Magazine - Roaster of the Year for 2007 Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine