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Intelligentsia Coffee

August 22, 2009

As of late, I’ve been working to raise my ranking in the realm of coffee geekiness.  I have spent probably far too much time at Coffee Geek and similar sites, but I’m not ashamed.  Due to my coffee geekiness, I was quite excited to be visiting Chicago, the home of Intelligentsia Coffee.  They have three shops in Chicago and, as strange as this is, I visited all three in only two days.

One of the highlights of Intelligentsia is that all their stores feature the Clover coffee machine that we’ve all read so much about.  My first cup of Clover-brewed coffee was a single-origin coffee from El Salvador at the Monadnock location that was, frankly, underwhelming.  I’m fairly certain that my palate was tainted by a night of driving while consuming high energy drinks and bad gas station coffee, so I’ll not count this taste as legit.

Luckily, my second taste at the Millennium Park Coffeebar was much tastier. It was Guatemalan Soledad and was delicious.  I also sampled a regular espresso which (to my delight) was pulled on a semi-automatic machine–not super automatic like Starbucks.  Perhaps the best part of visiting this particular coffeebar was that they were playing the full album Guitar Romantic by The Exploding Hearts.

Last of the three is their flagship shop on Broadway.  The trip there was interesting because I knew nothing of Chicago and got fairly lost.  It’s a wonder that mass transit maps aren’t superimposed on street-level maps more often.  I’m no cartographer or director of tourism, but that just makes sense.  Again, I sampled the suggested espresso blend and also got a latte that was delightfully presented with a rosetta (quite similar to the one pictured above) prepared by America’s best barista.  Both were delightful, but I did manage to spill a pretty good amount of the latte on the floor–sorry Intelligentsia employees.

Overall, my high expectations of Intelligentsia Coffee were met.  My only regret is that I did not get a pound of beans to bring home.  Maybe next time.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jolie permalink
    August 25, 2009 7:52 pm

    I want to like coffee so badly, but I can’t.

    And…that’s my input for this post. HA!

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