International Rank: #5 out of 862
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com
United States Rank: #2 out of 478
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com
Illinois Rank: #1 out of 10
Ranking is based on a combination of reviews and popularity on CoffeeRoast.com

Intelligentsia Coffee

Flag of United States Chicago, Illinois
Shop directly with this roaster
To maintain editorial neutrality, Coffee Roast does not earn any commissions directly from roasters. You may see ads for coffee brands via Google Ads. We do not control content. Please support roasters by directly buying/subscribing from their websites and shops. To learn more, please review our Advertising Policy.

4.61(21)

21 ratings
Ratings here are based on aggregated user reviews of individual roasts from Intelligentsia Coffee.
5 star
33%
4 star
66%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

Intelligentsia is a renowned Chicago-based roaster. Their Fulton Street Roasting Works is home to three Gothot roasters, a QC lab, training room, coffee storage, screen printing workshop and headquarters.

Show more

Intelligentsia Coffee is a coffee roaster from Chicago, IL United States. We have 32 cataloged roasts with 21 total reviews with a score of 4.61.

32 roasts

Name Roast Level Bean Source
Medium International Blend
Light Ethiopia
Light Ethiopia
Light Guatemala

5.00(1)

Dark International Blend
Light Ethiopia
- International Blend
Light Medium Burundi

4.50(1)

Light Costa Rica
- -
Light Peru
Light Medium Colombia
- Ethiopia
- Peru
- International Blend
Medium Rwanda
- Guatemala
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend

0(0)

- -
- Colombia
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend
- International Blend
- Bolivia
- Guatemala

Top Reviews(21)

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    5.00 - Aroma

    4.00 - Value

    5.00 - Finish

    5.00 - Flavor

    5.00 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    5.00 - Quality

    The best coffee I had in 2022. I had this twice in the Intelligentsia store in Chicago. I doubt this is one you'll see in stock a lot but I hope it's available year to year. Might be worth setting a Google alert.

    I think these are remarkable beans, carefully treated, then perfectly roasted by a great roaster. Mossto anaerobic means the coffee seed was submerged in its fruit pulped, and then the juice was expelled in a container for more than 3 days.

    How to describe the result - there is a lot going on, and it's all amazing. The first thing you notice, on the nose and first sip is the floral notes, paired with a strong Earl Grey tea type scent. The acidity is crisp and just right through, a kind of pineapple lime, and then the finish is a combination of all of it, and lingers a long time.

    Cupping Method:2x pourover in Chicago Intelligentsia, summer 2022

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    4.50 - Finish

    5.00 - Flavor

    5.00 - Acidity

    4.50 - Balance

    Today I had a late-in-the-day cup Intelligentsia Coffee's Ethiopia Washed Buku Organic at Life Alive in Harvard Square, Cambridge, and it was awesome.

    Honestly, Intelligentsia is at the scale where I usually see roasters fall on their face...but every time I have a cup, it's somewhere between excellent and inch-perfect.

    This was pretty close to perfect.

    This coffee roast had incredibly bright strawberry iced tea notes that immediately caught my attention. There was a lovely peachy quality to it, complemented by a vibrant acidity that made each sip refreshing and lively.

    Before I even checked the photo of the bag, I had already jotted down hints of citrus and raspberry in my notes. These flavors came through beautifully, showcasing the complexity of the coffee. The smooth, honey-like mouthfeel added a delightful richness, making the whole experience even more enjoyable. The finish was long and fruity, leaving a pleasant lingering taste.

    Cupping Method:Life Alive's new pour-over option really elevates the coffee experience, and this particular brew was a perfect example of how a well-prepared coffee can shine. I don't know how the barista made it since I was dealing with my kids but it looked like a metal Clever setup.

  • Victoria S-C

    454 roasts rated, avg score of 4.31

    5.00 - Average

    Ted recently bought three good espresso and while they were all good this one I liked the best.
    5 months ago · See more from Victoria
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    5.00 - Finish

    5.00 - Flavor

    5.00 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    A truly delicious Ethiopian with some twists on the usual character. You definitely get the florals here in the form of a bergamot/earl grey base. I got a little bit of peach, and then strawberry/raspberry with a touch of lactic character. No funk at all and a very clean finish.

    Cupping Method:At Intelligensia in Watertown. They said 18-1, 209 off the boil.

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    4.00 - Aroma

    4.50 - Value

    5.00 - Finish

    5.00 - Flavor

    5.00 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    A spectacular gesha that's a little bit different from the usual. Less fruity and more floral. The platform is distinctly earl grey, with a very subtle herbal/pine hint (I'm OK with Intelligentsia's choice of juniper to describe it). There's also a touch of sweet tropical fruit, like a ripe pineapple.

    It's incredibly smooth - not a hint of bitterness, and has a super clean finish. It's very easy to drink a whole cup of this without thinking about it.

    Cupping Method:At Intelligentsia in Watertown, MA

  • Haley Grant

    2 roasts rated, avg score of 5.00

    5.00 - Average

    4.00 - Aroma

    5.00 - Value

    4.00 - Finish

    4.50 - Flavor

    3.00 - Acidity

    4.00 - Balance

    Love this coffee! very savory taste
    11 months ago · See more from Haley
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    5.00 - Average

    5.00 - Aroma

    5.00 - Value

    4.50 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    This is the best organic value coffee I've had. On those nose, I got cherry cola and champagne - that effervescence has really been there for me. This made brilliant pourover. Balanced, smooth, just the right amount of acidity. If I had a cafe where I had to serve one light roast all the time, this one might be it. Intelligentsia puts out remarkable quality at the scale they operate at.

    Cupping Method:Chemex pourover, 207 F

  • Victoria S-C

    454 roasts rated, avg score of 4.31

    4.50 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    5.00 - Finish

    4.50 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    The first time I tried it I thought it wasnt good, but then I had it on the next day and it was delicious. Not too bitter or dark (I tend to like light roasts). Im so glad I retried it!

    Cupping Method:Pourover black at home

    1 year ago · See more from Victoria
  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    No fireworks but so smooth and easy to drink with a nice acidity. Definitely get a raisin/grape and orange. Somewhere between caramel and a black tea platform. Like it a lot.

    Cupping Method:Pourover at Intelligentsia Watertown

  • Theodore (Ted) Chan, Managing Editor

    1181 roasts rated, avg score of 4.28

    4.50 - Average

    4.50 - Aroma

    4.00 - Flavor

    4.50 - Acidity

    5.00 - Balance

    Super smooth Ethiopian with great fruit characteristics. I get a blood orange and perhaps blueberry. I think it has a touch of umami at the front of the palate which is the slightest negative and keeps me from giving it 5 stars. Plateform is somewhere in between a rich dark tea and milk chocolate.

    Cupping Method:At an Intelligentsia in Chicago. They used a pour steady into Hario v60s.

Editor's Overview

Even as it has scaled, Intelligentsia Coffee has maintained exceptional quality and a genuine connection with specialty coffee. Unlike certain other brands (ahem, La Colombe) that have encountered challenges during their expansion, Intelligentsia's commitment to offering excellent single-origin roasts, blends, and cafes at fair prices has cemented its well-deserved reputation. -Ted Chan, Managing Editor of Coffee Roast
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});