Kyle Glanville, 2008 US Barista Champion and Charles Babinski, this year’s 2nd place US Barista Championship finalist both recently left their former employer, Intelligentsia Coffee to begin their own endeavor in L.A.
While details are still sparse—I have on good authority that it will to be pretty fantastic—it’s poised to create interesting discussions within the industry as well as among future customers. Beginning with their plan to offer absolutely no disposables.
One of the most salient differences this coffee bar will have from others will be its policy of using no disposables. This means no paper cups, napkins, perhaps even coffee filters. Glanville mentioned the “elephant in the room,” as the coffee industry’s dependance on paper and other disposable products that causes a lot of environmental waste as well as a detrimental effect on the flavor of coffee served to customers. –Eater
I’ve been a vocal advocate against disposables and I’m excited to see a shop put these principles in place. Time will tell if customers will adapt and more cafés will follow suit.
Read the rest of the article on Eater.
A month ago, Intelligentsia dipped its toe in the world of bikes with their BMX inspired Quintin snapback (now sold out) and have recently teamed up with Kyle from Trackosaurus Rex to create this rad three-panel cycling cap. Designed by Sean Talkington and Eric Vasquez of Team Dream, the Golden Saddle lid represents two great brands at once. Ride over to the nearest Intelli shop to get one before they’re gone.
Love that star placement.
Intelligentsia has experimented with collaborations in the past, from partnerships with indie band Wilco to custom skate decks—but this latest project with Quintin really throws their hat into the ring as a full on lifestyle brand.
Our good friend and BMX pro Kevin Porter put us in touch with the great guys at Quintin, and a just few months later we’re launching this collaboration cap. Designed by Intelligentsia but build by Quintin just a few blocks away from our LA Roasting Works, this limited edition hat is one of our proudest collaborations to date. -Intelligenstia
I know I talk about Intelligenstia a lot—but they continue doing really awesome stuff. I’d take this over a moc croc Jimmy Choo coffee sleeve any day. $32 bucks and made in LA.
This collaboration is a celebration of the idea that the customer deserves to buy into more than just the product that a brand offers, whether that be a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a hat, fresh off the production line. We are happy to present to you a fine collaboration for the end of 2011. Look for Quintin Co. select coffee soon on our online store. -Quintin
Intelligentsia X Quintin Hat
Intelligentsia, hometown heroes from Chicago and specialty coffee trailblazers in LA, have launched a new website just in time to show off their new winter wares. It’s been in the making for some time now, but it seems to have been well worth the wait.
The new look is clean and confident with a refined freshness that I’ve come to expect from Intelligentsia. With the content of the site organized into just three main sections—shop, learn and wholesale—the visible navigation (which hides itself upon scrolling) has been reduced, allowing more room for all the vibrant photography.
With a design so graphic in nature, the new site also translates really well on a tablet. Navigating with an iPad feels much like having your own Intelligentsia Flipboard.
Once you make your way into the coffee section, each offering is represented by photos of origin with three large flavor notes imposed over top of them—making the taste of the coffee the most prominent and distinguishing element. This detail is a departure from the standard “organization by origin” most people have come to expect from progressive roasters and puts the focus on how different and unique coffees can taste.
Each coffee has its own page with neatly organized specs on the coffee, origin, and flavor notes. There is also an integrated Google map highlighting the source, which adds a bit of life and interactivity to a normally static illustration.
The biggest new feature launched along with the website is a home subscription service, allowing you to customize reoccurring deliveries or your favorite Intelligentsia coffees.
What better way to prevent running out of coffee, then having Intelligentsia just show up in your mail? After 6-months of loyalty, you’ll be rewarded with limited edition swag that lets others know why you’re so excited to see the postman.
The photos are bright, the typography is tight and the white-space is well respected. I’ve said more than enough. Go check it out and maybe treat yourself to something nice.
As the the weather turns cold and the decorative lights come out, the color of coffee cups tend to change along with the festivities. This year, there’s a new holiday cup to be seen with while walking around town (for those who must take their coffee to-go) and a new set of ceramic for you to enjoy near the comfort of an open fire (chestnuts roasting?).
Intelligentsia has livened up their paper products and released a set of lovely new mugs for winter, inspired by the likes of Flemish renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel. So, if you happen to live near one of their locations, you might find yourself carrying not just a great looking holiday cup this year, but one with something delicious inside.
Once you’ve found yourself in the vicinity of the these jovial new cups, you’re likely not far from the new Intelligentsia X Askinosie chocolate bars either. Made in collaboration with the Award-winning mid-western chocolatiers, the dark chocolate bars are made with 77% single origin Philippine cocoa and Intelligentsia’s Organic La Perla de Oaxaca coffee from Mexico. If you can avoid eating them yourself, these would probably make mighty fine stocking stuffers. Now, if only there were an Intelli down on Kungsgatan.
For the last week, the coffee industry has been held in suspense following the announcement that Michael Phillips—current World Barista Champion—and two other world-class baristas, Tyler Wells and Chris Owens, all resigned from Intelligentsia Coffee. Last night I got a note from Tyler announcing the future efforts of the these three fine men—Handsome Coffee Roasters had launched.
While I secretly hoped the three of them would travel the country in a rebuilt 1962 Ford Falcon, entertaining children with a puppet show about coffee production and the evil carbon gremlins who escape from their parents French roast—I’m totally stoked on this as well. Congratulations guys and good luck with the endeavor.
We will make amazing coffee the way we think it should be made. Full stop. Our way may not be for everyone, and thats okay, we’re not making coffee for everyone, we’re making coffee for you — for those that value craftsmanship and quality over convenience and cost — we’re your Huckleberry.
Handsome Coffee Roasters and @handsomeroaster
One thing I love about traveling is the opportunity to experience the tremendous variety of cafés & coffee bars around the world. It’s amazing how many different environments we’ve designed around one drink—modern, kitschy, rustic, industrial, and cozy (just to name a few). During a year spent living in the deep south, I was able to enjoy the warm Southern architecture that seems to transforms every space into someone’s living room.
Photographer Kathryn Barnard has done a fantastic job capturing this feeling at a coffee shop in Charleston, South Carolina called Hope and Union. I’ve never been to Charleston and though I wouldn’t have expected it to have any coffee shops worth writing home about, the cameo of Intelligentsia mugs in the photos may be enough evidence to prove me wrong. Next stop, Southbound & down!
See the rest of the beautiful photos on Design*Sponge
posted by bwj
on 03.24.2011, under Misc.
While I’m kicking off the week at Coffee Common here in Long Beach, I’m ending one that included a lot of tight printer deadlines and chats with Stephen Morrissey at Intelligentsia in preparation. During one of those conversations, I was reminded of this signature mug that Intelligentsia designed and recently released in their stores.
When it comes to mugs, I like a solid one that will retain heat, but I also appreciate a delicate form that doesn’t look clumsy. I have a few classic diner mugs which are heavy enough to double as a lethal weapon, but they lack the elegance I sometimes prefer. This mug seems to solve both problems with thick walled porcelain and a profile that could easily become a modern icon. I haven’t personally used one yet, but for only $12, I see a pair of these beautiful mugs in my future.
Intelligentsia Filter Coffee Mug
I’m excited to announce (and be a part of) this incredible new project making its public debut this month at TED in Long Beach, California.
Coffee Common is a collaborative gathering of top baristas from around the world, making coffee from top roasters around the world, who source their beans from the best farms they can find. For a week, some of the biggest players in the coffee industry will join together to introduce the open minds of the TED audience to the culinary delights of exceptional coffee. If the coffee industry had an All-Star game, this would be it.
This will also be the first public event shared by Common, a new collaborative brand. Under the banner of Common, like-minded businesses join forces to benefit people, communities, society and the environment. Since the participating roasters believe in the importance of building relationships with farmers and the overall quality of life at origin, there are many shared values that Common believes are important for coffee consumers to understand.
The experience and thoughts of the baristas and TED participants will be captured on the Coffee Common website. Ideally, the alliance will continue beyond TED to keep promoting the truths of great coffee. Show your support to see that it does.
We of Coffee Common gather as a community with shared values. We understand coffee as the most complex and extraordinary beverage in the world. We believe that great coffee requires study, experimentation, craftsmanship, and humility. We believe that great coffee is, at its best, a collaboration of an empowered coffee farmer, an artisan coffee roaster, a dedicated barista, and an enlightened consumer. We believe that collaboration can be an act that promotes global economic prosperity, social parity, cultural exchange, and culinary expression. –Coffee Common
More info about Coffee Common, TED, & Common
Photo Credits: TED / Marla Aufmuth
The day after I wrote about Stumptown’s printed brew guides, Intelligentsia released their own guide in the form of an iPhone app. Though very different in its delivery, the slick sophistication of the app is just as fitting to Intelligentsia’s brand, as the texture of the chipboard and the smell of ink are to Stumptown’s.
The free iPhone app, made in partnership with 79Lines, has an up-to-date listing of Intelligentsia’s coffee offerings, as well as detailed information about each. You can read about the taste notes, elevation, country origin, harvest date, etc. It goes as far as including a section for images and videos, where even more behind the scenes media can be added about the coffee varietal.
Moving beyond Intelligentsia’s product descriptions, the app also includes a series of nicely illustrated tutorials for a selection of brew methods: pourover, Chemex, cafe solo, French press, and cupping. Hopefully the list will be expanded with a future update to include others (eg. AeroPress, moka pot, syphon pot). However, the initial list covers a good selection of common methods.
Along with the tutorials, there are timers that correspond with each method. The timers aren’t just a stylized version of the phones built-in timer, but also includes alerts within the countdown to indicate next steps. For example, 45 seconds into the pourover countdown, an alert pops up to say, “bloom time is finished, start your pour.”
An additional page includes links to Intelligentsia’s twitter feeds, information about their Direct Trade system, in-season coffee, and the company itself. While this is obviously branded content, it’s also a valuable tool for anyone brewing their own coffee. Intelligentsia continues to be a leader in the coffee industry, consistently pushing for better prices for farmers, the best coffee for consumers, and doing it all with remarkable style and a well-polished sense of design.
Download the free iPhone app