Intelligentsia 3123 Broadway St Chicago


1/4/07 Sunday 3pm.

I don´t know why but i thought that this cafe was going to be a lot smaller then it actually is. Apon entry I see a line of people waiting to get there coffee and teas. The place is buzzing and feels inviting with a smattering of chairs, tables, bar stools, lounges with coffee tables up the back.

I bypass the line and head straight up to the retail counter and I notice that they have roasted coffee in glass displays embedded into the counter. My first thought is that the beans looked old and tired but I didn´t think twice about it as its all too common to see display beans looking defeated. I’m looking around at the selection and I notice a La Minita! I have had this coffee before at Estate Coffee through a clover that Klaus made me, and I am excited to get to try it again.

I ask for the coffee and the guy who is serving me kinda laughs saying that those coffees are over ten years old and are not available anymore… Bugger! I am now feeling like one of those stupid customers that I am always gripe about (on the inside of course) as he points to the large coffee menu right in front of me. I blurt out, “Kenya please, half a pound unground”.

After paying for the beans I head to the line and order my usual, an espresso and a traditional wet cappuccino (thanks Stephen for the ordering tip) and take it to a shared table.

The espresso was clean with good body and chocolate notes but not much tobacco like I overheard one of the staff describe it as. Then the cap, it was fairly dry and this time I was getting a bit of a smokey flavour cutting through the milk, it was good at best but only because I did not get a wet cap like I had ordered.

After letting the caffeine buzz subside a bit, about 45 mins latter I ordered another wet, trad cap and this one was a lot better, really smooth and clean though the temp could of been a little hotter. But after not having any coffee for a day or so it was great to get my fix by the leaders in the industry. I´m yet to be disappointed @ Intelligentsia and as its only 15mins away from Maria’s, I go back time and time again.

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