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Chicago, IL

Intelligentsia

Founded in 1995 by Emily Mange and Doug Zell, this Chicago-based institution got its start roasting on vintage equipment within its first coffeebar. Today – with a focus on consistency, quality, and sustainability – Intelligentsia travels the world to source the finest specialty coffee for its roasting facilities and training labs across the nation.

Coffee Talk
About Intelligentsia
What makes Chicago a great coffee city?
Chicago’s busy on-the-go lifestyle makes it a natural hotspot for coffee shops. And there’s no shortage of great ones thanks to 77 varied neighborhoods and the personalities that flavor them. That means there’s a spot for everyone on Chicago’s coffee scene!
How did Intelligentsia get started?
Unsatisfied with the (un)availability of fresh and flavorful coffee in San Francisco, Doug Zell and Emily Mange headed to Chicago, absorbing the “Midwestern work ethic and pragmatism.” Founded in 1995 and operating on vintage equipment in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood, Intelligentsia was on the forefront of Chicago’s now-robust coffee scene.
What is Intelligentsia’s signature roast style?
Intelligentsia pushes “the boundaries of flavor” so much so that it’s pretty much their thing. The roaster's Black Cat Project Espresso is evidence of that, with intensive sourcing and close collaboration yielding a one-of-a-kind coffee from source to cup.