Intelligentsia coffee is a Chicago-based chain of artisanal coffee shops.

As of 2008, it has 3 branches in Chicago, and 1 branch in Los Angeles, and its beans are served extensively in coffee shops in Chicago and elsewhere.

It sources, roasts and retails its own beans, with an emphasis on Latin American beans, and a number of reserve beans. A number of its beans are ethically sourced via its Direct Trade program.

Geoff Watts is the green coffee buyer and roastmaster.

Ethics: Direct Trade

It does not participate in Fair Trade; instead, a number of its beans are sourced via its own Direct Trade program. Intelligentsia is not opposed to Fair Trade, but believes the Fair Trade model is not well-suited to boutique coffee, and that its own program serves its needs better.

Currently not all of its beans are Direct Trade, but this is planned.

New York Times article on roasters, with an emphasis on the Direct Trade program.

External links

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