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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Intelligentsia Coffee

Intelligentsia Coffee

I had a day off this summer and was walking around downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa after dropping my son off at an activity.  I saw a sign in a storefront that made me stop and study it.  Signs that mention coffee sometimes have this effect on me.  I had heard of Intelligentsia Coffee before and decided to investigate.

Red Intelligentsia Coffee sign in storefront window
Intelligentsia Coffee Store Window Sign
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The Intelligentsia Coffee sign was in the window of The Early Bird, an independent coffee shop on 2nd Street near the Paramount Theater.  The store was clean and bright.  It was a week day, and regulars were ordering sandwiches and afternoon coffee.  The late lunch crowd was mostly lawyers and bankers.  Intelligentsia coffee was proudly offered and I couldn’t resist trying some.

Display with Intelligentsia Coffee sign and 3 coffee dispensers
Intelligentsia Coffee at local coffee shop
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The price for a 20 oz cup of Intelligentsia coffee was $2 even.  Unfortunately it was afternoon, so I limited myself to decaf.  The decaf offering was Intelligentsia Librarian's Blend.  The flavor had citrus notes, a bit sour, bright, with a spectrum of flavor on the light side.  This roast is not smoky at all, at least compared with my typical dark roast selections.  I liked this roast more and more the more I drank it walking around downtown.  It’s a really good light roast with lots of bright flavor.  This light roast reminded me that coffee is a fruit product made from the seeds of coffee cherries.  I drank it black- it would be good with a bit of honey.  I decided to walk back to the coffee shop and check on how refills work...

Paper to go cup with Intelligentsia Coffee sleeve
Cup of Intelligentsia Coffee
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

I asked the friendly barista about refills- she said “go for it”.  I’m liking this place even more now!  I refilled with Decaf Librarian’s Blend, adding honey this time.  I’ll try to visit sometime in the morning to try Intelligentsia dark roast.  Based on the popularity of Intelligentsia coffee, I have high expectations.

Where to Find Intelligentsia Coffee

Wooden Intelligentsia Coffee sign
Intelligentsia Fresh Roasted Coffee
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Here are the best places to find Intelligentsia coffee:

Local coffee shop.  If you’re lucky like I was, you can find a local coffee shop that serves Intelligentsia coffee.  Coffee shops can order coffee, and apparently signs, from Intelligentsia.  Try searching the web for Intelligentsia coffee and the name of your city to see if any local coffee shops are brewing Intelligentsia.

Intelligentsia coffee bars in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.  If you live in one of these cities, you can go straight to the source.  Intelligentsia was founded in Chicago and has retail shops in Los Angeles and New York as well.

Order Intelligentsia coffee to make at home.  You can order bags of Intelligentsia whole bean and ground coffee from

The Intelligentsia website offers more varieties including seasonal varieties and also provides a coffee subscription service.  You can sign up for automatic shipments of your selected coffee at specified intervals.  You can have them ship a bag of coffee every week if you want.

Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved. Coffee Maker Journal

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