Founded in 1995, this Chicago-based institution got its start roasting on vintage equipment within its first coffeebar. At the time, finding great tasting, freshly roasted coffee was surprisingly elusive. So, Doug Zell and Emily Mange decided to do something about it. They didn’t set out to change the world, just a small corner of it, and they certainly did just that, pioneering Direct Trade practices in the coffee industry before that really became a thing. Because of this, they were able to develop and source exclusive, remarkable coffees not found elsewhere.
Fast forward to today: with a focus on consistency, quality, and sustainability, Intelligentsia continues to be an industry pioneer, traveling the world to source the finest specialty coffee and roasting those beans at their Chicago and Los Angeles locations. True to their original quest, they believe that coffee in all its forms—whole bean, brewed, and espresso—should be an approachable, accessible luxury. For Intelligentsia, making coffee a memorable addition to any experience and making the act of preparing and enjoying a cup of coffee an experience in and of itself are key passions.