Photo Menu: Intelligentsia Coffee Tea

The La Marzocco Cafe welcomed Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee last week as our Roaster in Residence for the month of October. Through their impeccable service and dedication to quality, we can see that Intelligentsia recognizes and honors the amount of time and energy it takes for a coffee plant to reach its ultimate destination: a beverage being enjoyed by a customer. Our team at the cafe is excited to share Intelligentsia’s creative menu with our guests this month. In addition to their rotating coffee menu and their robust Kilogram Tea offering, Intelligentsia has a month packed full of classes and events for the Seattle community and those who travel here from beyond. Following are some highlights from their menu and information on their events.


Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Classic Espresso Blend is the default choice for most espresso drinks on the menu. This is their signature blend, comprised of 75% pulped natural coffee and 25% of a complementary washed coffee. The blend may vary each season, but always offers a flavor profile of dark chocolate and cherries. As an alternative to the Black Cat Classic, there will also be a rotating single origin espresso offered. These single origin coffees tend to be lighter and brighter than the Black Cat Classic and will be listed on the menu by their region and country. Brewed coffee will be prepared using either v60 or Chemex and will be selected each day based on sweetness, balance and clarity, and prepared to order.


Tea lovers will be thrilled with Intelligentsia’s offering of Kilogram Teas. The daily menu includes black, green, oolong, and herbal choices. Pictured below is the Kabuse Okabe, a green tea which boasts both sweetness and umami.


For a total herbal pick-me-up, guests should try the Hot Turmeric Tonic. It’s bright yellow color foretells the flavor bomb of turmeric, ginger, lemon and lime.


Guests will also find sparkling teas–on tap! These are cold, a little bubbly and very refreshing. Pictured below is the King Crimson Sparkling Tea that features an infusion of hibiscus, lemongrass and citrus.


Matcha, a finely-powdered green tea, gets its own section on Intelligentsia’s menu! Try this earthy, antioxidant-packed tea warm (matcha latte), iced (iced matcha, iced matcha latte) or even as a matcha shake!


And speaking of shakes, Intelligentsia has two more on their menu. First, the Black Cat Shake is made with a single extraction of espresso blended with Salt & Straw Double Fold Vanilla Ice Cream then garnished with whipped cream and espresso powder. Second, the Chocolate Champ Shake is made by blending chocolate ganache with Salt & Straw Double Fold Vanilla Ice Cream, then garnished with whipped cream and a chocolate square.


Intelligentsia has planned some exciting classes and events during their time as our resident roaster. This month, the company celebrates their 21st birthday and will be hosting a party here at the cafe on Sunday, October 9. It will be free and open to the public and will include a cocktail competition featuring Intelligentsia’s Cold Brew!


Special guests will be arriving throughout the month to teach classes and interact with our staff and guests. The first two classes will be hosted by Jesse Raub, Chicago Wholesale Educator and will cover brew variables, methods and how to ensure perfect extraction, as well as a Q&A session on preparing coffee and espresso at home. Next up will be Doug Palas, Kilogram’s Director of Tea, speaking about sourcing teas and Intelligentsia’s unique sparkling tea program. Then, we’ll welcome Geoff Watts, Intelligentsia Vice President and green coffee buyer, for a special evening session on issues related to Direct Trade, sustainability, and Intelligentsia’s Extraordinary Coffee Workshop. Finally, Matt Barahura, West Coast Wholesale Educator will be here to host a class on espresso and milk preparation.


For more details on event dates and times, head on over to our events calendar and to see Intelligentsia’s full menu for the month, head here.

La Marzocco Cafe News – October: Thank-you Counter Culture and Intelligentsia Preview

It’s been an incredible summer at the La Marzocco Café, and our friends at Counter Culture Coffee helped send summer off in the best way. They began by showing our guests Southern hospitality with a launch party full of North Carolina BBQ, beer and all the sides. The La Marzocco crew had a great time mingling with guests as well as the good people of Counter Culture.

ccc launch party

Brian Ludviksen (left), with La Marzocco USA President Joe Monaghan and Counter Culture President Brett Smith (right).

From Q&A’s to their “Tastings at 10” each week, Counter Culture brought the classroom to the cafe and both our staff and guests benefited by being able to taste coffees and hear what makes each of them special. Their weekly “Champ’s Corner” has been an incredible opportunity for us to learn about the processing, varieties, and flavors of coffee, taught by some of specialty coffee’s biggest Champs. We’d like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone at Counter Culture who worked so hard to make this residency a success!


Next up, we have the privilege of hosting Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea, a company La Marzocco has been working with since they began more than 20 years ago, as our next Roaster in Residence! For the month of October, guests will be able to taste Intelligentsia’s coffees and teas and experience their impeccable service.

intelligentsia coffee bags

Photo Credit: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

Intelligentsia began in 1995 as an in-store coffee roaster-retailer in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, operating with just a 12-kilogram roaster. Over the past 21 years they have grown from their original shop to now having 10 unique coffeebars in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, three roasting works with over 600 wholesale accounts, and training labs in New York and Atlanta.

intelligentsia coffee cup

Photo Credit: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

Direct Trade has become somewhat of a specialty coffee industry standard, and Intelligentsia was truly a pioneer of this movement. Cumulatively, their buyers spend 365+ days a year working alongside farmers in origin countries. Many of the coffees Intelligentsia procures are exclusive to Intelligentsia. Intelligentsia pays its coffee-producing partners higher prices than prices regulated by Fair Trade standards, with the goal of improving farmers’ lives; improving infrastructure and quality-of-life in coffee-producing communities; and improving growing and production practices to yield higher-quality coffee. All of this work and investment is reflected in every cup enjoyed by the consumer.

intelligentsia coffee and espresso

Photo Credit: Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

While at the La Marzocco Cafe, Intelligentsia will be hosting a party celebrating their 21st birthday. Details will follow, but we hear there are plans for a cocktail competition, pizza and beer! Each week a special guest from Intelligentsia will be teaching classes on their practices, and on coffee and tea. The menu will include an extensive tea program from Intelligentsia’s team company, Kilogram Tea. Make sure to follow along on the cafe’s Instagram and Twitter as we’ll be posting more information about these events throughout Intelligentsia’s residency.

Again, we want to thank Counter Culture for a super month and for all the effort that went into making their residency a great one. To close their residency, current US Barista Champion and Counter Culture mainstay, Lem Butler will be serving his specialty drink in the Champ’s Corner. The full Counter Culture menu will be available through September 26th.

A loss for our community

This weekend we learned of the passing of someone who has been a part of the La Marzocco family for many years. The La Marzocco team was heartbroken to learn that Jim Karr, of SteamVolt in Chicago, died in a tragic work accident on Saturday. Jim was a brilliant technician who trained some of the finest technicians across the US. He was a teacher and mentor to members of our staff, and was a business partner and friend of La Marzocco’s for more than 20 years.

Jim will be missed by all of us at La Marzocco. Our hearts go out to Jim’s family, our community of technicians, and everyone who knew and loved Jim.


Join us in a city near you for “Pressure + Flow”

La Marzocco USA is pleased to announce the four-city event series “Pressure + Flow,” taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago in February and March 2013.

Each event will feature a day of learning, with presentations and hands-on guided learning experiences on emerging coffee topics:

PRESSURE: A guided hands-on learning experience with the Strada EP. Hear about how the Strada EP came to be, what we’ve learned about brewing coffee using the Strada EP as a platform, then spend time with the machine.

FLOW: This session will give an overview of water science, the interaction of coffee and water, and leave participants with information on how to test their water and make informed water conditioning purchase decisions.

The events will also feature a fun, interactive “Espresso Machine Loveline” session hosted by a special guest in each city, with answers by Dr. Scott Guglielmino. Bring all of those questions you’ve been too embarrassed to ask; no question is off limits!

The agenda for each event is:

10:00-12:00 & 2:00-4:00: PRESSURE: Guided hands-on learning with the Strada EP (session content presented twice)

4:00-5:00: Espresso Machine Loveline

5:30-7:00: FLOW: Water science 101 with comparative espresso tasting featuring waters from around the US

Catch Pressure + Flow on these dates in these cities:

February 13th: Los Angeles, Siren Studios

February 16th: San Francisco, Guerrero Gallery

March 6th: New York, Attic Studios

March 9th: Chicago, Ravenswood Events Center

Each event is free and open to the public; registration is encouraged. Participants who register in advance will receive a special La Marzocco gift.

Register HERE and choose the ticket type for your city’s event.

A large thank you goes out to our coffee and small wares sponsors: Atlas Coffee Importers and Espresso Parts.