Reviews for Intelligentsia Coffee

Review Date: Apr 2016

Price: $24.00/7 ounces

Quietly fruit-toned, spicy. Pineapple, cocoa powder, almond, myrrh in aroma and cup. Juicy, complex acidity; smooth, satiny mouthfeel. The richly sweet, resonant finish consolidates around almond and pineapple.

Review Date: Apr 2016

Price: $21.00/12 ounces

Delicate, sweetly intricate. Toffee, dried fig, hops, rhododendron-like flowers, roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Bright, juicy acidity; light, silky mouthfeel. The sweetly rich finish is saturated with cacao and floral suggestions.

Review Date: Aug 2013

Price: $22.00/16 ounces

Crisply sweet, balanced, subtle. Honey, plum, hints of vanilla and roasted cacao nib in aroma and cup. Soft acidity; plush mouthfeel. Flavor carries impressively into a long, sweet, rich finish.

Review Date: May 2011

Price: $18.00/16 ounces

Evaluated as espresso. Although Ken (90) and co-taster Sean Kohmescher (90) produced identical ratings, they read this coffee a bit differently, with Sean emphasizing its brightish citrus and floral tendencies while Ken added dark chocolate and hint of brandy. Sean was citrus inclined more toward lemon and lime, Ken toward a deeper-toned orange. Both read the small cup as medium in weight though slightly lean in mouthfeel, but admired the sample performance in two parts milk, finding it smooth, creamy, complex: berry, flowers, lemony cocoa.

Review Date: Dec 2009

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Intense aroma: round fruitiness suggesting black currant, mixed berries, lemon, toast, soft night flowers. Bright-toned acidity, medium body with a delicately syrupy mouthfeel and a particularly juicy tartness suggesting something like Satsuma oranges in syrup, together with continuing notes of flowers and berries, all lingering deeply into the finish.

Review Date: Feb 2008

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Sweet-toned, quiet aroma with nut, dried cherry and chocolate. Elegantly balanced cup: softly acidy, silky in mouthfeel, with continued dried cherry, cocoaish chocolate and a slight brightening hint of lemon. The chocolate notes in particular carry into the long, rich, complex finish.

Review Date: Feb 2008

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Sweet-toned, crisply rich aroma with chocolate, cedar, flowers, ripe tomato notes. In the cup powerfully but sweetly acidy, with continued flowers, cocoaish chocolate, tart cherry notes and a pungent hint of cedar. Rich, sweet, chocolate-toned finish; very slight astringency in the long.

Review Date: Aug 2007

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Rich, roundly pungent aroma: caramel, orange, hints of flowers and chocolate. Medium bodied, a touch rough in mouthfeel. The richly pungent, cedary character carries into the cup with continued orange, raisin and semi-sweet chocolate notes. The finish is rather astringent but rich, with good flavor persistence. The pungent character softens in milk with the orangy chocolate sweetening nicely.

Review Date: Feb 2007

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Sweet-toned aroma with delicate floral-, cherry- and chocolate-toned fruit notes. In the cup more striking for its superb body and balanced structure than for its agreeable but limited nuance, a dry cherry-chocolate. The long, deep finish stays just on the rich side of astringent.

Review Date: Dec 2006

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Cocoa laced with citrus in the aroma. Flavors are as complex and sculpted as a top Alsatian Riesling, with intense lemon and orange acidity, chocolate, and a suggestion of fresh chive or tarragon always associated with this variety. A powerful, aristocratic grand cru. This fragile, low-density variety is a major challenge to roast (and cannot handle dark roasting); this is a particularly masterful roasting job.

Review Date: Mar 2006

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Softly sweet-toned, rather simple aroma – raisin and chocolate notes. In the cup a lean but rather silky mouthfeel, with continued raisin and sweet pipe tobacco notes and a continued lean toward milk chocolate. Simple, straightforward finish with a shimmer of astringency in the long.

Review Date: Feb 2006

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Very deep, resonant aroma, with distinct floral and cherry-toned coffee fruit notes, buttery chocolate, and a slight, bracing suggestion of fresh-cut cedar. In the cup giddily and sweetly acidy, with continued clear, intense floral notes and a Chardonnay-like fruit. A hint of butter and, as the cup cools, ripe tomato. The cleanly rich finish stiffens just slightly as the cup cools.

Review Date: Jan 2006

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Pure yet extravagant notes of coffee fruit and flowers themselves carry with breathtaking simplicity from aroma into the sweetly acidy cup. I don’t recall having experienced the taste of the coffee fruit (think sweetly tart cherries) and the voluptuous scent of the coffee flower (jasmine) so distinctly and so intensely. The slightly astringent finish and turn toward ripe tomato as the cup cools reveals that, at this writing, the coffee is perhaps a bit young, but drink it now because tomorrow it will be out the roaster door. Nominated by reader Herman Reichold who calls it “one of – if not the – best coffees I have had the pleasure to drink.”

Review Date: Nov 2005

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Intense, very deep aroma, with buttery or perhaps toffee-like notes and hints of flowers and wine. In the cup very sweet and very acidy, though never sharp. Continued hints of flowers and white wine. Rich, complex, slightly astringent in the finish.

Review Date: Oct 2005

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A quiet, very sweet, delicately chocolate-toned coffee. Caramel and chocolate tones dominate in aroma and cup, gently complicated by floral top notes. Slightly astringent in the long finish.

Review Date: Oct 2005

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Smoky, cedar- and cherry-toned fruit in the aroma. In the cup round, rich, bittersweet, with a tart, cherryish chocolate – think pie cherries rolled in unsweetened chocolate – and a sweet, floral-toned acidity. The finish strikes me as slightly too astringent.

Review Date: Jul 2005

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The aroma is sweet-toned and intense: cedar, semi-sweet chocolate, raisins. In the cup, dry, spicy berry, grapefruit, Bordeaux-like wine notes. The flavor notes persist in the slightly but pleasantly astringent finish.

Review Date: Jul 2005

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The aroma, sweetly pungent with a hint of chocolaty fruit, provided only a hint of the intensity displayed by the cup – high-toned and richly acidy, with a simple but powerful flavor complex: dry berry (aka black current), a hint of grapefruit, and rich, dry chocolate.

Review Date: Jun 2005

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A light-bodied, sweetly crisp coffee. Suggestions of leather, spice and a dry, fruity chocolate in the aroma. Melodic in the cup, with sweet citrus top notes and a hint of chocolate balanced by a slight tart sharpness.

Review Date: Dec 2004

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Low-key, richly pungent aroma: raisins, dried cherries, chocolate. In the cup gently pungent, softly acidy, with a tightly knit complexity, again suggesting dried fruit – raisins, cherries, with a touch of chocolate.