Reviews for Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters
Co-cupper Christy Thorns' (90) reading was precise and explicit: "The aromatics of this coffee undulate from desert lime, orange peel, lemon zest to eucalyptus and jasmine blossom. These characteristics do not carry over into the cup, however, but instead a delicate candied sweetness and roasted nut flavor dominate with a hint of ginger in the finish." Ken (90), just as positive but less specific, was content to praise a rich wine, fruit and floral character. Either way, a complex cup with great aromatic richness and range.
Ken (91) admired this coffee a bit more than co-cupper Christy Thorns (88), who praised its "gentle grapefruit-like acidity and a nicely rounded, sweet and berry finish" but didn't carry on about it much. For his part, Ken particularly admired this coffee's citrus-toned acidity, which he found sweet, rounded, and "profoundly rich and cleanly and elegantly wine-like."
High-toned, complex aroma: sweet citrus, cherry, apple. In the cup gently acidy, while the fruit maintains its complex, elegant trajectory: Meyer lemon, grapefruit, tart berry. The initial, almost shocking rush of sweetness is balanced by a crisply bitter finish.
A challengingly acidy coffee, by sweetly so. A sensitive roast rounds the acidity and deepens the fruit, turning it toward sweet cocoa and ripe cherry. Glints of jasmine. The cocoa-toned fruit persists agreeably through the finish.
A powerfully acidy coffee, sharply rich and winy. Beneath the acidy assertion patient drinking reveals subdued but seductive floral undertones. The aromatics are splendid but the mouthfeel is a bit too astringent for my taste.
Giddily sweet, rich, balanced. Gentle wine-toned fruit (call it chardonnay) and low-key floral notes run through aroma and cup, rounding toward milk chocolate n the finish. A superb expression of the El Salvador type.
A subtle, lush coffee, richly sweet and gently acidy with shimmers of flowers. Notes of fermented fruit give the cup a juicy, decadent opulence that will please more adventurous palates but may put off coffee traditionalists.
Intense but balanced acidity, medium body, and tartly sweet fruit notes --berry and citrus -- that soften toward chocolate in the finish. Director of Coffee Geoff Watts praises this coffee's "grace and completeness."
Relatively light bodied but intensely dry and richly astringent, with an austere pineapple- and grapefruit-toned fruit. The finish, like the cup, is astringent but exhilarating. Director of Coffee Geoff Watts admires this Kenya's "pristine character" and its "dynamic and elegant acidity."
Fermented, wine-like fruit notes agreeably dominate the small cup, though they are shadowed by bitterness, particularly in the finish. The bitterness turns pleasantly bittersweet in cappuccino-sized milk, and flat-out gloriously sweet and chocolate-fruit-toned in big milk. (86 straight espresso, 90 w/milk)
Heavy, rich, a touch sharp, but balanced in the small cup, complicated nicely by dry fruit and cocoa. Maintains balance and authority in small milk, where the cocoa sweetens toward a voluptuous hazelnut-toned chocolate. Fades a bit in big milk, though still round and chocolaty. (89 straight espresso, 90 w/milk)
Complex and exotic, this moderately dark-roasted blend sits sharply but sweetly on the palate. Floral notes and faintly ferment-toned fruit complicate the cup, but both nuance and sweetness fade in the finish, leaving behind a roasty bitterness some coffee drinkers may find pleasingly pungent, others a touch overbearing.
Restrained, low-toned, rather full-bodied, but not flat. In fact, alive with understated nuance: some tobacco tones, a full, dry spice impression that could be called chocolate; perhaps a hint of fruit or wine in the round finish. The aftertaste leaves a balanced memory of chocolate sweetness and dry tobacco.