Articles About Direct Trade

April 20, 2015

Colombia is a country with some of the most spectacular natural resources and biodiversity on the planet. It is actually the second most diverse country in the world in terms of species per land unit, with a large chunk of its territory set within the Amazonian region. It is the country that gave birth to Cumbia music, delivered us such literary greats as Gabriel García Márquez, and became the standard setter for coffee quality in the sixties and seventies. To this day it remains the country with the most sophisticated smallholder coffee production system in existence.

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March 22, 2015

Intelligentsia Coffee is privileged to offer, for the third consecutive year, a Black Cat Project espresso sourced from our longtime Direct Trade partners at Finca Matalapa in El Salvador. Our history with coffees from Finca Matalapa runs deep. Finca Matalapa debuted as an Intelligentsia espresso in 2008, when it was used to win that year’s United States Barista Championship. This was the first time a single origin coffee took home top honors at the competition, a trend that now dominates current barista competitions.... Read more »

March 9, 2015

To the Greeks, Persephone was the daughter of harvest goddess Demeter. Popular mythology tells that Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, lord of the underworld. When Demeter learned of her daughter's fate, she conspired to prevent the earth's plants from bearing fruits until Persephone was allowed to return. Zeus consented to allow the restitution of the young goddess to the land of the living, though she was required to return to Hades annually because she had consumed pomegranate seeds, the fruit of the underworld.... Read more »

March 4, 2015

The Borderlands Project is one of the most exciting and innovative development programs being operated in coffee today. Its mission is relatively specific: to help improve the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers living in the border regions of Southern Colombia and Northern Ecuador. Coffee was identified as the most appropriate vehicle to support this goal, as the area is blessed with advantageous climate conditions that create the potential for extraordinary coffee quality.... Read more »

March 1, 2015

This past weekend, Intelligentsia barista Sarah Anderson won the 2015 US Brewers Cup. Sarah is a senior barista at our Pasadena location in California and won the South West Regional back in October. It's the first time Intelligentsia has won this competition, and the first time it's been won by a female competitor.... Read more »

February 20, 2015

This weekend three Intelligentsia employees will compete in the United States Coffee Championships, taking place in Long Beach California. This is the national competition that all the regionals have been leading up to. There are two competitions: the United States Barista Championship and the United States Brewers Cup.... Read more »

February 16, 2015

This was a truly remarkable and record setting year for Vickie Dalton’s Matalapa and Intelligentsia. Great weather, and a concerted effort by everyone, allowed us to select and ship this coffee earlier than ever before. This year’s rains caused a whopping five flowerings on the trees, which normally see two or three, providing a much larger and spread-out harvest.... Read more »

February 11, 2015

Two weeks ago, we took our Uppers and Downers series to the next level, and held our first ever coffee beer festival. An ongoing, collaborative series with Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting, this was the biggest thing we've done yet: 600 people, a multi-roaster espresso bar courtesy of La Marzocco Home, 14 brewers and a huge array of beer styles with coffee as a key ingredient.... Read more »

February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day is a holiday that can cement or destroy relationships. Equally loved and despised for its annual call to romantic gestures, it's a holiday that people either look forward to, consistently forget or consciously ignore.

Wary of its powerful, albeit mawkish impact, we looked for a way to get us all through February, regardless of our position on the holiday. We turn as always to coffee, and after spending the best part of January working on ideas, decided to revive an old favorite, Eros Blend.

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February 5, 2015

There are some people that are not afraid to challenge the status quo. They reject conventional wisdom. They push boundaries. When these people succeed, they create new paradigms. They write a new set of rules. The family behind Finca Takesi—the world's highest coffee farm— has redefined the accepted standards surrounding the elevation at which coffee can thrive. The results achieved are truly stunning coffees.... Read more »