Articles About Single Origin

By Michael Sheridan
Director of Sourcing and Sustainability

Years ago I heard someone draw a distinction between luck and serendipity. Luck, he said, is just that: an accident. Dumb luck. Serendipity, on the other hand, is a particular kind of luck, and there is nothing dumb about it. Serendipity, he suggested, is the luck that comes about as the result of careful planning and hard work.

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What does it take to create something that truly deserves to be called special? We know that it requires careful, deliberate, and unrelenting effort. Making coffees that are extraordinary in every way is an endless challenge, and is only possible when there is real collaborative effort between farmers, roasters and baristas.

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Perennially one of our favorite relationship coffees, La Tortuga comes from high in the mountains of Marcala, in the department of La Paz. The farms reach as high as 1650 meters above sea level, high enough that you can see the volcanoes of El Salvador from the farm. Don Fabio Caballero is a third generation coffee producer, experience that’s evident in his coffee.

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Costa Rica as a nation has gone the first 75 days of 2015 using only reusable energy to power their energy grid; zero fossil fuels have been used to generate electricity. Their goal is for the entire nation to be carbon neutral by 2021, and they are on a fast track to accomplishing this.

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Costa Rica as a nation has gone the first 75 days of 2015 using only reusable energy to power their energy grid; zero fossil fuels have been used to generate electricity. Their goal is for the entire nation to be carbon neutral by 2021, and they are on a fast track to accomplishing this.

... Read more »

Los Delirios is back for the eleventh straight year. As you may already know, this coffee is produced on an organic farm in the mountains of northwestern Nicaragua by the Canales family. Intelligentsia began working with Sr. Daniel Canales in 2004, the year his coffee won first place at Nicaragua’s Cup of Excellence competition. Sr. Canales’ coffee made history as the first certified organic coffee to win a Cup of Excellence event. Today the farm is run by Sr. Canales’ sons: Milton, Norman, and Donal.... Read more »

It’s been a minute since our last music collaboration, but as Summer approaches and Spring lets us shake off the last cobwebs of Winter, it’s time we celebrate the things that happen around the cup and partner with the best out there. Tomorrow we announce a new collaboration with Grado Labs, a Brooklyn based company that hand makes headphones and cartridges. The team from Grado came by our New York lab last week and tasted a bunch of our fresh crop arrivals from Central America. Their favorite was Los Delirios from Nicaragua.... Read more »

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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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 »

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 »