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The Extraordinary Coffee Workshop is an Intelligentsia Direct Trade signature event. ECW is a collaboration with coffee farmers focused on quality and creating value for everyone involved in our business.

This year, we will host the 9th annual ECW event in San Francisco from September 25-29, with participation of our Direct Trade parters from more than one dozen countries around the world. For complete coverage follow us on our blog, main Instagram, Sourcing Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

ECW is equal parts


ECW features provocative presentations on coffee agronomy, processing and quality by leading coffee researchers, coffee scientists and coffee innovators who present cutting-edge data, analysis and actionable insight to our team and growers in our Direct Trade network. In 2017, ECW will pick up where we left off in 2016, with a groundbreaking discussion of the use of commercial yeasts in coffee processing, a technology that has been used in the beer and wine industries for more than a century but is still in its infancy in the coffee sector.


ECW creates a unique opportunity for chain-wide sensory calibration: we cup and taste a diverse array of coffees together with our Direct Trade partners from around the world to more tightly align our understanding of quality throughout our supply chains. In 2017, Vice President of Coffee Geoff Watts and QC Director Sam Sabori will lead a chain-wide calibration exercise focused on the links between post-harvest processing and cup quality.


ECW is a moveable feast that takes place in a different location every year. So far, it has traveled to seven different countries on three continents. ECW participants explore the coffee culture of these host countries to better understand the unique contributions each one makes to global coffee culture. Most ECW events have been held in coffee-growing countries and have focused on production and post-harvest exploration. ECW 2017 will be held in San Francisco and will focus on three things that make it a world-class city: food, wine and innovation.


ECW is an exercise in supply chain transparency during which we bring our collaborators from around the world together to confer with one another and participate actively in conversations about the future of Intelligentsia. President James McLaughlin will assess the State of Intelligentsia and lay out our vision for 2018, Vice President of Coffee Geoff Watts will give a sensory State of the Union, Cold Coffee Project Director Bailey Manson will describe our cold coffee R&D efforts, QC Director Sam Sabori will introduce new quality protocols, and Director of Sourcing Michael Sheridan will engage our supply chain partners in a conversation about innovations in our sourcing program.


Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ECW a coffee family reunion for the Intelligentsia team and the quality-focused growers and progressive traders we partner with from around the world. In many cases, we have been working with our current supply chain partners for more than a decade. Over the past year, we have worked with 36 Direct Trade partners in 14 countries around the world, all of which will be represented at ECW 2017 in San Francisco. Our Direct Trade partners are not just trading partners, but true partners in our business and dear friends. We cherish these opportunities to gather them in one place, and celebrate the fact that ECW has created a global network of growers that has taken on a life of its own: the ECW Champions group has become a loose network of mutual support in shared pursuit of coffee quality.

ECW 2016: Costa Rica

Last year, we delivered illustrated daily updates here throughout the eighth annual ECW in Costa Rica.

ECW 2015: Guatemala

The seventh annual Intelligentsia Extraordinary Coffee Workshop in three minutes and forty seconds.

ECW 2014: Ethiopia

By 2014, our Extraordinary Coffee Workshop had done two turns in the United States and visits to Brasil, Colombia and El Salvador. It was time for the primal return to the place where it all started: Ethiopia.

ECW 2013: Brazil

I find the photos from our fourth annual Extraordinary Coffee Workshop in Brasil so beautiful, I don’t want to detract from them with words.

ECW 2012: Farm Friday in Chicago

In 2011, we hosted our annual Extraordinary Coffee Workshop in Los Angeles. It was the first time we had convened our Direct Trade partners from around the world in the United States, and we wanted to seize the opportunity to flip the script.

ECW 2011: Food and Family in Los Angeles

Each year over the past eight years, we have convened our Direct Trade partners from around the world for our Extraordinary Coffee Workshop.

ECW 2010: Exploring El Salvador

When ECW migrated north from Colombia to El Salvador in 2010, our exploration of the country’s coffee culture was in good hands.

ECW 2009: Woodstock for Coffee

The first Intelligentsia Extraordinary Coffee Workshop was held in 2009 in Cauca, Colombia, on Camilo Merizalde’s Finca Santuario.