Coffee Country: Intelligentsia

Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea

53 W Jackson Blvd
(between Wabash Ave & Michigan Ave)
Chicago, IL 60604



Coffee lovers can’t tour the country, stop in Chicago, and leave without visiting Intelligentsia. This place is, without a doubt, a premier destination for coffee in Chicago. Known for their diverse variety of robust offerings, Intelligentsia is a luxury brand that few can stack up to.

It’s not surprising that their coffee house in Chicago looks like a modern art gallery. The ambiance is cool and well-distributed with photography and fine art. People sit and conduct work like any other coffee house, but something seems different, more refined. I almost feel unworthy to be there.

A slew of coffee drinks are available, and while espresso seems like caviar, I decided to try a slow-pour cup of coffee, a large (for once), and watched the barista grind the beans and prepare the slow pour with steaming hot water, all the while chatting with me about their beans and technique and the history of the shop. They have it down to a science, and it shows in their product.

Anyone who loves coffee will do good to visit an Intelligentsia coffee house in their lifetime. Experiences like this are not common, and while they do distribute nationally, you simply can’t get the same feeling without visiting the source.