By Brett Prior
on 11.18.10

Extreme coffee heads alike can all attest to Intelligentsia’s supreme coffee and abiding culture. Now with nine locations—after recently opening in Pasadena, California—the company ensures a premium experience through high-quality, direct trade production and a superlatively trained staff. Committed to exceptional coffee, Intelligentsia’s buyers and quality control staff spend many months overseas in the most remote areas of the world to work closely with the farmers and millers. They even made sure consumers understand the direct trade process by creating a website specifically for their method.

The many baristas are fully clad in early 1900s Chicago garb, and they use differing brewing methods such as syphon (coffee nerds, see video below), drip, and Chemix. Intelligentsia started about 15 years ago in Chicago, and has since branched off to California and New York; however, don’t feel left out if you fail to reside near any of these areas because their coffee beans can be purchased across the nation.

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