Coffee Notes from All Over

Super-size me? Not any more. Doug Zell and the gang at Intelligentsia Coffee are ‘just saying no’ to Big Gulp portions of brewed coffee, as they discontinue their 20-oz. serving size. Is it about the bottom line? Doug says no, it’s not that at all… “Drinking our coffee is not like drinking jug wine,” said Intelligentsia Coffee founder and Chief Executive Doug Zell on Tuesday. “We’re focused on intensity of flavors and providing coffee in the way it tastes best. And it’s not in that size.” As a coffee snob, I think it’s a good call… coffee does not want to be slurped in giant takeaway cups. As a commentator on the business of coffee, I worry about the timing: folks are minding their pennies these days, and “value shoppers” may migrate to someplace where they feel they get more caffeine for their buck. ‘Course, that might be offset by an increase in same-day sales… folks who used to buy a Venti to last them the morning may visit twice for two twelve ounce cups. Maybe. P.S. Speaking of Zell, have you seen his Amex ad? He’s the new Mr. Big, man. Rwanda preps for its first Cup of Excellence! Rwanda is rightly celebrating one coming out party after another… last year it hosted its first Golden Cup competition, and this year it’s joining the ranks of the prestigious Cup of Excellence program. “As the host country of the first Cup of Excellence competition in Africa, Rwanda will set the stage and create the benchmark for the rest of the quality coffee-producing countries on the continent where coffee was...

Intelligentsia Coffee’s Rwanda Golden Cup Melange

Rating: [rating:4/5] While I’d talked up Rwanda’s Golden Cup competition last September, I’ve only late come to realize that I hadn’t actually tasted any of the coffees from this competition. That couldn’t stand, of course. And so this week the coffee delivery man brought me a package from Intelligentisa Coffee. Intelligentsia’s greenie, Geoff Watts, was fortunate enough both to jury the competition, and to buy a number of lots… this coffee being an all Bourbon melange of coffees from three districts: Nyamasheke, Huye and Gakenke. Just ground, this blend’s aromas are clean and sweet, with brown sugar the dominant note. On brewing the sweetness continues with a bit of apple pie spice. In the cup, mango and caramel flavors are accentuated by a shimmering acidity, and buttery, syrupy body. The finish is long, and sweet, and leaves a taste of candied pecans on the tongue. Sweet. Balanced. Lyrical. This is Zen poetry in a cup. Recommended, and available at Intelligentsia...

Rwanda’s Golden Cup — The Results Are In!

It’s Labor Day in these United States — a celebration of the working stiff, the last gasp of Summer — and to mark the event I’ll be… laboring on the garage. (sigh) I can’t help but take a moment, however, to mark the outstanding results of Rwanda’s Golden Cup competition and auction. In a few short years Rwanda has emerged from its national nightmare to become an increasingly prominent player in the specialty coffee trade, and perhaps nothing to-date has marked this more significantly than the results of the events of the past few days. The cupping jury has seen some phenomenal coffees, some scoring as high as 95 — even 98! — and the results of the auction itself are now in. The winning bidders? The usual suspects: Stumptown walks away with the top lot from the Muyongwe cooperative, at $25 per pound. Lots from Ngoma, Karaba and Kanzu fetched in the neighborhood of $15/lb. and winning bidders included Zoka, Counter Culture and Intelligentsia. Look for some of these stunning coffees at a winning roaster — perhaps even before the turn of the...

Pin It on Pinterest