Intelligentsia house blend:
A perfect case of wait
by David Jefferies
Intelligentsia house blend: A perfect case of wait, discovering this coffee came after a conversation with some friends. After a short hunt for this blend, I found myself intrigued to see what the hype was about, what kind of flavors this cup held, or, better yet, what flavors pronounce to dance across our palate.
When reviewing coffee, I always purchase two bags; that way, I have plenty to enjoy and plenty to try multiple methods for the review. For this review, I started with a pour-over of this pre-grounded house blend and was ready to let my pen bleed across the page. To let my wrath flow forth about how this was not a good coffee. We all lied about liking it to gain acceptance into a group. After just one brew by one method, my mind was made up. This made no sense; how did so many people like this coffee? To be true to my audience and this review, I decided to give it another shot and try it in a French press. My anger cooled, my crusade against Intelligentsia was called off, and I began to enjoy what they no doubt took time and care to roast for our enjoyment.
I tried three different methods of brewing this coffee, pour-over, cold brew, and French press. In a pour-over, I wouldn’t have this coffee; it is too incoherent and oily it repulsed me quite honestly. For the cold brew, I did not get it quite right; while it is better than the pour-over, it still didn’t quite meet my expectations. The hot French press is where this coffee shines through upfront; nothing exciting finishes with some slight acidity reminiscent of an orange. The aftertaste is genuinely where the bread and butter are made in coffee. It is flavorful with a bit of light smoke and chocolate. I recommend choosing some form of either drip brew or French press hot.
The house blend and what to do with it? Ideally, it would be a background coffee. Believe it or not, this coffee changed my mind while driving to church and sitting in worship. My appreciation for the coffee grew, so I classified it as a background coffee. It truly does get better with time because of the delicate nature of the aftertaste left on the mouth. This is a Bible study coffee or, possibly, a conversational coffee. It is like background music, perfectly setting the ambiance for events. How would I make this coffee?
The house blend has been a fantastic time, inspiring me to transform the coffee landscape and drive the snobs away from these oily and super acidic coffees to something we can all enjoy. Intelligentsia has a great product here. It humbled me and reminded me to try things differently before passing judgment. Simple adjustments transformed it. It took me on an adventure from wanting to go mad to a growing appreciation for people’s hard work. It should remind us all why multiple systems for coffee are a good idea or be aware of what fits our brewing style best. I think Intelligentsia is a brand in the treat category simply because of the 16-dollar price tag that places it outside the everyday use category for most people. Hopefully, my story with this coffee shows that time and passion are key ingredients for a good cup of coffee.