Name of Roaster: Intelligentsia
Location of Roaster (City, State, Country): Chicago, Illinois
Name of Roast: House Blend
Type of Roast (Light, Medium, Dark): Medium
Origin of Beans: El Salvador, Guatemala, & Honduras
Price: $13 (12 oz.)
Brewing Method (Drip, Chemex, AeroPress, etc.): Chemex
Time Between Purchase and Brewing (Ballpark is fine): Two Days
Aroma: Warm chocolate ganache welcomed us when opening the bag, followed by a mixture of fresh baked unfrosted brownie on top of an undercurrent of bright raspberry jam. A slight peppery note and the roast note showed on the back end. The grind revealed a bright mixed berry compote, followed by a bittersweet chocolate and baking spices. On the pour, we found the soft sweetness of white cane sugar mixed with light brown sugar and a bright peanut brittle.
Flavor Profile: The coffee showed a medium-to-full body and a high entry on the palate. Initially, the coffee presents itself with generous viscosity and strong notes of roasted almond and pecan. A slight citrus flavor of lemon and orange hits the tip of the tongue, providing balance to the sip. A soft hint of dark chocolate cake touches the roof of the mouth, while the sides of the tongue provide a touch of acidity reminiscent of the aforementioned citrus notes found on the front of the tongue, just slightly more bitter. The finish is smooth, with notes of caramel and toasted note that persist on the tongue.
Overall Impression (What did you think of it? Anything else we should know?): As expected from a heavy hitter roaster's house blend, this is a coffee amenable to most any palate. Bright, lively, quaffable, and inoffensive, showing well with milk or without, this is your standard coffee, but leveled up. Take no hesitation in picking up a bag, but do not expect anything revelatory; this coffee is as middle of the road as a medium roast can get. Intelligentsia's House Blend is found routinely on grocery store shelves, and it is a safe choice if you are looking to buy a coffee slightly outside the mainstream (note: Intelligentsia, which started as an independent craft roaster, is now partially owned by Peet's, which itself is partially owned by JAB Holding Co., a private conglomerate).
Final Score (1-10, with 10 being the best cup of coffee in your life): 7.5
Where to Buy: Intelligentsia
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