Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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C H I C A G O WHEN I WAS A COLLEGE STUDENT in Chicago, my friends and I were constantly on the hunt for the best coffee on campus. That was in 2005, and my campus alone housed 19 coffee shops for its small student population of about 15,000. Of course, not all these coffee shops served equally good coffee. Detours to the business and law schools were necessary before class if you wanted to get a cup of cof- fee brewed with beans from Intelligentsia, then just a name we knew meant good coffee, but little else. I missed many a roll call running the extra blocks, sometimes jaunting across the Midway, to get what I knew would be the tastiest brew. It's been eight years since I graduated and left Chicago, and when I returned this year, it felt like both nothing and everything had changed. Intelligentsia, the coffee of campus lore, is still dominant in the city, but there are a number of newcomers and old standbys I nev- er got to experience when I fi rst lived there. In this guide, we explore Chicago's coffee scene both old and new, and give some thought to why coffee from the Third Coast might make this the best coast. C O F F E E S TA R T S H E R E The coasts of the Great Lakes are often referred to as the "Third Coast," and while that name honors the cities nestled along these shores, it can also imply an inferiority, indicating that these places are in third place after the cities on the East and West Coasts. If it didn't happen in New York or Los Angeles, does it even matter? Well before specialty coffee came to either of those cities, Doug Zell and Emily Mange started roasting coffee out of a small café in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago called Intelligentsia Coffee. Today, Intelligentsia has six locations across Chicago (and have deigned those aforementioned coasts with retail spots. And the company's reach with branded retail spots even extends today to Boston), and its menu and customer-service standards continue to be innovative and modern. Walk into the downtown location, housed in the historic Monadnock Building, which is the tallest load-bearing all-brick building ever built, and see busy commuters get their drinks quickly and to go. Or walk into Intelli's Logan Square location, where patrons can sit on any end of a 360-degree bar and slow down their coffee experience, watching baris- tas deftly pull shots and brew coffee. Being one of the original players in the specialty-coffee scene hasn't slowed this mainstay down a bit—In- telli continues to serve excellent coffee and playful seasonal drinks, as well as beautiful teas on tap sourced by sister company Kilogram Tea. Intelligentsia was one of two stops made by San Francisco Bay Opposite page, at top: Intelligentsia Coff ee in the historic Monadnock Building in the South Loop of Chicago. Construction of this landmark began in 1891, and it remains the tallest load-bearing brick building ever constructed. When the Monadnock Building was newly fi nished, it was deemed plain and lacking in style. Now it's one of Chicago's most iconic structures. Photo courtesy of Intelligentsia Coff ee. Below: Sister company to the celebrated café, Wormhole, Halfwit Coff ee Roasters opened a Cold War-inspired spot in Logan Square in December. Past the retail space is a roasting area and training lab. Photo courtesy of Halfwit Coff ee. Above: At center, Trez V. Pugh, III, founder and CEO of Sip & Savor poses with members of his team. Sip & Savor has four locations on the Southside of Chicago, and Trez plans to continue growing. He opened Sip & Savor, a er a friend recommended that he blend his success in business with his dedication to building community, and Trez continues to prioritize the neighborhood within the café and through mentorship and activism. Photo courtesy of Sip & Savor. 33 www.baristamagazine.com

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