Each month we work with a different coffee roaster to make sure that the first coffee of your weekend brunch is the best coffee you’ve had all week. In fact, we go to great lengths to choose a bean to be served exclusively at brunch, where we brew the coffee two ways: with a v60 pour-over — a slow and precise method of brewing that extracts the flavors and aromas of the beans like no other — and a Yama Cold Brew Drip Tower.
Then, we have the kitchen invent a delicious pastry that perfectly suits the brew, and even the bar offers an homage: a coffee cocktail with that month’s bean as base spirit. To top it all off, we gave this elaborate tribute to one lil’ ol’ bean a long, fancy name: Trenchermen Roaster’s Series! It’s a surround-sound coffee experience that’s impossible to find at any other brunch in town.
What more is there to say about our good friends at Intelligentsia coffee? It’s been nearly twenty years since they first fired up their roaster-retail concept in Lake View and left their mark on the coffee world. This month, our neighbors at Intelligentsia are providing us with a choice cup of coffee from Guatemala named after the Mayan god of fertility, Itzamna. Fruity, fragrant, and floral, each cup is worthy of the deity’s name and evokes the lush environment of the coffee’s origin.
Most coffee enthusiasts will tell you that the higher the altitude, the tastier the drink. They are on the right track: Growing your coffee high on the mountains generally means a delicate, complex cup. The lack of oxygen at these peaks means that the plants grow more slowly, and the flavors become more and more articulated. Intelligentsia knows this, but they also know that altitude is only one link in the coffee process. Working with meticulous producers such as Mauricio Rosales is just as important to making a memorable cup. Every year, Rosales invests in his farm a little more, pushing his coffee slowly toward the sublime.
We hand brew your coffee on a Hario v60 because we know that it’s the best way to bring out every shade of the coffee’s flavor. Even in the summer heat, flavors reminiscent of red berries, vanilla and melon make this coffee a refreshing experience. Unlike many other Latin American coffees, the chocolate flavor notes are not the stars here. Milk chocolate seems the pleasant afterthought to a more fruit-forward experience.
Bright with a lingering sweetness, this is a coffee meant to complement late summer days. It’s no surprise that a company that emphasizes sustainability, transparency, and fair prices was born in Chicago. What is surprising is the ability of a cup of Intelligentsia coffee to transport us so far away.