Intelligentsia’s buying team cumulatively spends over 365 days each year at source. We do not just buy coffees; we actually develop them while working alongside our growers. Our coffees are unlike any others, and they are exclusive to Intelligentsia. We take insights, practices and expertise in preparation and processing garnered from our work around the globe and apply them to each of our Direct Trade coffees to make them the absolute best they can be.
We also want the growers we work with to prosper so we guarantee a price that is paid directly to them, which is set far above international fair trade standards. By combining focused attention at source with cup-quality price incentives, we continuously expand economic opportunity and culinary possibility.
Four Barrel is old-fashioned about roasting. They rely on highly trained people, not machines, to see through the intention of our roasting style: to highlight the intrinsic qualities of a coffee that drove us to buy it in the first place: cleanness, sweetness, acidity, complexity. Four Barrel roasts on a hulking beast of a vintage german roaster—one that was made to hold consistent heat and let air flow through in simple ways controlled by a person.
Their roasters have spent years perfecting the art of using their experience, senses, intuition and knowledge to make adjustments and take the coffee where it needs to go. Modern technology is simply no match. This is the “artisan” part of what they do and they hold their roasters’ dedication to the constantly changing variable of coffee in high regard.