LTH Home

Intelligentsia -- no more coffee urns

Intelligentsia -- no more coffee urns
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 3
  • Intelligentsia -- no more coffee urns

    Post #1 - January 2nd, 2009, 2:38 pm
    Post #1 - January 2nd, 2009, 2:38 pm Post #1 - January 2nd, 2009, 2:38 pm
    I saw this note in The Stew today from the Trib:
    Intelligentsia on Broadway banishes urn coffee

    In part,
    Now when a customer visits the Lakeview store--and, eventually, the others--the default choice will be a clover brewed coffee of the day for $2 to $2.65 for an 8- to 16-ounce cup.


    Now, I really like Intelligentsia. I really liked it when they ditched 20 oz. And I really like going into one of their cafes and sitting for a bit with perfectly crafted latte's, etc. (when there's room, of course). But I also like getting a 16 oz. cup of coffee for $2. Add in tax now and their cups will be pushing $3.

    I found this report on their LA location, where this practice appears to have been the standard for some time, and I've tried coffee from the Clover myself and yes, coffee from the Clover is better. But is that saying that an urn is so bad it's worth discontinuing?

    Already, I head often to Wow Bao on State since their 16 oz. coffee (an Intelligentsia blend created for Wow Bao, in both light and dark) is priced to be just under $2, after tax, and I think I may be heading there more often when I'm on the way to my office in the morning. Or in the afternoon when I need a little something extra. Or, you know, just more often, in general.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #2 - January 2nd, 2009, 3:08 pm
    Post #2 - January 2nd, 2009, 3:08 pm Post #2 - January 2nd, 2009, 3:08 pm
    I think Intelligentsia has been using the Clover coffee maker at their Millennium Park location for about year now. Is there much reason to have both the Clover and the urns? I guess not.
  • Post #3 - January 2nd, 2009, 7:16 pm
    Post #3 - January 2nd, 2009, 7:16 pm Post #3 - January 2nd, 2009, 7:16 pm
    I've been following this topic on one of the coffee sites; didn't think to post it here. :oops:

    I don't get to one of the Intelly stores all that often; usually only when working at my Loop office or when needing some more beans for home. I like the idea of freshly-brewed coffee so eliminating the urns - at least for me - isn't a big deal. This will also give me an incentive to try something other than the coffee of the day.

    Not knowing what Intelligentsia's policy is on throwing out old drip coffee, this move could be an attempt to be less wasteful (and save money) by not wasting coffee and water in an urn that doesn't get completely consumed.

    Time will tell if this will help or harm Intelly.
  • Post #4 - January 6th, 2009, 1:30 pm
    Post #4 - January 6th, 2009, 1:30 pm Post #4 - January 6th, 2009, 1:30 pm
    I go to Intelligentsia in the Loop almost every day, and pretty much always get a Clover brew. I do think that it's about as good a cup of coffee as you can get for any given bean. That being said, I see many more cups of urn coffee being sold than Clover brews. I think the majority of people aren't as big a coffee snob as I am, and would be happy saving a buck or 3 with the urn. My feeling is that their reason for eliminating the urn is to justify charging $3-6 for a cup of coffee. I mean, even if they have to throw away a quarter or a third of an urn away, how much does that cost them; a few bucks a day at most? I predict that many people will settle for Dunkin' Donuts across the street, and the urn drinkers who remain loyal will just choose the cheapest bean.
  • Post #5 - January 6th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    Post #5 - January 6th, 2009, 1:45 pm Post #5 - January 6th, 2009, 1:45 pm
    My wife and I had the pleasure of trying the clover-brewed coffee at the Broadway store this past weekend. We liked it a lot. The coffee reminded me of vacuum-brewed coffee: it had a lighter body, less acidic, and let the coffee flavors come through. If you are used to strong, slightly bitter coffee, this may take a little getting used to.

    Note that the coffee prices ranged from $2 to $2.65 for the "coffee of the day" - i.e. the particular variety of beans that they are using that day. It's a little more money if you want them to use a different variety of beans (but I don't recall it being $6). So I don't think they are eliminating the urn so they can charge more.

    Also, once they put the clovers in place, there isn't much room for the urns. I really don't see why anyone would want them.
  • Post #6 - January 6th, 2009, 2:14 pm
    Post #6 - January 6th, 2009, 2:14 pm Post #6 - January 6th, 2009, 2:14 pm
    I paid $5 and change for an ethiopian coffee at the downtown location. It was good, but I would not pay that again.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #7 - January 6th, 2009, 2:21 pm
    Post #7 - January 6th, 2009, 2:21 pm Post #7 - January 6th, 2009, 2:21 pm
    So you paid extra for your choice of beans?
  • Post #8 - January 6th, 2009, 3:31 pm
    Post #8 - January 6th, 2009, 3:31 pm Post #8 - January 6th, 2009, 3:31 pm
    Actually, I didn't even know that there was a "coffee of the day" option with the Clover. They just have a menu posted with 4 different bean choices, ranging from $3-5.

    there isn't much room for the urns. I really don't see why anyone would want them.


    Lots of people aren't that discriminating, and everyone's concerned about money. I really do love a cup from the Clover, or a French press, but sometimes, I feel that it's kind of extravagant to spent $20 a week on coffee, so I must admit that I do occasionally go to the corporate doughnut shop across the street.
    :oops:
  • Post #9 - January 6th, 2009, 3:34 pm
    Post #9 - January 6th, 2009, 3:34 pm Post #9 - January 6th, 2009, 3:34 pm
    Well it looks like the issue is that you seem to be facing prices of $3-$6 per cup, which does seem very high for everyday black coffee, while I saw prices that ranged from $2 to $2.65 for "coffee of the day". Perhaps, like you said, you just missed the coffee of the day. Or, the prices are simply higher at the downtown locations (which I doubt, based on the article above). Next time you're there, check to see if there is a "coffee of the day" option.
    Last edited by Darren72 on February 10th, 2009, 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #10 - January 6th, 2009, 4:19 pm
    Post #10 - January 6th, 2009, 4:19 pm Post #10 - January 6th, 2009, 4:19 pm
    Maybe the "coffee of the day" option is something they added to replace the urn. Hopefully, that's the case; they don't seem to really offer any really bad bean varieties.
  • Post #11 - January 6th, 2009, 5:08 pm
    Post #11 - January 6th, 2009, 5:08 pm Post #11 - January 6th, 2009, 5:08 pm
    That's right. In fact, the day I went in, the coffee of the day was Kenyan, one of the varieties in my daily rotation. Mexican beans happen to be my favorite.
  • Post #12 - January 6th, 2009, 5:14 pm
    Post #12 - January 6th, 2009, 5:14 pm Post #12 - January 6th, 2009, 5:14 pm
    I don't think the Loop or Millennium Park locations have gotten rid of the urns yet. If that's the case, the coffee of the day option may not yet be available for Clover coffee; just from the urns. The article mentions that only the Broadway store changed at the beginning of the year and the other Chicago and LA stores would switch in the coming months.
  • Post #13 - January 7th, 2009, 3:14 pm
    Post #13 - January 7th, 2009, 3:14 pm Post #13 - January 7th, 2009, 3:14 pm
    The Broadway store didn't even HAVE a Clover last time I was in (it was still warm outside, so a while ago). How times have changed!
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #14 - January 7th, 2009, 3:52 pm
    Post #14 - January 7th, 2009, 3:52 pm Post #14 - January 7th, 2009, 3:52 pm
    I hadn't considered that there could be surplus coffee that they throw away -- makes sense, of course, since I imagine they would rather brew a new batch than keep an older one going a little longer. Still, I think the move to Clover machines exclusively is more about wanting to make a better cup of coffee. Which I applaud and appreciate... in theory.

    Like others have said, it's great to have the option of splurging for something special off the clover. But then there are times where I just want a cup of coffee, albeit one better than Starbucks, Dunkin' or McD's. Even with a 'coffee of the day' option, a 16oz. coffee will be pushing $3 (up from $2, currently), if I'm reading the article correctly. Not to mention that it will slow up the line (admittedly, I'm not as worried about this).

    Slightly off-topic, but am I the only person stymied by the new milk and cream caraffes in their Millennium Park location? Do you have to unscrew the entire top or am I just missing the spout?
    best,
    dan
  • Post #15 - January 12th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    Post #15 - January 12th, 2009, 3:04 pm Post #15 - January 12th, 2009, 3:04 pm
    The Loop location has discontinued their frequent customer punchcards. :(
  • Post #16 - January 12th, 2009, 3:07 pm
    Post #16 - January 12th, 2009, 3:07 pm Post #16 - January 12th, 2009, 3:07 pm
    Both loop locations?
  • Post #17 - January 12th, 2009, 4:32 pm
    Post #17 - January 12th, 2009, 4:32 pm Post #17 - January 12th, 2009, 4:32 pm
    phredbull wrote:The Loop location has discontinued their frequent customer punchcards. :(
    That's too bad. It was a nice thank you for frequenting the place. I've often said how thankful I am that my brief walk from the El to my office passes by Intelligentsia.

    I still have a full punch card. Anyone know if they'll still honor a full punch card even though they're no longer punching?

    Thanks,
    Ronna
  • Post #18 - January 13th, 2009, 3:49 pm
    Post #18 - January 13th, 2009, 3:49 pm Post #18 - January 13th, 2009, 3:49 pm
    Not sure, I filled up my last one on Friday and redeemed it on Monday, at the Monadnock bldg. location.
  • Post #19 - January 13th, 2009, 5:50 pm
    Post #19 - January 13th, 2009, 5:50 pm Post #19 - January 13th, 2009, 5:50 pm
    I have a full card. I'll try it tonight.
  • Post #20 - January 13th, 2009, 8:55 pm
    Post #20 - January 13th, 2009, 8:55 pm Post #20 - January 13th, 2009, 8:55 pm
    It is my understanding that they are punching and redeeming cards, but not issuing any new ones.
  • Post #21 - January 19th, 2009, 1:38 pm
    Post #21 - January 19th, 2009, 1:38 pm Post #21 - January 19th, 2009, 1:38 pm
    danimalarkey wrote:...Slightly off-topic, but am I the only person stymied by the new milk and cream caraffes in their Millennium Park location? Do you have to unscrew the entire top or am I just missing the spout?

    Those are Eva Solo carafes, they need to be unscrewed just a little bit and they should pour nicely.
  • Post #22 - January 19th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    Post #22 - January 19th, 2009, 1:58 pm Post #22 - January 19th, 2009, 1:58 pm
    To me it's kind of irritating all the little things they have cut back on. Cutting down the sizes, getting rid of the cards, and my personal pet peeve of eliminating the little plugs you put in the hole of the sip-lids. I used to order the 20oz., use the frequent purchase card, and plug my hole so coffee wouldn't spill as I walked back to the office. Jeez, just charge an extra nickle and I wouldn't even have noticed. I am a crotchety individual and they have just about used up my good will toward them. And no sob stories about the high price of beans on the commercial market, they are down about 50% from a year ago. Yet they still charge about $16/lb for beans retail.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #23 - January 19th, 2009, 2:50 pm
    Post #23 - January 19th, 2009, 2:50 pm Post #23 - January 19th, 2009, 2:50 pm
    I pretty much stopped buying whole beans from Intelligentsia about 6 months ago when it seemed like you couldn't find anything there for less than $16/lb. I mainly now buy Metropolis coffee, which is cheaper and just as good. Having said that, last time I was at the Broadway store, about two weeks ago, the beans seemed noticeably less expensive. If I recall, I bought Guatemalan beans for $14/lb.
  • Post #24 - January 19th, 2009, 3:21 pm
    Post #24 - January 19th, 2009, 3:21 pm Post #24 - January 19th, 2009, 3:21 pm
    teatpuller wrote:To me it's kind of irritating all the little things they have cut back on. Cutting down the sizes, getting rid of the cards, and my personal pet peeve of eliminating the little plugs you put in the hole of the sip-lids. I used to order the 20oz., use the frequent purchase card, and plug my hole so coffee wouldn't spill as I walked back to the office. Jeez, just charge an extra nickle and I wouldn't even have noticed. I am a crotchety individual and they have just about used up my good will toward them. And no sob stories about the high price of beans on the commercial market, they are down about 50% from a year ago. Yet they still charge about $16/lb for beans retail.



    They still have the plugs at the Millenium Park store.

    If you need some, I have a lot sitting on my desk at work from coffee purchases over the past few years.

    On all the other points, though, I agree.
  • Post #25 - February 10th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Post #25 - February 10th, 2009, 4:05 pm Post #25 - February 10th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Well it looks like the issue is that you seem to be facing prices of $3-$6 per cup, which does seem very high for everyday black coffee, while I saw prices that ranged from $2 to $2.65 for "coffee of the day". Perhaps, like you said, you just missed the coffee of the day. Or, the prices are simply higher at the downtown locations (which I doubt, based on the article above). Next time you're there, check to see if there is a "coffee of the day" option.



    Just came back from the Jackson St. location. Indeed, the four or five clover-made coffees were $4-$6 each. It is strange that the prices are so much higher than the Broadway store.
  • Post #26 - February 11th, 2009, 4:41 pm
    Post #26 - February 11th, 2009, 4:41 pm Post #26 - February 11th, 2009, 4:41 pm
    I pretty much stopped buying whole beans from Intelligentsia about 6 months ago when it seemed like you couldn't find anything there for less than $16/lb. I mainly now buy Metropolis coffee, which is cheaper and just as good. Having said that, last time I was at the Broadway store, about two weeks ago, the beans seemed noticeably less expensive. If I recall, I bought Guatemalan beans for $14/lb.


    I buy Intelligentsia beans exclusively on Tuesdays, when all beans are $2 off per pound. You get a free cup of coffee with the purchase of beans. You can also get a half-pound bag of beans with any tour ($10) of the Fulton Street roasting plant. The coffee you receive is roasted during the tour.
  • Post #27 - February 16th, 2009, 10:20 am
    Post #27 - February 16th, 2009, 10:20 am Post #27 - February 16th, 2009, 10:20 am
    I need to read LTH more often. That way I wouldn't have entered the Millennium park store this morning, thanked the gods there was only one couple in line in front of me, then waited ten minutes for three people to wait on said two customers, only to be informed, finally, that I'd have to wait even longer for them to specially brew me a cup of the most precious and delicious hand crafted and loving coffee known in the history of history.

    Which is to say, as of today, no more urns at MP.

    I may be alone in this, but I just don't have twenty-thirty minutes to wait each morning to GET A CUP OF COFFEE. I would rather spend that extra twenty minutes with my kid, or getting some work done so I can keep my job, or writing a crabby post on a food message board.

    I am so mad about this, I may start drinking Maxwell House. Or tea, dammit.
  • Post #28 - February 19th, 2009, 9:39 pm
    Post #28 - February 19th, 2009, 9:39 pm Post #28 - February 19th, 2009, 9:39 pm
    Stopped in tonight at the Randolph st. location to see if the changes would spoil my loving relationship with this store. And guess what? My love remains. Admittedly, the wait is a bit longer. Basically, a drip coffee now takes as long as a latte. Not the end of the world for me. Ordering went like this: I read the chalkboard sign (the only visible sign remaining) right next to the register, zeroing in on the "cup of the day", which was Colombian, and only $2 for a small (8oz). Talked with the dude about Manowar as he made the Clover cup, which he realized he'd messed up, and promptly remade, upgrading me to 12oz at no cost and negligible loss of time. It was a great cup of coffee, but not appreciably better than their former drip.
    Although their zealotry may be alienating, bordering on the anti-consumer, I still appreciate their coffee and I will gladly pay the extra 50 cents or dollar a cup and spend the extra 90 seconds there. They've got me hooked - I can't settle for less. The changes have no net effect on my likelihood of choosing Intelligentsia, which was super high anyhow.
  • Post #29 - February 20th, 2009, 10:07 am
    Post #29 - February 20th, 2009, 10:07 am Post #29 - February 20th, 2009, 10:07 am
    I was in and out of the line so fast at the Jackson St location, I didn't even notice the urns were gone. I guess I don't miss them either. I did get my buy ten get one free card punched, but, I didn't see any new ones.
  • Post #30 - February 20th, 2009, 10:19 am
    Post #30 - February 20th, 2009, 10:19 am Post #30 - February 20th, 2009, 10:19 am
    nicinchic wrote:I was in and out of the line so fast at the Jackson St location, I didn't even notice the urns were gone. I guess I don't miss them either. I did get my buy ten get one free card punched, but, I didn't see any new ones.


    Are the urns gone there?
    i used to milk cows

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more