Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Intelligencia to Ix-Nay the Enti-Vay

Chicago's Intelligencia Coffee made news recently when they announced plans to phase out 20-ounce coffee and espresso drinks. Quoth Intelligentsia founder Doug Zell, "Drinking our coffee is not like drinking jug wine."

My first reaction to the news was the equivalent of a high-five to Zell. I'm down with moderation. Intelligentsia wants to stay classy and leave the Biggie Coffee to Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald’s.

I thought about Intelligentsia’s motive after reading an editorial in the Tribune which bemoaned the decision on grounds that, “You wouldn't like us when we're not caffeinated,” and called for a resurrection of the 20-ounce cup. (Note: Intelligentsia's Zell is of no relation to the Tribune's Zell.) I struggled to see how the news merited an editorial (because it doesn’t). There will always be a market for jug wine, Super Big Gulps, and super-sized, debt-riddled multimedia/entertainment corporations (maybe not the last one). With 7-Eleven and Starbucks both within shooting distance of the Tribune Tower, the editors will have no problem scoring their caffeine fix.

While I support Intelligentsia’s move isn’t Zell’s statement an admission that up until now they have been purveyors of jug wine? To distinguish themselves from their competitors they should have eschewed the venti from the start.

1 comment:

Klock said...

If I read this article correctly the so called editor of said news paper doesn't really know what 20 ounces of coffee really means. Intelligentsia is down sizing not to with hold delicious caffeine and coffee from it's customer base, but actually enhance the whole experience. Any barista could tell you that the more milk, water, soy, chai, and or whetever you start adding to the coffee, dilutes it's amazing flavor properties. So, in effort to give you more flavor of what you are actually drinking the company is banning mondo sized cups to say hey this is our delicious coffee in your cup, and not say hey look what kind of milk we buy and how many ounces we can hand off to a "rational and sane" customer. And FYI to that editor, the more fluid ounces of liquid a person adds to coffee, means the fewer Mg's of caffeine a person gets per ounce. So, he was actually making a counter point to himself with is witty quote. The best way to get caffeinated is straight shots of coffee. You spend less money, look less smug than when ordering a drink with 8 modifications, fewer calories from milk, and the barista will give you respect for liking the COFFEE that he or she serves not what comes with it. Funny and I don't even have a college degree yet. Here's to you Mr. editor guy; because you've been drinking a dark and murky substance for years on end and still have no idea how it works. This latte's for you!