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Day 87: Intelligentsia Coffee

This week, Intelligentsia Coffee opened their Old Pasadena location!  If you haven’t tried their coffee, you really should.  Intelligentsia coffee beans have become beans of choice in my household.  So much, that I even had my husband drive me to their Silverlake location last year for my birthday morning cup of java!

So needless to say that when I heard that Intelligentsia opened their doors on Colorado Blvd, it was on my list of places to visit and include on our 365 Things To Do In Pasadena™! Which brings us to Day 87 of 365 Things Pasadena!

Intelligentsia Coffee Cafe

Each Intelligentsia location has a bit of a different vibe and Pasadena’s store front is no different.  Very hip with spectacular blue walls that are perfect to showcase their red and black coffee packaging, this location will cater to coffee drinkers AND is introducing boutique beer and wine curated by Bar Covell’s Matthew Kaner.

Intelligentsia Coffee Display

My understanding is that each location also tries to support local bakeries and provide their consumers with the freshest sweets available.  The delectable pastries are from Heirlooms in South Pasadena.  A great choice… now… we need to make sure that they also carry their famous Hostess Cupcakes.  They are just heavenly!

Buying a cup of coffee is a totally different experience at Intelligentsia.  When you first walk in, you’ll see a hand-written menu at the order bar and a lot of chemistry/beaker/siphon looking like implements.  The $3.50 price for a cup of coffee is hefty, but the process of watching the coffee being brewed is the cost of entertainment.  Each cup is hand-crafted and the service is fantastic.

There’s plenty of seating with communal tables throughout.  Small terrazzo tables at the front of the store where windows fully open onto Colorado Blvd, perfect for people watching, and church pew style seating is available making it easy for intimate as well as larger gatherings.  The back of the store is decorated with huge mirrors and the music is just a bit different to make you stop and listen, however, not intrusive.

While visiting, I was fortunate to meet and chat with Mike Phillips and Stephen Morrissey.  Mike is the 2010 Barista World Champion and in in charge of education for Intelligentsia.  Stephen is their marketing director and holds a 2008 Barista World Champion title.  What does it take to become a Barista World Champion?  Well… you’ll have to listen to the interview and find out.

Intelligentsia’s Pasadena Cafe in one word is just AWESOME!  Very, very impressive and I’m so glad to be able to welcome them to Pasadena!


Intelligentsia Pasadena Cafe

55 East Colorado Blvd

Pasadena, CA  91105


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