Intelligentsia roast level

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
Davidm

#1: Post by Davidm »

Greetings, I have always considered black cat as a medium roast.

Am in Chicago and nearby an intelligentsia so had an espresso this morning. When inquiring about the brew ratio, they said 18:50. I was surprised. Definitely seems way lighter roast than I remembered. Trying to describe it, smooth, a hint of acidity, unremarkable but very drinkable. Not very descriptive, but nothing really stood out. I also tasted the variety of espresso drinks my family ordered and considered the coffee to be lost in the milk/milk substitute.

Barista seemed knowledgeable and well trained however disappointed as this was a go to place in the South Loop for me in past years.

Sorry for the ramble. But curious on other Chicago residents thought's and also other thoughts on Loop locations as I won't be able to get out to Wicker Park.

cmin

#2: Post by cmin »

Intelly isn't what it used to be years and years ago. Blackcat itself changed multiple times, it went from being a rich sugar/chocolate bomb, to a few years of tasting like fermented fruit and acidic as hell lol, than people said it leaned towards old stuff. But the last time I had it about 2 years ago at their Loop allocation it sucked, barely mediocre and like you said their milk drinks just tasted like well, milk, with maybe a hint of coffee added lol. I had a pour over once there with their EK43 and it sucked as well. I have no idea what happened to them. It'd be like if Chops started serving McDonald's quality of food. Honestly the Starbucks Reserve store is better. I don't even bother with Intelly shops anymore as mediocre at best, tried too many times after 2015 and same disappointment each time.

Too many other far better shops around, but most are outside of the loop/downtown area. Definitely hit up Coralie which isn't too far from the loop.

I used to love Bowtruss. Shame they were ran by an epic douchnozzle. Have friends in business sector up there and he's still hated today. The guy you just want to crack in the face for fun. I'll never forget someone on Reddit years ago bought some of his assets when he had a fire sale and bought a canoe and joked he bought a canoe, from a douche, douchecanoe hahaha

Capuchin Monk

#3: Post by Capuchin Monk »

cmin wrote:Intelly isn't what it used to be years and years ago. Blackcat itself changed multiple times, it went from being a rich sugar/chocolate bomb, to a few years of tasting like fermented fruit and acidic as hell lol, than people said it leaned towards old stuff.
I for one, stopped buying unintelligentsia. Recently, I've tried their Black Cat and thought, w-t-h happened to this roast. :x Couple weeks later, I gave another try, this time their dark roast. To my shock, it's basically the same roast as so called Black Cat, light / medium roast and acidic as if they sold the same batch with just a different label on the bag. :evil: That was it for me, no more.

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iploya
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#4: Post by iploya »

Is this more an issue with how the shop is pulling the espresso or the coffee itself? We have no shops here by that name. I have experienced that before with other roasters how the taste profile changes over time under the same label. Often it's for the worse, but sometimes for the better.

I just ordered 3 coffees to try, Honey Badger and Black Cat (both labeled as espresso), and the Ethiopia Metad Chelchele that I will also pull as espresso. The two espressos say 18:45 on the bag. I am never sure whether the recommendation is from much trial and error on this particular coffee or the roaster's preference across the board. I just tried the Honey Badger at that ratio and it was pretty good, though I have not tried dialing in yet.

yertchuk
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#5: Post by yertchuk »

There are two Black Cats: Classic and Analog. I have a subscription to the Analog variety, and it makes nice flat whites for me. Medium roast level. 17g to 34g, pulled at 94C. I do find that the beans go off rather quickly once the bag is opened, not to the point where it's undrinkable, but definitely not as tasty after the first day or so.

Davidm (original poster)

#6: Post by Davidm (original poster) »

That (18:45) is a a very similar ratio that they pulled at the store. It makes sense based on level off roast. I would have liked to try other varieties, but they were only using classic.

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iploya
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#7: Post by iploya »

Something else I just noticed, that was surprising to me, is they use the "best by" date rather than roast date. I'm not sure why I assumed (maybe because of the price) that they roast to order. Maybe explains the experience of the beans going off quickly.

Still enjoying the Honey Badger though. It has been pleasant straight on flat and conical burrs, and as a cappuccino (stopping the shot a little earlier).

K7

#8: Post by K7 »

iploya wrote:Something else I just noticed, that was surprising to me, is they use the "best by" date rather than roast date. I'm not sure why I assumed (maybe because of the price) that they roast to order.
I too thought that, but upon closer look, I did find a separate roast date on the front label. They are freshly roasted.

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iploya
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#9: Post by iploya »

Ah, I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out. Red font blends in.

tautology76

#10: Post by tautology76 »

Been drinking black cat since 2014- the classic.
Definitely got lighter and lost its bite over time.

It's a medium light roast now, following the major trend everywhere towards lighter roasts.

Employees used to pull it ristretto but if you do that now you will end up with a sour mess. When they changed the coffee to a lighter roast and I pulled shots based on volume I was disgusted about how it tasted.

You need to follow the recipe and pull a long shot 1:2.5 to get a drinkable espresso. It tastes like milk chocolate mainly and is very smooth, but also on the boring side. I pull it for a milk drink just like a regular espresso shot. I used the adaptive profile on my DE1XL with higher temperatures to match.


I normally drink darker roasts liked malabar gold and vivace, but this is a decent option if you can't stand cold coffees and want something lighter tasting but without the fruit mess that's everywheee for a warm drink in the summer.