Fast approaching quadranscentennial age, Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee has just unveiled new packaging, representing the roasting and retail company’s first across-the-board package refresh in years.
With design firm Pearlfisher NYC, Intelligentsia attempted through the redesign to reinforce several philosophical and practical pillars that have helped sustain and build the business since 1995 — including the concepts of direct trade relationships with farmers and producers, seasonality, and exceptional coffee quality.
The company’s signature red provides the base for single-origin coffee packaging, with the name and logo replaced by only a reinforced, larger wings-and-star logo. The black-bordered pinkish overlay sticker showing the coffee’s origin has been replaced by a blood red sticker with white and pink copy. On the sticker, Intelligentsia is highlighting the number of years the company has had a partnership with that particular producer, while also including a brief coffee description, flavor notes, and any special release notes.
The splashiest elements of the redesign come through in the new bags for Intelligentsia’s five seasonal blends, each with its own colors and side-of-bag patterns. The company says these bags are intended to convey each blend’s distinct flavors, while they also drew inspiration from Intelligentsia coffee bars.
The company’s year-round blends feature the Intelligentsia red, while its popular Black Cat Espresso receives a matte black bag. Unlike the other new bags, these feature a smaller wings-and-star logo with the Intelligentsia name placed in between. Labels on these bags will highlight flavor notes and roast date — an important marker when you’re sitting on the shelves of Target and the like — while Black Cat bags will also identify the origins of the blended coffees.
All of Intelligentsia’s new coffee bags will have a drawing of basic coffee brewing instructions, including ideal water temperature, a “grind before brewing” message and an all-purpose ratio suggestion of 1 gram of coffee per 18 grams of water. In addition, the bottom of each bag is now features the phrase “Illuminating Coffee.”
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page located at the bottom of this site for contact information.