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Cold Coffee, Oat Latte, and Spiced Oat Latte are being sold in 11-ounce cartons online and in Intelligentsia's coffee shops.

By Mike Pomranz
February 24, 2021
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Founded in 1995, Intelligentsia is one of the pioneers of coffee's "third wave"—a movement that pushed specialty beans into the mainstream, changing the way many drinkers thought about things like origins and roasts. But a lot has changed in a quarter century: Single-origin beans are now sold at Starbucks, and Intelligentsia itself is under the umbrella of the very mainstream JAB Holding Company.

So though Intelligentsia still believes fresh-roasted, single-origin coffee is "what we do best," the brand has changed, too. And for fans looking for easier access to Intelligentsia's products, one could even say they've evolved for the better: This week, for the first time, Intelligentsia has launched ready-to-drink beverages for the grab-and-go crowd. And two of them are made in a partnership with the trendy oat milk brand Oatly.

Intelligentsia Read-to-Drink Coffees
Credit: Intelligentsia

The three beverages—Cold Coffee, Oat Latte, and Spiced Oat Latte—are currently available in 11-ounce Tetra-Pak Prisma cartons both online at Intelligentsia.com and at Intelligentsia's coffeebar locations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for $3.99. All the drinks are gluten-free and vegan—the latter thanks to the use of Oatly oatmilk in the lattes, a partnership that dates back to 2016 when Intelligentsia became the first American coffeeshop to serve Oatly.

And for Intelligentsia fans who love their ethos as much as their coffee, they'll be happy to hear the brand promise that their "commitment to sourcing the world's best coffees carries into ready-to-drink." They continue, "The coffee in all three beverages is a blend of Ethiopian coffee from their direct trade partners at METAD supplemented by Guatemalan coffee produced by Finca Santa Ana or Peruvian coffee sourced from Origin Coffee Lab during different points of the year due to seasonality."

"One thing we said during the process of creating our ready-to-drink beverages was that we didn't want to put drinks on the market just to keep up with everyone else," Intelligentsia CEO James McLaughlin stated; "we wanted to enter this category with outstanding offerings that showcase Intelligentsia's dedication to quality."

As such, the brand says all three drinks are "inspired by customer favorites at Intelligentsia's coffeebars, where Oatly beverages make up 13 percent of orders and cold coffee is a bestseller year-round." Specifically, Intelligentsia describes its Cold Coffee as being "brewed hot to express depth of aroma and complexity of flavors and flash chilled to preserve the coffee's natural sweetness" resulting in "notes of caramel, lime and cherry."

As for the lattes, the Oat Latte is billed as "creamy and rich [with] tasting notes of sugar cookie, milk chocolate and molasses," while the Spiced Oat Latte is "inspired by Avena, a spiced and sweetened oat beverage consumed widely across South America […] accented with flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, orange, and ginger."

"Until now, you had to live in a city with one of our coffeebars to get a firsthand look at the way we approach coffee and to appreciate the attention-to-detail that goes into every drink that we serve," McLaughlin explained. "The ready-to-drink format allows us to control the brewing process and taste, and allows us to guarantee that when someone picks up a carton of our Cold Coffee, Oat Latte, or Spiced Oat Latte, it tastes like one that's made in our coffeebars. That's what I find exciting about the ready-to-drink category, how accessible it makes coffee and how it allows us to reach and introduce extraordinary coffee to so many more people."