Intelligentsia’s obsession with secrecy is legendary in Chicago. A hush-hush mentality permeates the roast works, particularly in the run-up to the launch of a new release or project. Virgin coffee offerings are siloed in carefully controlled work groups, while Twitter and Facebook communications are fire walled and rooms are guarded by armed strongmen. Retina scans abound. The whole thing looks like the Cyberdyne Systems office from the end of “Terminator 2”.

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Which is why we are SHOCKED that the above photograph landed in our inbox this morning, taken from inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Intelli/Ecco brain trust bunker. If our photograph is indeed authentic (the interns are convinced), then this redesign is one of the most daring and outrageous new coffee bag looks in recent memory.

This throw-back branding invokes deep seated deep sea nostalgia, rewinding us back to the days when Ecco Caffe was Ecco The Dolphin Caffe. Our anonymous whistle blower writes, “The rebranding will reintroduce customers to Ecco’s former method of roast classification. Roast levels will be distinguished by enormous crystals called “glyphs”. Grand cru micro lots will be given exclusive “key-glyphs”, each key more opulent than the last.” Coffee will be sold in cartridges, and made available to consumers at EB Games, Toys-R-Us, and GameStop locations across North America. (Yes, there is still an EB Games, we checked.)

Ecco’s rebranding is happening alongside the rapid progress being made on their brand new (once stalled) Potrero Hill roast works. No firm dates have been placed, but our tipster is confident the space will be be roasting in the early part of 2012.

Click to engorge. will be following the progress of the Protreroastery. Stick with Sprudge for the latest developments. In the meantime, enjoy the classic image of old time friends Peter Giuliano and Andrew Barnett enjoying a leisurely yachting trip on San Francisco Bay circa 1984. (Our Italian intern Rocco pointed out a dolphin in the background. Ecco? Is that you?)

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