Last month we announced the limited edition release of Intelligentsia Coffee‘s Café Inmaculada series, a set of rare coffee varieties grown by Camilo Merizalde at his experimental farm in Valle de Cauca, Colombia. On Monday, February 17th from 6-7pm, Mr. Merizalde will personally be in attendance at a special Café Inmaculada tasting in Chicago, at Intelligentsia’s 1871 coffeebar located inside the famed Merchandise Mart building. Also on hand will be Geoff Watts, Intelligentsia’s green buyer and co-owner who helped spearhead the Inmaculada project alongside Camilo Merizalde and his partners in Colombia.

Much of the initial run of Inmaculada sold out immediately, so this tasting may well be your last chance for quite some time to try these coffee varieties that have never before seen the light of day in North America. Here’s a flyer for the event:

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And here’s more information on the Cafe Inmaculada project from our original feature:

“This release is comprised of three distinct and rare coffee varieties, including the “Maragesha, a spontaneous crossing of the maragogype variety with the famed gesha variety, the variety perhaps most prized by coffee enthusiasts around the world.

Café Inmaculada translates to “Immaculate Coffee”, and is a collaboration between Camilo Merizalde of the famed Finca Santuario and his childhood friends, the brothers Santiago, Andres and Julian Holguin. The program began in November 2011 in the Valle de Cauca region of southwestern Colombia, near the city of Cali, using a tiny 8 hectare plot of land belonging to the Holguin family. Together with Intelligentsia, these producers have created from scratch a brand new coffee growing project on previously untouched soil, planted intentionally with shade-giving guava trees and rare, previously commercially unavailable coffee varieties.


These five exotic coffee varieties are well-known in coffee breeding circles as genetic source material that produce exceptional cups of coffee, but are extremely rarely planted on farms because of their very low production yields. Speaking with Sprudge from Honduras, Intelligentsia green buyer and co-owner Geoff Watts told us that Cafe Inmaculada’s location – influenced by a wild temperature swing from daytime to night, and moisture-laden winds from the nearby Pacific Ocean – amounted to the ideal environmental conditions for cultivating exotic coffees.

Attendees may find some extra treats in store, including early word on future exotic variety projects from Camilo Merizalde and the Cafe Inmaculada project. Attendance to this event is free, and there will be a small quantity of the Inmaculada sets available for purchase.

Intelligentsia 1871 is located at 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite 1212, in downtown Chicago. Event begins at 6pm on Monday, February 17th, and is free. 

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