Breaking here on Sprudge.com, we can report today that Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea is “& Tea” no longer. Long revered as some of the very best tea available in North American cafes (alongside Rishi, Teance, and others), Intelligentsia has now developed a separate identity for its tea program, which will remain under the guidance of long time tea buyer Doug Palas.
We’ve got some first-look imagery at the tea’s packaging, and an excerpt from a forthcoming Kilogram press release:
“Since the very beginning, tea has been an integral part of Intelligentsia, sharing the same devotion to freshness and quality as our coffee program. While Intelligentsia’s pioneering work in sourcing, roasting and brewing has become increasingly renowned, the tea has not enjoyed the same exposure. To remedy this, Intelligentsia Tea is being rebranded as Kilogram Tea.
“Kilogram Tea is an American tea company that sources fresh, compelling teas reflecting peaks of season, land, and process. The new brand will continue with the same offerings and buying principles, however the packaging and messaging will present tea in a different light. Intelligentsia is a distributor of Kilogram, therefore the packaging will have its own marketing materials. The remaining retail stores and website will all migrate to Kilogram on Monday April 22nd.”
“In devising a new kind of packaging, we wanted to create something contemporary and vibrant,” Stephen Morrissey told us earlier today in a phone interview. “We’ve long loved the range of colors found in tea, and wanted to devise packaging that could celebrate that. So the packaging is divided into five categories, each with its own color palate. White, Green, Black, Oolong and Herbal.”
In addition to loose-leaf tea, Kilogram will also start offering pyramid tea-bags. “The bags use a coarser nylon mesh which allows the leaves to expand and extract.”
The debut of Kilogram is happening tonight at the newly remodeled Intelligentsia Broadway location in Chicago. The event will have beer by 3 Floyds, charcuterie and wine from Red & White, and food from Floriole bakery. Party starts at 6PM.