Intelligentsia Coffee announces the debut of the Illumination Bar in Los Angeles. Now open in the heart of Old Pasadena, the Illumination Bar is a first-of-its-kind coffeebar concept in America by Intelligentsia, the leading pioneer of thoughtfully sourced and roasted coffee for more than 25 years.


Months of experimentation, creative thinking, and a quest for innovation have motivated Intelligentsia to rethink coffee—again. Offering a glimpse into the next chapter in coffee methodology, the new Illumination Bar is a radiant example of the company’s instinct to reinvent, elevate and innovate its service and quality.


The 2,000 square foot location that first debuted in Pasadena in 2010 has been completely reimagined to house the company’s playful experimentation workshop, placing Intelligentsia’s latest coffee-making methods and technology front and center. Designed by Prospect Studios, the interior offers an intentional, flexible workspace that allows guests to have full transparency. Among the first innovations to surface: the introduction of a central island termed the Instant Bar, showcasing a new espresso-making process—one without traditional machinery and equipment.


The Instant Bar eliminates the traditional espresso machine altogether. Instead, it is replaced by a deft path of tools reminiscent of a laboratory: a high-precision freeze dried espresso dosing dispenser, glass beakers, magnetic stir plate, and the inception of a hands-free milk steamer. Affectionately named “Wally,” the sleek steaming device is the brainchild of La Marzocco, a leading commercial espresso machine manufacturer, that makes its industry debut at the Illumination Bar.


President & CEO at Intelligentsia Coffee James McLaughlin says, “The Illumination Bar is a playground for our team to continue to experiment as well as simplify our approach to producing extraordinary coffee. After more than 25 years, we’re ready to change it up again, and the only way to do that to rethink the coffeebar altogether.


The new format of the interior not only allows for baristas to make extraordinary espresso on demand with outright precision, it also curates a special connection between barista and customer—thanks to the lowered the height of the service countertop itself. Free from the duty of perfectly pulling espresso shots or steaming milk, the barista is now available to directly engage the customer, akin to the role of a sommelier at a wine bar rather than operating as a skilled technician.


The Illumination Bar is also the first retail location to launch the use of Intelligentsia’s new Instant Espresso Black Cat Classic, a new freeze-dried instant iteration of their signature espresso blend with notes of dark chocolate, raw sugar and marshmallow. In addition to a variety of espresso-based drinks, the Illumination Bar introduces single-origin small batch coffee concentrate. Guests can purchase bags of thoughtfully sourced and roasted coffee, along with additional beverages on tap (cold oat latte, nitro cold coffee, cold brew and a selection of Kilogram Tea). Fresh pastries and culinary delights such as an Italian affogato-style dessert populate the food menu.


The Intelligentsia Coffee Illumination Bar is located in Pasadena at 55 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena CA 91105. Operating hours are Tuesday-Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 7:00am-5:00pm. For more information, stay engaged on news and updates via Instagram @intelligentsiacoffee or


About Intelligentsia Coffee   
Intelligentsia Coffee was founded by Doug Zell and Emily Mange in 1995, in the pursuit of a great tasting, freshly roasted cup of coffee. Fast forward 27 years, and Intelligentsia remains one of specialty coffees most pioneering and innovative companies. Intelligentsia’s Direct Trade sourcing model has created opportunities for thousands of smallholder coffee farmers around the world and been adopted by specialty coffee roasters everywhere. Known for their In-Season program and unique single-origin and rotating blends, Intelligentsia provides exclusive, remarkable coffees consumers won’t find anywhere else. Follow at @IntelligentsiaCoffee on Instagram or visit