Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CC: International Coffee Traders

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Subject: International Coffee Traders
Location visited: Bozeman, MT
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]
Hours: observe here

The town of Bozeman, a nice college town nestled in the mountains, has so many coffee establishments, it's almost ridiculous (keyword: almost). One of the few next to campus, though quite concealed behind a gas station, is International Coffee Traders (from here on in the post I will refer to them as ICT). I actually heard of them before I got to visit. I was told they were pretty good and a nice place to hang out.

Well, they were right about the hang out. ICT displays a very exotic, tropical decor with lots of green plants, tables made to look like they were straight out of South America, and numerous other tropical accents. The seating and tables are well-spaced and they even have two computer consoles free to customers.

But I wasn't as impressed with the coffee. Admirably, they roast their own coffee but they only know how to do really dark blends. Their light roast is about as dark as I can drink it and their dark roast is blackened to oblivion. The tang of over-roasted beans typically shadows the drip (and they don't do french press service either).

The espresso is not much better sadly. The shots have the same bitter, over-roastedness as the coffee. I'm no professional, but my taste buds definitely grab its jagged sharpness . The issue with the espresso could also just be that the blend/single-origin is not meant for espresso, but I think it's still more the roast profile.

On a positive note, ICT does have an intriguing way of doing iced coffee. They use a process dubbed "Cold Press", where
heavily concentrated coffee is extracted through a specialized filter, then added to ice and water/milk (depends on your preference). It comes off smooth and very chocolaty, but alas I have not had it in awhile b/c they either run out or the weather is not right for it.

ICT also has a fair offering of Numi teas, but nothing extensive. Regarding their sweeter/sugary drinks,
from what I gather they tend to hit the spot (though I cannot vouch for such beverages).

Overall, it's a great place to hang out or study, but not so great if you're looking for a great shot of espresso or a well-roasted cup of coffee. We'll see if that changes...


Unknown said...

I believe the above post is dated 2006 so I'll give my update in 2009. I can't comment on the cup of joe but the Lattes are great, hot or iced. The baked goods are excellent. My daughter (4yrs) loves the cinnamon bun and the berry scone is my favorite. The staff is very friendly and the place has a laid back vibe. Check it out!

Dale said...

I feel ICT has the best espresso in town and the most knowledgeable (well-trained and very attentive to pulling a good shot) and friendly staff of any of the many coffee shops in town. For the last dozen years, I have only drank espresso (no coffee); as such I know good espresso. So I don't make this claim about ICT's espresso without some experience. Within the last year they have been baking all sorts of goodies. Their chocolate chip cookies are to die for. Lastly, the ambiance in ICT is great fro hanging, reading, and studying. I spend a lot of time in there, my office away from my office. Support ICT!

Anonymous said...

International Coffee Traders is by far the best coffee in Bozeman. All the baristas are fantastic, the coffee is amazing, and the specialty drinks are to die for. This shop has great music and great vibes. Plus, they seem to be the only place that hasn't shot all their prices up.

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