The year 2008 wasn’t about to end without a couple of newsworthy coffee notes. First, we have Chicago’s Intelligentsia banning coffee urns at their Broadway St. mothership: Intelligentsia on Broadway banishes urn coffee | The Stew – A taste of Chicago’s food, wine and dining scene.

Earlier this year, we reported on how they killed off the 20-ounce, venti-sized coffee beverage. Now by freshly brewing cups for every customer by default (via a Clover brewer), Intelligentsia commendably wants to push the quality envelope even further. Vacuum pot coffee is also apparently just around the corner at their locations.

In other news, beer giant Heineken announced that they are getting into the coffee business: DutchNews.nl – ‘Heineken to move into coffee sales’. Heineken cites a recent downturn in beer sales that lead them to their nascent interest in selling tea and coffee to bars and cafés, mirroring Coca-Cola’s recent business-to-business coffee moves. All of which seems rather fishy — given how much alcohol sales are notoriously recession proof, and given news from many European cafés, most notably in France, indicating their current struggles to survive.