I’m a sucker for espresso. I’ve had a Gaggia espresso machine working overtime at home since 2007 and it’s a pleasure to be able to make a shot at whenever I want! I was in Portland for a quick weekend business trip recently and my friends at Case Study Coffee Roasters hooked me up with a sample bag of the entire current lineup! Wow! Their Deviation blend is amazing in the espresso machine so read on to find out why.
Disclaimer: Case Study provided this coffee to KCcoffeegeek.com as a complimentary sample for review consideration. They are not advertisers, nor is this a paid review.
That picture looks good, doesn’t it? I can assure you, the coffee tasted even better! Case Study Coffee Roasters have really impressed me on my trips to Portland. I love their Sandy location and their coffee is super solid. The baristas do it right every time! This Deviation blend is something special.
I know pretty much nothing about this coffee and I’m pretty sure Case Study aren’t even geared up for online/out of town sales yet, although I’ll post a correction if I’m wrong! Deviation is an unbelievable $15.75/bag and Case Study will take mail orders via phone or email, so be sure to visit their site for contact info. They are roasting Tuesdays and Wednesdays and shipping out on Thursdays. I don’t know what the component coffees in this blend are but (see update at the end of the article) my nose was telling me there is at least one Ethiopian natural in there. I pulled a few shots using my usual routine of using 18-19g in the portafilter and arriving at a shot weight of about 29-30g in 35 seconds. This produced lively, tart, but still sweet shots redolent with raspberry and strawberry flavors. It reminded me a lot of the Gelana Abaya coffee Case Study roasted that I fell in love with at the end of 2014!
There is a bit of ashy dryness on the palate with this coffee but I think it helps to create a lovely bitterness. The fruit is tart and there is nice acidity in the cup but it’s definitely more balanced than some fiery Pacific Northwest third-wave-or-die acid bomb espressos I’ve had before! It’s really, really, REALLY nice espresso and I think the blend has been done masterfully to give elements of sweetness, fruit and acidity and bitterness in a near-perfect combination.
UPDATE: I got an email from Eli at Case Study and he told me that my bag of Deviation contained an Ethiopian natural, Derar Ela, that is 1/3 of the blend. The other 2/3 is El Salvador Chalatenango. Like most blends, the components of Deviation are prone to replacement depending on the season and availability. Eli said they were transitioning replacing the Dar Ela with a different Ethiopian natural, Arciha and that the El Salvador component would be getting replaced soon, too.
Eli said their goal with Deviation is to make a “trail mix” profile: chocolate, nuts and fruit!