This is another interesting coffee up for review from Case Study Coffee Roasters in Portland, OR. Today’s review is of Case Study’s El Naranjo, a coffee from Gonzalo Dagua’s Finca El Naranjo in Colombia. I don’t know the price on this coffee, but it was included in a large group of samples of Case Study’s current offerings when I visited Portland in February, so give them a call to check on pricing and ordering!
Case Study wrote a short blog on this coffee, which you can find here. Apparently this coffee is a varietal simply called “Colombia” that is a hybrid of the Caturra and Castillo varietals. It is resistant to the leaf rust problem plaguing South America, but it is not always well-loved on cupping tables, being described as “meaty.” Buyers from Case Study found this coffee to have a big mint flavor, which I’m not sure I picked up in my cups, but they believed in this coffee enough to buy it, and based on what I’ve tasted from them in the past, that’s good enough for me to want to try it!
I prepared this coffee using a Gino pourover. In one of my sample cups I got some weird off-flavor that reminded me of synthetic lubricants, but that went away after about a minute, so I’m not sure what happened with that. I also got a feeling that this coffee seemed “hard” as opposed to the many “soft and round” Colombian coffees I’ve been drinking over the last few months. That being said, this coffee improved significantly for me as it cooled a little, picking up some nice peachy flavors and even a little coconut in the aroma.
I got a little bit of a “cooling” effect on my lips as I drank this, and maybe that related to the mint-like compounds Case Study’s buyers noted on the cupping table, or maybe it was simply suggestion from reading that article! There was a little ashiness in the aftertaste and overall this was a straightforward, simple coffee for me.
There was nothing outright wrong with this coffee, but in my notes I gave it a “solid B” (although I don’t rate or grade coffees). This is the first Case Study coffee that I haven’t been in love with, although there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this coffee. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I have so many of their other offerings.