#WhatsCTpulling : Verve Coffee Roasters Streetlevel Espresso

Streetlevel is a versatile blend that doesn't disappoint.  It's good in milk and interesting enough for straight shots.  The current iteration of the blend is all Colombian, and that's a really good thing.  I'm starting to even lean towards declaring 2016 the year of Colombian coffees, so many of the best cups I've had this year have come from Columbia.  This wet-processed blend of beans comes from the Cauca and Narino regions of Columbia, and boasts tasting notes of cherry cordial, carmelized, and orange zest.   Verve recommends the following fast and slightly short parameters:

  • 19.7 - 20 grams in //  29 - 30.5 grams out // in 25-27 seconds.  

I think their machines are usually set for a temperature around 201-203F, so I've been working in that range using 18g VST baskets.  I'm not sure what size baskets they're using, but I am finding that dose to be a little on the high side for my E-61 grouped machine that likes some head space.

I've been dosing closer to 19 or 19.5 grams, sticking to around 28-30 grams out, in 27 seconds, and the results are good.  I don't know the difference between cherry and cherry cordial, but I'm definitely picking up the carmelized sweetness and zesty acidity.  The coffee will hold up in a latte, but I much prefer it with smaller amounts of milk, where that zest is tamed in favor of a creamy sweetness.  

 A great 5 oz cappa with Streetlevel.

A great 5 oz cappa with Streetlevel.

It's probably obvious by now that I put in a large order with Verve last month.  To read how I store the coffee so it won't go bad, check out this post on the Proper Way to Freeze Coffee.  A very reasonable $15 / 12oz bag shipped to your door!  

 

As a bonus, I wanted to include a little travel story.  I was fortunate enough to spend the last two weeks travelling around China, and out of the blue I stumbled across this storefront.

 A pretty serious kit, and I love the  Counter Culture Tasting Wheel  this shop had in the background.

A pretty serious kit, and I love the Counter Culture Tasting Wheel this shop had in the background.

Of course I had to enter and grab some coffee.  I tried a shot of their local blend, ground on a Mahlkonig K30 and pulled on the venerable La Marzocco Linea.  Although it was a pretty standard shot of espresso by most standards, having a good and proper espresso when you've conceded to hotel coffee and tea, in the land of tea, is a real treat.  I followed up the shot with a pour over of their "operation cherry bomb" Ethiopian Yirgacheffe natural as a pour over.  Through some pointing and loose translation, I was able to find out they were brewing around 185*F and producing some very sweet and fruity cups.  I didn't pick up any coffee from this particular shop, as I was still pretty early into my trip, but stay tuned for more updates from #whatsCTpulling.

 A friend's latte, with latte art!  In a small Chinese village!  

A friend's latte, with latte art!  In a small Chinese village!