I sang my praises of this espresso blend when describing my trip to Verve, where it’s pulled as the house espresso. Interestingly, Verve’s bay area wholesale accounts have tended to favor other other blends, like the Sermon, which are likely a bit more forgiving and universally appealing. The natural coffee in that blend packs a real wow factor without overwhelming and comes through nicely in milk. The Street Level may not make for as wise a commercial decision, but it does have a biting, yet creamy profile that’s refreshingly different, and well honed as a straight shot of espresso.
The blend I had is simple. It’s part Brazil Mogiana Fazenda Cachoiera and part El Salvador Finca San Eduardo. As I understand it though, the formula is about to change a bit. I’m sure the general profile will remain. I just hope Verve is able to maintain that subtle sweetness and grapefruit notes.
I had a lot of luck with this espresso at home as espresso even though my lever machine failed to elicit that delicious creaminess I got at Modern Cafe (which, incidentally, is where I purchased this bag of Street Level). I also found it very pleasing when brewed via French Press or a gold cone filter in my Abid. Those methods produced a nicely balanced, crisp coffee with subdued notes of bitter chocolate. Paper filter methods worked all right but seemed to subtract out the zest.
I liked this coffee a lot. I think it is objectively good, but I also think the flavors happen resonate perfectly with me, both in terms of personal preferences and something about their timing on the current espresso scene. I’d wholeheartedly recommend this espresso to any serious espresso drinker, but I’m also really curious what others think. Does it resonate with you as well? If so, why? If not, why not?