With such a competitive coffee industry in Portland, it’s hard for local cafes set themselves apart. With a little inspiration from science, Case Study Coffee Roasters had been able to do just that.
Originating as a caterer, then as Portland’s first multi-local roaster café, Case Study is now a green coffee roaster with three locations. Owners Christine Herman-Russell and her husband Wes Russell are passionate about the science behind making coffee. From farming and roasting to the preparation of ingredients and beverages, Case Study is involved in the entire process from start to finish.
Although Christine and Wes still offer catering services, they are best known for their seasonal menus featuring specialty beverages and homemade syrups and sauces. Their signature beverage is ice-brewed coffee using a unique proprietary method. “It’s clean, crisp and a true representation of the origin of the coffee used to make it,” says Christine.
Christine is fascinated by how the origin of coffee beans affects flavor, much as terror affects wine. In addition, she loves to experiment with coffee flavors, showcasing her talent with a seasonal menu. A few of her innovative concoctions include masala-spiced latte, lavender-infused ice-brew coffee and iced orange blossom latte. “With Portland’s lively culinary scene, I am constantly inspired to try new things,” says Christine.
Featuring wood paneling, large windows and custom Sputnik chandeliers, Case Study’s signature style offers a cozy environment and lively atmosphere. Creating an open-bar setting played a big role in allowing for a more personal experience for both the customer and the barista. “We feel very lucky that our coffee shops serve as true community hubs,” says Christine.
Unlike other coffee shops, Case Study only sells their coffee in the personal shops. “If we were to sell our coffee wholesale to other coffee shops, there’s never a guarantee that someone will treat your coffee the way we want it treated,” says Wes. This allows Case Study full control of the outcome, producing one of the best cups of coffee in town.
“Through handcrafting every aspect of our beverages, we are treating coffee as a true culinary experience,” says Christine.