We like to think our shops are all special: with Downtown’s copper counter tops; the rustic yet classy gravel floors and loft seating of Alberta; the golden glow of the sun hitting exposed wood through our vast Sandy windows. But what makes Case Study what it really is: in large part, it is our incredibly dedicated, kind hearted, and passionate staff members!
We like to celebrate the entirety of our hardworking staff. Today, we are proud to announce that our very own Joe Yang is heading down to New Orleans to compete in the Brewers Cup on February 3-4!
Originally from China, Wenbo “Joe” Yang lived the city of Hefei, China (in the province Anhui.) Joe also worked as a salesman and Q grader for La Marzocco in China, where his passion for learning about coffee and brewing methods grew. In Anhui, Joe owned his own coffee shop. “People in China do not drink coffee,” he confides, adding that his shop was mostly used as a place for people to sit, do work, and hang out. “Many people, they would buy a cup of coffee and sit for hours –“ Chinese culture does tend to focus more heavily on tea and less on coffee – Joe expresses that people are more likely to sip a cup of soybean milk in the morning than a cup ‘o joe.
Living in a culture without much focus in coffee, Joe saw more of a future in the United States, where third wave coffee culture is thriving and ever changing.
In 2014, he moved to LA with his family, though did not adopt a career in coffee until moving up to Portland about a year later. Flash forward to today: Joe has been a valuable part of our Case Study family for almost a year, a staple of our Sandy location, and an expert barista. You’ll often see him with his own personal gear, perfecting and crafting each espresso drink.
We’re all so excited to hear about Joe’s newest adventure to New Orleans for the next part of the Brewer’s Cup! Our very own Dylan McClain won the Aeropress Championship in 2016 and it’s an honor to have another Case Study barista in a brewing competition.
In September, Joe won 3rd place in the Brewer’s Cup preliminary competition, landing him a place in the next round in New Orleans, LA. Joe says he’s most excited for what he’ll learn: “I learn a lot from the competition –“ this is the best outcome, he says, even if he doesn’t win the competition itself, he’ll win more knowledge to continue brewing more amazing coffee.
-written by: Eirinn Gragson