Yesterday, following an hour at Boyd Coffee (still a family-owned company after 112 years), I decided to take the scenic route back into the city. Instead of taking I-84, I drove west along Sandy Boulevard through Parkrose toward the Hollywood district. Not quite coincidentally, I ended up at Case Study, a café that keeps pulling me in, partly because I never know what new beverage might be available to try. The last time I stopped in, I tried the shakerato. Yesterday, I was planning to just have a glass of ice-brewed Geisha (from Panama), but Ricky, the barista always creating new things, insisted I try the Jell-O shot too.
It was, in a word, interesting.
The concoction was a small cup of espresso-flavored gelatin (slightly larger than a shot glass) with whipped cream on top. Case Study makes the base with unflavored gelatin, espresso and a little sugar. Each of the cups contains approximately the equivalent of a shot of espresso (in this case, a single-origin from Guatemala). To serve it, they add the whipped cream and create a confection that is somewhere between a chilled vanilla latte and a coffee aspic.
The thing that stood out most about the Jell-O shot was the texture. The gelatin was chewy and buttery. Normally when I think of Jell-O, I imagine something light, but the shot was rich and heavy. You could split one with a friend and be satisfied.
If you are a big fan of Jell-O, the espresso Jell-O shot is worth a try. I recommend you don’t wash it down with iced coffee, though—especially if you have a relatively empty stomach. The caffeine/sugar combination of the two together packs nearly as much punch as Marlen Esparza.