This is a huge kettle, holding 1.75 liters of water! That’s a whole lot of tea or coffee. We were really impressed how fast a full kettle came to a boil. In our testing this Glass Electric Kettle from OXO brought room temperature water to a boil in seven and a half minutes! Once the water is brought up to a boil the kettle automatically turns itself off, so not only is this fast but also very safe.
The Glass Electric Kettle is considered cordless because the base separates from the kettle itself. The handle has a great grip which makes for a very easy pour. We enjoyed how much control we felt we had when lifting the kettle while it was full of hot water. Two thumbs up in that department!
All in all, this is a great kettle for everything from tea to french press coffee and everything in between! Be sure to check out the full Crew Review video below to hear all the features and see this kettle in action!
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We are back with an updated Crew Review of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar! This was the first cost-efficient heat exchanger espresso machine that we saw enter the market that didn’t compromise on the quality of espresso produced. Since it’s debut there have been a few other machines that get close to the price point of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, but here are some of the features that keep this machine a top contender.
The Nuova Simonelli Oscar sports a 2 liter copper boiler. Be sure to give this machine about 25 minutes of warm up time to get optimal shots! The water reservoir in the back is a great size, coming in at 2.3 liters. Enough water to get you through several brew cycles by small enough that your water won’t go stale.
As we mentioned before, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a heat exchanger machine. What is a heat exchanger? It is the design of the boiler. The boiler is heated up to steam temperature, and the running through the boiler is a copper tube. This copper tube allows for cold water to quickly be heated up to brew temperature as is travels to the brew head. This design will allow you to steam and brew at the same time, while keeping the cost of a second boiler out of the equation.
In today’s Crew Review Comparison we have two popular grinders for you! Introducing the Rancilio Rocky vs Smart Grinder Pro from Breville. Which is best for you? Which grinder will give you the grind you are searching for? Let’s find out!
The Rancilio Rocky is quite the machine! With 50mm flat stainless steel burrs grinding at an impressive 1725 RPM, this coffee grinder will wow any home barista. The Rancilio Rocky weighs 18 pounds, the motor itself weighs 11 pounds. Basically this grinder can grind! Some like to compare this grinder to other commercial quality grinders, and while it is not designed for a commercial setting it certainly can hold its own. It is operated by a simple on and off switch and the grind setting is adjusted by rotating the bean hopper. What the Rancilio Rocky may lack in bells and whistles it certainly makes up in grind quality. This grinder is an excellent choice for all types of consumer espresso machines!
Next up on our comparison list is the Smart Grinder Pro from Breville. The Smart Grinder pro has 40mm stainless steel conical burrs. The conical burrs allow for a faster intake of beans and as a result can produce a double shot in 17 seconds (compare to 25 seconds with the Rocky). The Smart Grinder Pro is powered by technology. You are able to program the grind time, volumetric grind amount, and the grind setting on the easy to navigate digital display. The Smart Grinder Pro has an adjustable upper burr, which will allow you to compensate for use over time. So grind on you crazy diamond!
The Rocket Espresso Mazzer Coffee Grinder is the grinder of our dreams. In case you haven’t been able to tell, we are in love with our Rocket Espresso machines. From build quality to looks, Rocket makes some excellent espresso machines. So you know when they teamed up with Mazzer to created the Rocket Espresso branded Mazzer Mini Electronic Grinder we got a little giddy.
The Rocker Espresso Mazzer Mini Electronic Grinder Type A is a stepless grinder. It features large 64mm stainless steel flat burrs. This grinder is absolutely on the prosumer side of things. This grinder can do anything from French Press to turkish. However, because it is stepless, it can be very difficult to dial your grinder back in. Sticking with a certain type of preparation is sound advice when using this coffee grinder. You can of course switch from course to fine, just be prepared for a headache in the process!
The hopper that comes with this grinder can hold over a pound of beans, 1.3 pounds to be exact! Because of the size of this hopper, the grinder stands particularly tall–coming in at 18 inches in height. So if you are planning on using this in a kitchen, measure your cabinet height!
Stovetop espresso. What is not to love? It is easy to use, looks great on your countertop, and produces an intense cup of coffee! Bialetti is probably what comes to mind when you think of a stovetop espresso coffee maker. Does this look familiar?
Bialetti stovetop espresso coffee makers come in three different models! The first is the iconic Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker. With it’s art deco style, the Moka Express is easily recognized. It comes in 12 ounce size and is constructed out of aluminum. As with all the stovetop makers in this comparison, brewing is a breeze. Simply add your ground coffee and water, apply heat, and watch as your brewed coffee bubbles up!
Next up in our comparison of the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso makers is the Musa. At just 7.25 inches tall for the 6 cup version, the Musa is small enough to stow away when no tin use. The Musa is built out of stainless steel, so if you are adverse to the aluminum construction of the Moka Express, this would be an option.
The Bialetti Venus Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker is the next in our comparison. Similar to the Musa with it’s stainless steel construction and 2 size options, the Venus’s look is slightly more refined. Be sure to take a look at our Crew Review comparison video below to see how the looks of all three of these stovetop espresso coffee makers compare!
What do you get when you take two SCAA certified coffee brewers and put them head to head? You get our latest Crew Review Comparison!
That’s right folks we have another comparison for you, this time it’s the Technivorm vs Bonavita coffee brewers! The key to a great cup of coffee is optimal extraction time and a perfect brewing temperature. This is where SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, steps in. Both of these brewers, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 and the Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker, have been tested and approved by SCAA which means they brew at the ideal brewing temperature- between 195F and 205F.
The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 stands 15 inches tall and it the taller of the two brewers in this comparison. The thermal carafe is double walled stainless steel. It will keep your coffee hot, without burning the coffee which can easily happen with a glass carafe and hot plate warming design. We tested how long this carafe would keep the coffee hot and after 3 hours the temperature had only decreased by 24 degrees. Still piping hot! The Technivorm does brew 2 ounces more than the Bonavita, with a maximum of 42 ounces of brewed coffee per pot!
The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker has a great feature not found on all coffee brewers. What is that feature you ask? Pre-infusion! The Bonavita will bloom your coffee, allowing the grounds to off gas before the brew cycle. The result is a more evenly extracted cup of coffee! Standing at just 12 inches tall, this brewer can easily be stored under a cabinet. We love how simple the Bonavita brewer is, one simple switch to master! The Bonavita can brew up to 40 ounces of coffee at one time. The double walled stainless steel carafe cooled 26 degrees after 3 hours. So no matter which brewer you decide on, a hot cup of coffee you will have!
First and foremost, the OXO Barista Brain 9 Cup coffee brewer is SCAA certified. What does that mean? It means that this brewer is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America to brew at the optimal temperature, between 197.6 degrees F – 204.8 degrees F. When looking at any coffee maker, temperature stability is something that should always be considered. While bells and whistles are totally awesome, properly brewed coffee is really what we want (and good thing this brewer gives us both)!
Speaking of bells and/or whistles, the OXO Barista Brain 9 Cup has some! The beautiful digital screen allows for intuitive control of your brew. Like to wake up to the smell of coffee? Well now you can with the wake up timer control feature! Simply program the brewer to begin brewing when you want to wake up and voilà!
We think OXO did a great job with the design of this brewer. It looks great and brews up a hot cup of coffee! Be sure to check out our full Crew Review in the video below!
Next in the line up from OXO is their grinder, the Barista Brain Grinder to be exact! And speaking of exact, the Barista Brain Grinder has a built in scale!
That’s right folks, the Brain in the Barista Brain is really a microchip that take a lot of the guess work out of your daily brewing. This grinder allows for 3 grinding modes: grams, cups, and portafilter mode. When in grams mode, you set how many grams you would like to be ground, and the Barista Brain Grinder will grind that amount into your collection vessel.
Cups mode is perfect for brewing drip coffee. OXO has preset the grinder to grind 8 grams of coffee per cup, the ideal ratio. You even have a micro adjustment tool on this grinder. So if you like your coffee a little stronger, adjust away! Portafilter mode will grinder until you say stop! But don’t let all that power go to your head
The Barista Brain Grinder from OXO has a nice contemporary look. Black plastic and clad stainless steel will look great on almost any countertop. The grinder itself has 40mm conical stainless steel burrs. We tested the consistency and believe this grinder would be best suited for manual brewing applications. The espresso grind will work for a pressurized system, but you will have a difficult time getting a quality shot off a traditional machine using this grinder.
In corner number one we have the Rancilio Silvia. An iconic single boiler machine, ready to brew up anything you throw at it.
In corner number two we have the Breville Barista Express. With it’s built in grinder and optional pressurized portafilters, brewing up great espresso has never been so simple.
Ring the bell referee, its the Silvia vs Barista Express!
The Rancilio Silvia is a single boiler espresso machine. The boiler is built out of brass and has a removable heating element, which makes repairs much cheaper if the heating element ever burns out. The case material on the Rancilio Silvia is stainless steel, so you know this machine is built to last! Our comparison showed that the steam pressure is better on the Silvia, which is to be expected given the design differences between these two espresso machines. At just 9.5 inches wide and 11 inches deep, the Silvia has the smaller footprint- but don’t forget about your grinder!
The Breville Barista Express has a stainless steel boiler with a thermocoil design. What’s a thermocoil? A thermocoil or thermoblock takes water from the reservoir in an espresso machine and heats it on the fly, versus heating up a full boiler of water. The benefit is a shorter wait time for the water to come to temperature, but it is not as consistent. The Barista Express has a built in burr grinder, so for someone on a budget or with limited counter space this would be an excellent option. The Breville has several programming options, something the Silvia does not have.
We got to play with a new toy! That’s right folks, OXO has released a a new coffee brewer- but it does a whole lot more than just brew coffee!
The OXO Barista Brain 12-Cup Coffee Brewer is the largest coffee brewer to be certified by SCAA. 12 cups is a lot of coffee! The OXO Barista Brain 12-Cup brewer features a design we have never seen before. The water tank doubles as a hot water kettle! Depending how you have the kettle engaged, will determine if you will be brewing coffee or bringing up water for tea (or anything really!)
What really stood out for us was the microprocessor that is the brain in the Barista Brain brewing system. It monitors time, temperature and volume of the brewing cycle, which allows this brewer to deliver the perfect cup time after time. You can even brew a single serving, leaving the extra water in the kettle. No more measuring (it does it all for you!).
The double walled stainless steel carafe keeps your coffee hotter for longer. We were really impressed with the design for both the carafe and the water kettle. Both were easy to handle, given their size, which made for seamless serving.