Crew Review: DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300We aim to please, so since several of you have asked for a video on the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300 we went ahead and filmed one. After all, the Magnifica is one of our most reliable espresso machines as it as has been on both our shelves and on customer’s counters for years. In fact, we know of one customer who has had their machine for at least seven years! And why wouldn’t you want this little superauto residing on your counter? It’s compact design and built-in grinder means it won’t take much space. In addition, you can access the water tank and all of the controls from the front, so you don’t have to worry about moving your machine around to get to what you need.

Oftentimes superautomatic espresso machines come with so many bells and whistles it can be confusing to figure out how to use all of the options. Not so with the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300. What you see is what you get, and what you get with this machine is a really great deal. The Magnifica is one of the few superautos under $1,000 with a bypass doser. If you’re not familiar with bypass dosers, they are a nice feature to have since they allow you to brew with pre-ground beans as well as the whole beans in the grinder on your machine. Thus, if you want to try a different roast or switch to decafe coffee in the evenings you can do so without emptying the bean hopper on your machine.

Best of all, our customers report that they experience very few breakdowns on the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300, making them one of the least returned machines we sell. Treat your machine well, descale often and you too can you have this little robot on your counter for years to come! To see this machine’s functionality in action, check out Brendan and Gail as they make one of her famous wet cappuccinos.

Crew Review: DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM 3300

Removing Side Panels on Rocket Espresso Machines

Rocket Espresso MachinesOne of the things we love the most about Rocket Espresso Machines is their beautiful and shiny stainless exterior. This casing is actually handcrafted in Italy, which makes each machine even more unique. However, a little known feature about these cases is that you can actually take them off fairly easily.

Why would you want to do such a thing? Even if your local delivery company takes every precaution into consideration when transporting your machine accidents do happen and sometimes a case gets damaged. As a side note, if you ever have to ship your machine for any reason, make sure to check out the handy shipping guide we’ve created to help ensure your machine stays in good shape while traveling. Anyhow, if you do find yourself with a damaged case you may want to order a new one to replace it with and you will need to know how to remove the old one. Or, if you’re really tech savvy, sometime you may want to work on the internals of your machine and will have to take the side panels off to access it.

Removing the side panels varies slightly for the different versions of each machine, but there are some aspects that are the same no matter what machine you have. The tools you need are a screwdriver, 7-millimeter wrench, socket set and an extension bit. Before you start to take off the side panels it is important that you make sure the machine is powered off and cold, and that you remove all of the accessories such as the lid, water tank, drip tray and portafilter.

When it comes to locating and removing and loosening the screws and bolts is where things start to change per machine. Once you have located and removed or loosed the screws on the top of your machine, the first part of the process will be to remove the cup warmer, water tank and then remove the diffuser plate. The next step is to locate the bolts on the sides, bottom and/or back of the machines and loosen them to remove the side panels. On Cellini V1, you can take the entire case off at once by standing at the back of the machine, grabbing the front casing (you will have to pull to two sides apart a bit to get around the internals of the machine) and then pulling it back toward you. On the Giotto, you can remove each side panel one at a time, for whichever side of the machine you need access to.

To see specific instructions for the Rocket Cellini and Rocket Giotto, watch as our repair tech Jeremiah takes the side panels off both machines. If you’re still not sure about taking the case off your Rocket Espresso machine yourself, we’re always here to help! Just let us know any questions you may have.

SCG Tech Tips: Removing Side Panels on Rocket Espresso Machines

Brewin’ with Brandi: Kona Bar Milkshake

Kona Bar MilkshakeIn case you haven’t noticed, Brandi loves blending up different foods; and sampling the results of course! In her past recipes she has thrown a piece of cake and even a donut in a blender. This time around she blended up two candy bars (combined with a few other goodies). This leads to the question, will it blend?! There’s nothing worse than a lumpy milkshake, so we used our trusty Vitamix 300 to mix up this recipe. In our opinion, the Vitamix works just as well (if not better) than other blenders on the market. In fact, our milkshake turned out just how we like it – rich, smooth and creamy.

However, we didn’t use just any ordinary chocolate bars when making our milkshake, we used the Kona Bar. What makes these chocolate bars special is that they are made with Kona coffee beans, to provide you with a little extra perk and a little extra crunch. We used Raspberry Kona Bars in our recipe, because who doesn’t love chocolate, raspberry, coffee and ice cream? However, these bars come in other tasty tropical flavors like coconut, macadamia, vanilla, passion fruit and hibiscus, which we imagine would be equally good if you decided to substitute them in. We just started selling these bars at our retail locations, so if you live near one of our stores, make sure to come try them out.

To learn how to make this delicious coffee flavored shake, watch Brandi and Kaylie try it out in this video.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Kona Bar Milkshake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 Kona Bars (we used a raspberry flavored bar, but feel free to substitute one of their other tasty flavors)
  • 4 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup of hot fudge
  • Whipped cream (for topping)

Directions

  • Chop up the Kona Bars into medium-sized pieces
  • Combine the milk and ice cream in a blender
  • Add ¾ of the chopped Kona Bars to the milk/ice cream
  • Blend until smooth
  • Heat the fudge and drizzle it on the bottom of the cups
  • Pour milkshake on top if the fudge
  • Top milkshake with whipped cream and the remaining chopped Kona Bar pieces.

Crew Review: Saeco Xelsis Evo

Saeco Xelsis EvoSpring has long been a time of renewal and new beginnings, and that certainly seems to be the case for many of our grinders and espresso machines. A number of our favorite brands have taken your feedback on their products to heart and updated their machines accordingly, and Saeco now joins their ranks. Recently, the Saeco Xelsis Evo was released as an update to the existing Xelsis One Touch Espresso Machine.

The main difference you’ll see on the new Saeco Xelsis Evo is the updated milk carafe. Many of our customers found that on the previous Xelsis One Touch their milk wasn’t getting hot enough, which is problem that we often see on superautomatic machines. Saeco listened to this feedback and updated the hose that runs from the milk carafe to the espresso machine (it is now smaller), the lid on the milk carafe and even the milk frothing software in order to develop a machine that produces much hotter milk. The other nice thing about the Xelsis Evo is that the machine auto rinses whenever you turn it off, on or make a milk-based drink. This feature is almost as good as having your own personal maid, since it will help keep your milk carafe really clean. However, this is not an excuse to skimp on your machine’s maintenance, which is still really important if you want to keep your espresso maker in good running order.

Another thing we like about the Saeco Xelsis Evo is that it is a very sophisticated superautomatic with lots of programmability. You can create up to six different user profiles and save nine customized drink options for each profile. A few of the features  you are able to adjust are the aroma (or the dosage of your coffee), the volume of the shot and if you’re making a milk-based beverage, the amount of milk you want as well. With so many options that allow you to create the perfect cup of coffee for everyone, the Saeco Xelsis Evo is ideal for a large household, or even a small office, with lots of different users. If you don’t have a large family, don’t be surprised if a lot of your friends start coming over for visits!

To learn how to take advantage of all the options on this machine, watch Gail and Brendan as they try a few of them out and make a cappuccino.

Crew Review: Saeco Xelsis Evo

Tech Tips: SCG’s Tune Up Kit for E61 Brew Group

Tune Up Kit for E61 Brew GroupThe E61 group head is one of the more popular brew groups, and is seen on a number of different brands of espresso machines like Rockets, Alex Duettos, older ECM machines and some Quick Mills. In fact, the E61 is one of our favorite types of brew groups since it is designed to provide consistent heat, enabling your water temperature to stay the same from the boiler to the moment of extraction. However, just like any other brew group, it is important to clean and perform regular maintenance on the E61 so it continues to produce tasty shots day after day. Luckily, we’ve made the job easier by creating a Tune Up Kit for the E61 Brew Group for both 8mm and 8.5 mm gaskets.

“Why are there two different sized kits?” you may ask. The reason is the metal on metal friction from your portafilter rubbing against your brew head will wear down the “ears” on your portafilter. As a result, there will be a gap between the brew head and the portafilter, causing the portafilter to no longer sit straight in the machine. This is normal and will happen on most machines, but to get it sitting properly again you will need to start using a 8.5mm gasket. Thus, to help you out, we have also made an E61 Brew Group Tune Up Kit with a 8.5mm Gasket.

However, even though you know that doing preventative maintenance on your machine is important, the process can sound a little daunting. After all, once you take the brew head apart there are all of those little pieces to keep track of and then you have to figure out how to put everything back together. The reality is reassembling your brew head it is isn’t too difficult, and we even include step-by-step instructions in our tune up kit for E61 brew group (as well as all our other parts kits) to help you out. If this isn’t enough to dispel your fears, you can allow along with Brendan in this guided video.

 

SCG Tech Tips: SCG’s Tune Up Kit for E61 Brew Group

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder

Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E GrinderEureka! That’s right, we’ve found the prefect high-capacity grinder — the Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder. While this grinder is indeed a great discovery, the name comes from the brand Eureka, which was bought by Nuova Simonelli many years ago. This grinder is basically the same as the Nuova Simonelli MDX and still has as a 65mm burr set and identical internal features. The only difference in the Eureka Zenith 65E is that it has an electronic front on it. Nuova Simonelli created this machine because they really wanted to get into electronic grinders, and it is their answer to others on the market like the Mazzer Type A grinders or the Rancilio KRYO 65 OD.

As such, the big feature on this grinder is the new electronic doser, which is really easy to use. You have two programmable dosing options available to you, enabling you to decide whether you want your coffee to be dispensed by volume or by time, which can be adjusted at the push of a button. If you know an adventurous barista, you can lock these adjustment settings, so they won’t play around and make changes to your grind. Another unique feature on the Nuova Simmonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder is the resettable digital dose counter, which we actually haven’t seen on any of the on demands yet. In fact, people frequently ask how they can reset the counter on a Mazzer and there is no way of doing that.

In addition to these upgrades, Nuova Simonelli has carried over two of the most popular features from the MDX. One is the stepless micro adjustment dial, which allows you to adjust your grind finer or coarser by simply turning a knob with your finger instead of having to struggle to change the setting with a big lever as on other grinders. The second feature is the ability to open up your grinder and clean the burrs without having to recalibrate your grind. Not only does this make cleaning and maintaining your grinder a breeze, but it also makes the process quicker – you can probably the job done in-between shifts at your café.

To learn more about the features on the Eureka Zenith 65E, watch as Brandon explains what makes it different from other grinders on the market in this video. Just don’t blame us if find yourself shouting “eureka!” too by the end.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder