When pulling espresso there are 4 things that should be on the front of your mind. The beans, the grind, the tamp and the timing. We are going to focus on the grind right now because it can be one of the more difficult things to really nail. Your grind consistency is going to effected by the bean you are using, how fresh that bean is, the humidly in the room, heck, even your mood! So dialing in your grinder so you can pull your shot in the appropriate amount of time is essential!
Let me start out with a word of warning: dialing in a grinder will use up a lot of coffee, especially if your machine is new. So be prepared to grind up to a pound of coffee!
The trick to dialing in a grinder is keeping all your other variables consistent. So your dose, grind distribution and tamp pressure should be exactly the same every time. That way you know that it is just the texture of the grind that is affecting your timing.
Speaking on timing, this is how you will know which direction to adjust your grinder. The goal is to pull a double shot of two ounces in 25-30 seconds. If your shot reaches two ounces in, say, 15 seconds then you know your grind is way too course. A finer grind will slow your extraction time. On the other end, if it takes 35 seconds to reach that two ounce mark, your espresso will be over extracted. Adjusting the grinder to be more course will fix this.
Remember, when adjusting your grinder you should be making small adjustments. Sometimes one step is all it will take! Also be sure to grind at least a double portafilter worth of beans after each adjustment and throw that out. Otherwise you will have grounds from the previous setting muddling up your shot.
Continuing our “working” vacation in Portland, Gail took a moment to talk about the Illy Iperespresso Capsules. As you probably already know, Illy has made making espresso easier than ever. Using one of their capsule machines, like the Francis Francis Y1.1, you can be brewing up a tasty shot in seconds. No grinding or tamping required!
But with a shot of espresso a day, the amount of used capsules can quickly get out of hand. So instead of throwing your capsules away it is best to recycle them! The Illy capsule recycle program is something we are proud to support. So, save your capsules, and anytime you visit our stores you can bring them in and we will recycle your capsules!
Help us keep the world we share clean and caffeinated!
Pour overs. Probably the hippest way to brew your coffee right now. And as you already know, we are pretty hip! But perfecting the art of pour over takes a little bit of patience, skill and some basic equipment.
We decided to take a trip down to our Portland store to get the scoop about what options for pour over equipment are out there. Because, if you didn’t know already, Portland Oregon is the place for pour over coffee. Gail met up with Celine and had her give us the low down.
Some of our big take aways from our “working” vacation to Portland:
There are a ton of different tools for making pour over coffee.
When it comes to pour over, it is all about the flow. (Certain cones help you attain the perfect flow by adjusting the amount of holes and their placement. The Kalita Wave is a great cone for those new to pour over)
You should not put your Hario Drip Pot filters in the washing machine, under any circumstances.
A gooseneck kettle, like this Hario, is essential for directing your water to all the right places.
Watch the video below to see all the pour over options and be sure to check out our Portland store, Celine is waiting for you!
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To make the espresso syrup: Combine the espresso and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Stir consistently for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is thick like a syrup.
To make the waffles: Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the milk, sugar, espresso, and oil. Blend until well mixed.
Preheat a waffle iron. While the waffle iron is preheating beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixed until the form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter until mixture is just combined.
Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and add enough batter to cover the waffle iron, about 1 cup of batter. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through. Top with chocolate chips and espresso syrup and enjoy!
Just as soon as you get used to something, it changes. Believe you me when I say, I get it! It can be frustrating, especially when you really loved what was changed.
Well I have some good news for you. It’s what is on the inside that counts! In case you don’t know what I am talking about, Lavazza updated some of their packaging a little bit ago. And to be honest, I rather like the change, it looks more fresh! But what does Lavazza’s packaging change really mean?
But like I said, it is what is on the inside that counts And even though Lavazza’s packaging is new and improved they didn’t change the coffee. So when you order your new bag of coffee, you won’t be able to taste a difference (because there isn’t any!)
Gail can assure you this. Watch the video below to see what Gail’s speculation is as to why the change happened! Then head over to our YouTube channel to see what else Gail has been up too!
But there is one big difference. The 5-cup Coffee Maker has a number 4 filter cone while the 8-cup Coffee Maker has a new flat bottom cone design. When we tasted the two brews it was hard to tell the difference, even when looking for one.
So it is time to ask yourself, how much coffee do you really want? While you think about it, watch Gail compare the two Bonavita Coffee Makers and subscribe to our YouTube channel!
If you are anything like us, and let’s face it you most likely are, you probably like to tweak every setting on your espresso machine! From the steam temperature to adjusting the clock, getting your machine dialed in to you is first on your list when you unpack your new espresso machine. So when you opened your Breville and saw the Oracle Advanced Menu, you were jumping for joy!
But wait! Tweaking settings just for the sake of tweaking settings is not always the best course of action. Trust me when I say, you can easily adjust a setting that will put your machine on the fritz and have you calling our Customer Service department in tears. And while on occasion it may feel nice to chat to our wonderful customer service team with a tissue in hand, it’s best to avoid the situation altogether. How you ask? With knowledge!
The Oracle Advanced Menu is just that, an advanced menu. It won’t need to be adjusted regularly, some settings may not ever need to be touched. But knowing what each menu option controls is great way to know what to adjust when the time comes!
We had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Phil McKnight from Breville and thought he would be the best person to ask when it comes to the Oracle Advanced Menu. So we did!
In my humble opinion the Rocket Espresso Machines are some of the most visually appealing machines out there. And the Rocket R58 is no exception.
Aside from the beautiful aesthetics, the Rocket R58 is built very well. The quality production of each machine is something that Rocket prides itself on. Each machine is hand crafted with commercial quality parts, from the rotary pump to the portafilter. Pulling delicious espresso with these machines is a wonderful experience.
The Rocket R58 is truly a powerhouse espresso machine. It is a dual boiler machine, giving you the excellent control for both brewing and steaming. The dual boiler along with thermo siphon system design allows for stability in the espresso boiler and increased levels of steam pressure and hot water from the service boiler. The brewing boiler holds 0.58 liters while the hot water/steam boiler holds 1.7 liters. The Rocket R58 also features a remote PID, which keeps your countertop looking clean and the temperature in your control.
The Rocket R58 is plumbable, so you can say goodbye to filling a water tank if that is something you wish to do. If you aren’t good at goodbyes, not to worry, you can also use the 2.5 liter water reservoir.
Watch the Crew Review below to get a good feel for this machine. Gail takes a close look at each part of the design before making herself a cappuccino. And a tasty looking one at that!
As promised, our taste test of the 5 cold brew systems! In case you missed it you can check out the comparison video here.
For this blind taste test we brewed each of the cold brew systems following the manufacture’s instructions. We had three loyal Seattle Coffee Gear employees to taste the concentrate undiluted in order to keep a level playing field. You may even recognize some faces! (Actually I’d be surprised if you don’t!)
Watch the video above to see which cold brew system was preferred by the team! Hint: It may surprise you!
When you get your first espresso machine the first thing you want to do is pull a shot! As you are grinding out your beans you may ask yourself, how much coffee am I supposed to grind into my portafilter?
Well the answer is, it depends. As you may already know brewing espresso is a balancing act of multiple variables. And even the slightest change in a variable can drastically change your result! So the numbers below are an average amount of coffee that should go into each portafilter.
Your grind setting will affect this amount, how oily the coffee you are using will affect the amount, even the humidly in your room will have an effect! So precede with caution.
Under typical situations a single basket will hold 11 grams of coffee. A double basket will hold 17 grams. And a triple basket will hold 21 grams of the good stuff!
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