Ask Gail: Understanding The Technivorm Models

The Technivorm coffee brewer. It’s one of the best home coffee brewing machines out there. But finding the right one for you can be a little difficult. With so many models which one do you choose?technivorm

The Technivorm coffee lineup can be demystified with a little knowledge (and a helpful chart!) The first thing you want to do is decide which style of carafe you want. The Technivorm models come in either a glass carafe or a thermal carafe. Are you someone who finishes a pot of coffee before it is even done brewing? If so, you may want to go for the glass carafe (we use a glass carafe in our breakroom!) Or maybe you are one who likes to leisurely sip your cup o’ joe, in which case the thermal carafe will keep that pot of coffee hot till the last sip.

The next decision that must be made is if you want an auto stop machine or a manual stop machine. The auto stop is great if you always brew full pots. The manual stop machine give you the ability to brew a half pot, but you will need to remember to flip the switch open or closed, otherwise the brew basket can overflow causing a mess. Trust us, we’ve made that mess several times before.

Once you have those decisions made, the right Technivorm  for you will be clear. Check out the full Ask Gail video below to see the helpful chart!

 

 

Morning Maintenance: Saeco Brew Unit Care

Saeco Brew UnitThe superautomatic. Espresso at the touch of a button. But what is doing all the work? How does this machine keep spitting out delicious espresso?!  The brew unit of course! Each brand has it’s own design, but they all do the same thing (make you coffee!).

The Saeco Brew Unit is easy to care for if you know what to do. So in this Morning Maintenance video, we asked Gail to show us how to properly clean the Saeco Brew Unit off of a Exprelia Evo. But these tips are good for any Saeco Superautomatic espresso machine!

As with any espresso machine, the best form of maintenance is preventative. By cleaning and tuning up your machine as needed you will find your machine will work better, longer! Which of course means more coffee and who can say no to that?!

Watch the Morning Maintenance video below to see the best tips and tricks in caring for your Saeco Brew Unit. Have any questions? Leave them in the comment section on YouTube!

 

 

Crew Review: Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker

What happens when you cross a science experiment with a coffee maker? You get the Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker of course! Vacuum Coffee Maker you ask? No we are not mad scientists, this style of coffee maker has been around for quite some time.Vacuum Coffee Maker

The Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker works on the principle of expanding and contacting gases. As the bottom compartment is heated up on the stove, some of the water inside is turned into  vapor. As the water vapor expands it forces the liquid water up the spout and into the chamber above, saturating the ground coffee. Once the water has filled the upper chamber the vacuum pot is removed from the heat. The water vapor cools and no longer exerts enough pressure on upper chamber to hold the water up, and so gravity pulls the coffee back down into the lower chamber.

The result is a really clean cup of coffee. Gail was especially impressed with the quality of the taste. It was very smooth and drinkable.

Be sure to check out the full Crew Review of this awesome vacuum coffee maker!

Drip Vs. Immersion Cold Brew

We had a request from one of our viewers to do a taste  test comparing a full immersion cold brew and a slow drip cold brew. And you know we can’t say no to a cup of coffee! So we brewed up the same coffee with the two different methods to see what the result was!Cold Brew

What is full immersion cold brew you ask? This is probably the method of cold brew extraction you are most familiar with. It can be as crude as filling up a bucket with coffee and water and letting it sit or you can use something like the Toddy or OXO! (We were really impressed with the OXO, check out our taste test if you haven’t already!) So just as the name implies, the coffee and water sit together for a period of time before filtering and then drinking.

So then what is drip cold brew? Using a slow drip cold brew system is a little more involved, both in the equipment necessary as well as technique involved. Essentially you have your water slowly drip over your coffee grounds. And when we say slowly, we mean it! We are talking about a drip per second. The water slowly saturates the ground coffee, which then drips down through a filter and into your collection container.

We were curious about how the two methods would change the taste of the coffee. Here is a little spoiler, the taste difference was much more pronounced than we could have imagined! Check out the video below to see the result!

 

Do you have an idea for a video? Subscribe to our channel before leaving a request in the comment section!

Crew Review: Saeco Pure

Pure (adjective)  purer, purest
free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind;
free from extraneous matterSaeco Pure

The definition stands up to the name. The Saeco Pure is an elegantly simple superautomatic espresso machine. You won’t find all the bells and whistles on this model, but it does have everything you need to make a nice latte or straight espresso (depending on how you feel of course!).

The Saeco Pure features 2 programmable buttons, a panarello steam wand and a hot water feature. The pump inside this machine brews at an impressive 15 bars of pressure. The espresso spouts are adjustable so you can brew into almost any size cup!

The Saeco Pure is almost like the fraternal twin to the Saeco Minuto Focus; similar appearance, but with a few key differences. The Saeco Pure does not offer the Minuto’s coffee/espresso lever. Instead, the Pure offers a simple espresso or lungo (long espresso) button. So while the Minuto will produce coffee similar in taste to a drip, the Pure is strictly for espresso (but hey, sometimes an americano hits the spot!)

Check out the full Crew Review of the Saeco Pure in the video! And while you are at it, subscribe to our YouTube channel! We are always  looking at new machines and ways to brew coffee, and want you to join us!

 

Crew Review: CamelBak Forge Travel Mugs

CamelBak Forge Travel MugAhh, the great outdoors. There truly isn’t anything better than that first breath of fresh air before embarking on an outdoor adventure. Or is there? The answer of course is yes, yes there is something better (and it involves coffee!)

That’s right, we are talking about travel mugs today! And more specifically, the CamelBak Forge travel mugs. We are quite fond of this mug. Sure it works great for commuting to work in the morning. But we think it is even more fitting when “forging” a trail, hot coffee in hand. And speaking of hot coffee, the CamelBak Forge travel mug does an excellent job at keeping your coffee hot! The double wall, stainless steel body keeps your hot coffee hot (or your cold, cold brew…well, cold).

Be sure to watch our Crew Review below to see the results of our temperature test! (Spoiler alert: it does an superb job!)

One of the best features on this travel mug is the self sealing lid. Say goodbye to accidental spills! The lid also comes apart for easy cleaning in all the nooks and crannies. The CamelBak Forge Travel mug comes in two color schemes. Solid black or stainless steel and blue!

Check out our Crew Review video below for the full scoop!

 

Crew Review: AeroPress

AeroPressIt’s portable. It’s affordable. And some might even call it adorable! Yes, we are talking about the AeroPress by Aerobie.

The AeroPress is a clever alternative way to brew up your cup of coffee. It functions in a similar fashion to a French Press, but with a twist! When you plunge the AeroPress, the coffee is forced through a paper (or stainless steel) filter. Leaving you with a very clean cup of coffee.

It’s great for traveling since it is lightweight. All that you need is some coffee and hot water to complete your set up.  The AeroPress is built in the U.S.A and is B.P.A. free. Win win? We think so.

The AeroPress makes a stout cup of coffee that some say resembles “espresso”, without the crema of course. Not traditional espresso, but a very strong cup. But the real beauty in this coffee maker is how much control you have when brewing. If you like to brew up a strong concentrate and dilute it like an americano, you can. If you prefer to make a medium strong cup of coffee and mix with half and half, the choice is yours.

We love our AeroPress. And think you will too! Check out our full Crew Review video below before subscribing to our YouTube channel. Come on, we know you want too :)

Morning Maintenance: CC1 General Maintenance Tips

An espresso machine is a lot like a car. If you keep up on your oil changes and tire rotations, it is going to last a whole lot longer. But don’t worry, you won’t need to bring your espresso machine into a mechanic for the tune up! You can do so in the comfort of your own home.General Maintenance Tips CC1

Below are our general maintenance tips for the Crossland CC1, but a lot of this information can be used on any single boiler machine. Of course it is best to consult your specific machines instruction manual   but feel free to follow along!

The best thing you can do for your machine is to use filtered water. By using filtered water you cut back on the amount of descaling you will need to do, which is good for everyone involved. (It can take a while to go through the whole descaling process!)

Backflushing is another important step to a healthy machine. Coffee has oils, and those oils like to go everywhere! Over time, those oils will build up and can change the flavor of your shots or even create a clog. Watch the video below to see Gail demonstrate how to properly backflush the Crossland CC1.

After each brew session, it is best to wipe down the machine immediately. Especially the steam wand if you steamed some milk. Any milk residue that is left on the wand after steaming will burn, and be very difficult to remove later. In addition to the unsightly burnt milk, the wand can also siphon milk back up and into the boiler as it cools. And milk in the boiler is never a good thing (and can cost a lot to repair)!

Those are our general maintenance tips for the Crossland CC1, be sure to watch the full episode of Morning Maintenance below. If you found this video helpful, subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos just like this!

 

Comparison: R58 and BES920

We are back with another comparison! This time we are looking at the R58 and BES920. The Rocket R58 is really the gold standard when we compare dual boiler machines.R58 and BES920

Last time we did a comparison to the R58 we took a look at the Oracle, which has a ton of extra features–causing it to sit in an espresso machine class of its own. So we decided to take another look at the R58 and compare it to something a little closer in  design.

The R58 and BES920 are both excellent machines, promising a great shot of espresso. But certain features and functions will be more appreciated by different home baristas.

The R58 is a classic espresso machine. It features a rotary pump which will create the ideal pressure and do so very quietly. It features a removable PID, so you can make the adjustments you want, but still have the clean looking machine that Rocket strives to design. The R58 also has the option to be a plumbed in machine if that tickles your fancy.  Oh and did we mention the E-61 brew head?

R58 and BES920The Breville BES920 features a lot of the “creature comforts” that the R58 doesn’t sport. Automatic on and off functions being the big one. The BES920 has a built in PID system, so you have the control to pull some great shots. The Breville has a stainless steel boiler while the Rocket is a brass and copper build.

Be sure to watch the full comparison video below!

 

Crew Review: Jura A9

The next generation from Jura. A smaller footprint, eco-friendly energy saving options and an intuitive touch screen that makes selecting your morning beverage just that much more fun! That’s right, we are talking about the Jura A9!Jura A9

The Jura A9 is the latest superautomatic espresso machine from Jura. And keeping with what they do best, the display on this machine is totally awesome. We are always impressed with the Jura displays; colorful, easy to read, and now-touch sensitive!

The Jura A9 has a stainless steel ThermoBlock boiler. Which, for a superautomatic, is very powerful. The milk that comes off this machine is hot, something that is difficult to achieve with a superautomatic machine.

The water reservoir and bean hopper are on the smaller side. But we don’t necessarily think that is such a bad thing. It requires you to only use the freshest water and beans, which means tasty drinks!  The water reservoir holds 37.2 ounces of water and the bean hopper holds 4.4 ounces of beans.

One of the greatest features of this machine is its ability to grind and brew twice. So now with only one touch on the machine, it will have a latte for you and your guest/friend/lover brewed up and ready to enjoy together! And we like that :)

Be sure to watch the full Crew Review below!