Crew Review: Breville Grind Control

Grind Control to Major Tom

Grind Control to Major Tom

Take your coffee beans and get your caffeine on

Grind Control to Major Tom

….Now that we have that out of the way. We would like to introduce the latest from Breville, the Grind Control Coffee Maker! The next generation of the YouBrew Coffee Maker, with some excellent improvements.Grind Control

We all know that grinding your beans fresh is the most important step to great tasting coffee, which is why Breville put so much effort into creating the perfect internal grinder. This coffee maker features stainless steel flat machined burrs, which means they will be much more precise and sharp than the conical burrs on the old YouBrew machine.

The Grind Control allows for all the customization you could ask for.  Choose from eight different strength settings! Can anyone say good morning?! Brew a whole pot or just one cup, the choice is yours! The internal clock allows for auto start functionality (is there anything better than waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee?)

A little pro tip, be sure to pre-heat the stainless steel carafe, so that your coffee will stay hot as long as possible.  We are really impressed with this machine, you get a lot of control that you simply don’t find in other drip machines.

Check out the full Crew Review below! Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel? You can do so by clicking here, that way you will never miss a video! Thanks for watching!

 

 

Crew Review: Behmor Home Coffee Roaster

We drink a lot of coffee. But you probably already knew that. But did you know that we also roast our own coffee? Well, did you? Because we did!Behmor Home Coffee Roaster

That’s right folks! Gail and the SCG team are coffee roasters! Not professional roasters by any means (and probably not even that good if we are being honest!) But we did play around and roast up a quarter pound of coffee beans on the Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster.

The Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster is small but mighty. Coming in at only 19 pounds, and no larger than your standard microwave, this home coffee roaster can roast up to 1 pound of beans at a time.

The Behmor is pretty easy to use, and makes for a great entry level tool to begin roasting coffee beans at home. It features 5 pre-programmed roast profiles that allow for easy roasting of any type of bean. Simply set the amount of beans you are wanting to roast, a roast level and a profile, hit start and watch as your green beans turn into that beautiful brown we know and love.

After the roasting period, the Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster automatically goes into a cooling cycle. After a period of time, you can remove the drum and look at your freshly roasted beans. But don’t go grinding them up just yet. Several days of off-gassing is required for optimum taste!

Watch our full Crew Review below! And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the video where we taste the beans we roasted in the video!

 

 

Comparison: Auto Milk Systems

We always get asked, which superautomatic makes the hottest milk with the best foam? So we decided to put four brands to the test to find out how the milk foam quality and  temperatures stack up.Auto Milk Systems

In our comparison we took  our favorite model from the following brands: Saeco, DeLonghi, Breville and Jura. The Breville Oracle might seem like the odd one out since it isn’t a true superautomatic, but it also isn’t a true semi-automatic. So while it might not be a fair comparison, we felt it fit into the big picture nicely.

As you might have expected (and we did too) the Breville Oracle won the comparison. The Oracle allows you to set the temperature of the milk you would like as well as the foam quality. And to be honest, it would be hard to replicate the quality of the milk off the Breville even using a traditional steam wand.

The Saeco Exprelia Evo came in second, or first if you remove the Oracle from the lineup. The Exprelia Evo gave us milk that reached 124.5 degrees fahrenheit, the hottest out of the other super automatics. The foam was tighter than the milk foam on both the Jura and the DeLonghi. So if you are someone who loves your milk based espresso drinks, we might recommend you look at the Saeco line up.

Of course, the Jura and the Delonghi both have some great features that make them stand out as well. Because milk isn’t the only feature one looks for in an espresso machine.

Be sure to watch our full comparison video below!

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Crew Review: Jura Gigga 5 Coffee Center

Coffee at work is no longer just a pot that someone brewed up who knows when. It’s 2015 folks, we all deserve much better. Enter the Jura Gigga 5 Automatic Coffee Center. It’s like a robot barista that sits in your break room, ready to fill all your caffeinated needs!Jura Gigga 5

We say its a robot barista that sits in your break room, because this machine can handle a large volume of drinks. But that isn’t to say the Gigga 5 can’t find a way into a home kitchen. Where there is a will there is a way.

The Gigga 5 features two bean hoppers, each one holding up to 9.8 ounces of coffee beans. This is a feature that you rarely find on a superautomatic machine. With two hoppers you can select which bean you want to brew, or you can even make your own “house blend” by combing beans from the two hoppers in any ratio you desire.

This Jura espresso machine is built with quality in mind. Many parts that you would typically find made out of plastic on other machines, are constructed out of stainless steel on the Gigga 5. The design details really makes this machine stand out.

As with all Jura machines, the digital display is simply beautiful. A full color display that is easy to navigate. Getting the beverage you desire has never been so simple. The Gigga 5 does  everything from shots of espresso to Irish coffees (whiskey not included)! No that isn’t a joke. The Gigga 5 has multiple recipes built in. Simply select the beverage you would like and follow the onscreen prompts.

Watch our full Crew Review of the Jura Gigga 5 Automatic Coffee Center below!

 

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Comparison: Breville Oracle vs. Saeco Exprelia Evo

We are back with another comparison! This time we are putting two big players head to head. So let’s get right into it, the Breville Oracle vs. Saeco Exprelia Evo.Breville Oracle Care

So you might be asking, why this comparison? Well, we like to consider the Breville Oracle as a hybrid espresso machine. It has features of a superautomatic machine, but it also boasts a lot of functionality you would typically find on a traditional espresso machine.  Hence our comparison to the Saeco Exprelia Evo. We want to be able to show the benefits of each type of machine!

The Saeco Exprelia Evo is a top of the line superautomatic espresso machine. It features both a traditional steam wand and a one touch auto milk system. So whether you just want to press a button or spend some time crafting the perfect drink, you can.Exprelia Evo

Both the Oracle and the Exprelia Evo have stainless steel double boilers, which will allow you to brew and steam at the same time. The Oracle has an auto milk system that looks a lot like a traditional steam wand. But what the Oracle’s auto milk feature has that you won’t find on any superautomatic is a temperature and foam control knob. This allows you to craft the perfect texture for your milk every time, with little technique required. We love this feature and think it really separates the Oracle from the traditional superautomatic milk system.

If you are still stuck on which machine will be best for you, be sure to check out the full comparison video below! Gail goes through all the specs you could ever imagine!

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Crew Review: Saeco Xsmall

It’s a lean, mean, espresso producing machine! That’s right, we are talking about the Saeco Xsmall. The Saeco Xsmall is an entry level superautomatic espresso machine with all the features you need at an affordable price! Can it get much better than that? We didn’t think so.Saeco Xsmall Espresso

The Saeco Xsmall has the smallest footprint out of all the superautomatics offered by Saeco. Weighing in at just 17 pounds, this machine can almost be considered portable…(ok, just kidding)! But seriously, the Xsmall is just 11.5 inches wide, 16.5 inches deep and 13 inches tall–which means it will fit on almost any counter with ease.

The panarello steam wand will help you achieve the perfect milk foam with little technique required, excellent for those of us who literally can’t function until coffee has entered our system! The panarello steam wand also doubles as a hot water dispenser, americanos anyone?

Of course, with any superautomatic, we don’t recommend using oily beans. Oily coffee beans will leave a residue in the built-in grinder, which over time will damage your espresso machine. Which is no fun, obviously. Sticking with a medium roast will keep your machine happy and you caffeinated :)

Watch the full Crew Review below!

 

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Crew Review: Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder

Something about doing it yourself makes everything taste that much better. Enter hand coffee grinders. Portable, affordable and always up for the challenge, hand grinders can be great for both the novice as well as the espresso aficionado. rhinowares

Today we are taking a look at the Rhinowares hand coffee grinder. The latest edition to our hand coffee grinder collection. The Rhinowares grinder is beautiful to look at. With a sturdy stainless steel housing, this grinder will last a long time if taken care of.

The burrs on this grinder are ceramic conical burrs. So no need to worry about rusting (Woohoo!) In our testing, we were impressed with how easy it was to adjust the burr settings. This grinder can grind everything from very course to fine. While it can do espresso, we don’t think this would work with every machine. But if you have a pressurized portafilter, this grinder would work very well!

Standing at just 6.75 inches tall and 2.25 inches wide, this grinder is great for travel. It even comes with a handy carrying case for when you are on the go (and still needing coffee!).

Watch the full Crew Review below before heading over to our YouTube channel for more!

 

Comparison: Mid Range Superautomatics

Superautomatics! Espresso beverages at a touch of a button. What is not to love?superautomatics

While we all love superautomatics, there are certianly a lot of choices to choose from! So we thought we would help you out by selecting the mid range models from the Saeco, DeLonghi and Jura line and comparing them side by side. So without further ado, here is our comparison of mid range superautomatics!

First up is the Saeco Exprelia Evo! This machine features both an automatic milk frothing system as well as a traditional steam wand. Why do you need both? Well it really comes down to personal preference, but we think the flexibility this gives you is priceless. You can craft the perfect milk if you have the time and desire, or simply press a button when you are on the go!

The Jura Impressa J9 is our next machine we took a look at. Hands down the most beautiful display. Jura never ceases to impress us with their touch screen designs. The J9 features a thermoblock boiler design and an auto froth milk system. While this machine has the largest footprint out of this line up, it will still fit nicely in most kitchens.

The DeLonghi PrimaDonna S De Luxe also features both an automatic milk system as well as a panarello steam wand. The DeLonghi allows you to program drinks for each user, helpful in a busy household. The water reservoir on this machine holds 68 ounces of water, plenty for your morning lattes!

Watch the full Crew Review Comparison below! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more by clicking here!

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!