Crew Review: OXO Barista Brain Grinder

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.

Watch our full Crew Review below before heading over to our YouTube channel to see all the latest machines from OXO. Want to subscribe to our channel? Click here and never miss a video from us!


Comparison: Silvia vs Barista Express

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!

Silvia vs Barista ExpressThe 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!

Silvia vs Barista ExpressThe 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.

Be sure to check out our full Crew Review Comparison video below! Want to subscribe to our channel and never miss a video? Then click here!


Crew Review: OXO Barista Brain 12-Cup Brewer

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.

Check out our full Crew Review below! And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss a video!


Comparison: Musica vs. Premium Plus

It’s time for another head to head comparison! This week, we have the Nuova Simonelli Musica vs. Premium Plus with PID from Rocket Espresso!

Two heat exchangers, both from an Italian company. So which is best for you? Let’s take a closer look at the features and find out!

Musica vs. Premium PlusFirst up, the Nuova Simonelli Musica. This espresso machine features a 2 liter brass and copper boiler. The water reservoir holds 3 liters of water, which is on the larger size for this type of machine. The Nuova Simonelli Musica takes about 25 minutes to heat up to brew temperature, not too bad for a 1200 Watt machine. We love the look of this machine, it features a lighted edge which can be turned off if you are not in the mood. The steam tip on this machine is the same steam tip that Nuova Simonelli uses on the machines it provides for the National Barista Championships.

Musica vs. Premium PlusThe Premium Plus with PID from Rocket Espresso features a 1.8 liter brass and copper boiler. So the two machines are pretty comparable in that department. The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus heats up to brew temperature in just 11 minutes. The steam wand is a no burn steam wand. That means it is insulted so that the milk won’t immediately burn on contact. However, you should still be wiping and purging the wand immediately after frothing milk. We do love the contemporary look that all of Rocket’s machines have. It truly looks great in any environment.

Watch our full comparison in the video below! Still want some more information? You can read about all the specs for the Musica here, and the Premium Plus here.


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Crew Review: Jura Impressa F8

So you want to Impressa your friends. Ok, ok, we know a bad joke when we hear one. Today, we are here to talk all about the Jura Impressa F8, a superautomatic espresso machine ready for what ever you throw at it.

The first thing we noticed when we turned on the Jura Impressa F8 was the color display. Selecting one of the 11 pre-programmed espresso drink options was easy to do with the rotary dial. You are even able to customize the four drinks featured on the homepage. Coffee literally at the touch of a button!Jura Impressa F8

One common complaint about super-automatics is the strength of the shots they produce. The Jura Impressa F8 has a feature that helps remedy this problem. The variable brew chamber allows you to brew anywhere from 5 to 16 grams of coffee. So if you are looking for a strong cup of coffee, set that puppy to 16 and hang on tight!

We also love the hot water option on this espresso machine. Something that you don’t always find on a superautomatic espresso machine. Now you can start your day with an americano or maybe a spot of tea! The choice is yours :)

Watch our full Crew Review video below to see all the features and watch Gail brew up a drink! And while you are at it, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here!

Comparison: French Presses

With so many French Presses to choose from, which one do you choose! Well, we decided to help you out and compare three of the most popular French Presses out there!

In our three way comparison we took a closer look at the Hario Olive Wood Double Walled French Press, the Frieling Insulated Stainless Steel French Press and the Bodum Brazil French Press. So let’s jump right into it!

French PressesThe Hario French Press has a great look to it. It reminded us of the classic Chemex, with it’s glass and wood design. The double wall will help keep your coffee hotter, longer. However, we don’t recommend leaving your coffee grounds in contact with your brewed coffee for any extended period of time as it will result in over extracted coffee. The Hario brews up 400ml of coffee.

If you like stainless steel, then the Frieling might be your choice out French Pressesof these French Presses. The Frieling comes in multiple sizes, from an 8 ounce pot all the way up to a 44 ounce pot. You know, for a crowd!

The Bodum French Press is the best press if you are on a budget. It is not double walled, like the other French Pressestwo French Presses in this line up, but it still brews up a mighty fine cup of coffee. The handle for this French Press is easy andcomfortable to grab. Be sure to check out the 4 color options as well!

Watch the video below for the full Crew Review Comparison! Still not subscribed to our YouTube channel? Click here to subscribe!




Crew Review: Rocket Espresso Boxer

The Rocket Espresso Boxer commercial espresso machines are the latest set of machines that have impressed us. The Rocket Espresso Boxer comes in a one group version and a two group version, perfectly suited for any volume.

Rocket Espresso takes pride in their finished design, keeping with their iconic contemporary look for these machines. The stainless steel and aluminum finish will look great in any environment and truly give your customers something to look at.

Both machines come with two cooltouch stainless steel steam wands. Something you won’t find on many one group machines. The steaming power on these machines won’t disappoint either. Be sure to check out the Crew Review videos below for a demonstration of the steaming capabilities!

Both Rocket Espresso Boxer models have microprocessor controlled electronics, allowing you to program your drinks volumetrically. The Boxer 1 group allows for four individual volumes to be programmed, while the Boxer 2 group allows for up to eight different volumes. The Rocket Espresso Boxer also has a manual switch to bypass all the electronic programming. This is a great feature that will keep your down time to minimum, should your electronics ever fail.

Be sure to watch the full Crew Reviews below! Have any questions? Connect with our commercial team here.



Comparison: 3 Different Espresso Machines

So 3 different espresso machines walk into a coffee bar. A semiautomatic, a superautomatic, and a hybrid. The barista asks, “What’s so special about you?” (referring to the hybrid).  To which Gail responds, let me tell you!

Ok, maybe we should stick to just drinking coffee and leave the jokes to the professionals. Either way, in our quest to demystify the Breville Oracle, the hybrid espresso machine, we decided to compare it to a semiautomatic and a superautomatic so that we can show off what it encompasses from both families.

3 different espresso machinesThe Rocket Giotto Premium Plus with PID is our semiautomatic in this comparison. A classic heat exchanger machine with an E-61 brew head. The steam power on this machine is excellent, but the home barista will need to practice in order to get the perfect milk for their lattes.

3 different espresso machinesThe Breville Oracle is similar to the Rocket Giotto in that they both have a full sized 58mm portafilter. But what makes the Oracle more like a superautomatic is the internal grinder and tamper. The oracle allows you to adjust the tamp pressure and dosage, but the control you have is still limited when compared to the Rocket.

The Saeco Exprelia Evo, our superautomatic in the lineup, features 3 different espresso machinesboth an auto milk system and a traditional steam wand. The Oracle also has an auto milk system, but we think it acts more like a traditional steam wand than anything. On the Oracle, you can adjust the temperature you want your milk to get to as well as your desired foam amount.

Watch our full comparison video below to learn more about these three espresso machines. Which one is the best fit for you?



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!