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!

 

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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!

 

Morning Maintenance: Setting Up The CC1

Congratulations! It looks like you just got yourself a Crossland CC1. We are excited for you (and maybe even a little jealous!)Crossland CC1

The Crossland CC1 is an excellent choice for the home barista. It features a PID system that is built right into the interface. This is a feature you won’t find on any other machine with this price point. One of the biggest complaints espresso enthusiasts have about other machines at this level is the temperature variance. But you won’t need to worry, since you have this PID to keep your temperature under control!

Once you get your CC1 out of the box, all you need to do is program your PID and then brew away! In the Morning Maintenance video below, Gail will go over how to program your PID’s brew temp, pre-infusion time, wait time and brew time. It is an easy process to master, and can result in some delicious espresso!

Watch the full video below!

 

 

Saeco Pure Replaces The Odea!

Saeco PureIt is time for another hand off in the Saeco Espresso Machine line up! This time we say good-bye to the Odea while opening our arms to the Saeco Pure!

The Saeco Pure has larger capacities and faster warm up times all inside a design that is slimmer and lighter! Which is a long way to say, the Saeco Pure is an awesome new machine. One that anybody will enjoy.

Here are some of the stats of these two machines side by side:

Saeco Pure Saeco Odea
Width 8.5 inches 10.5 inches
Depth 16.75 inches 15.5 inches
Height 13 inches 14 inches
Bean Capacity 8.8 ounces 6.3 ounces
Reservior Capacity 60.8 ounces 51 ounces
Warm Up Time 1:15 1:30
Boiler Design Single Boiler ThermoBlock
Weight 17 pounds 45 pounds

 

We think the Saeco Pure makes an excellent entry level superautomatic espresso machine. It is super simple to use and to maintain. And since it sits at an excellent price point,  it’s a great place for someone to step into the wonder world that is home espresso :)

Check out the full comparison in the video below! Have any questions? Leave them in the comment section on YouTube and we will be happy to answer!

 

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Musica

Do you hear that thumbing beat off in the distance? It sounds like a disco! Oh wait, it’s just Gail brewing up some shots on the Nuova Simonelli Musica. Of course!Nuova Simonelli Musica

Thats right, it’s a fresh Crew Review of the Nuova Simonelli Musica, part espresso machine part life of the party. The Nuova Simonelli Musica is a stylish looking machine, but it isn’t all about the looks. The insides of this machine really pack a punch.

It is a heat exchanger machine, which ensures that each espresso shot is brewed at a consistent temperature to give you the best tasting shot possible. It also allows you to brew and steam your milk at the same time, something that isn’t possible on single boiler machines.

And speaking of steam, this machine will surely impress. The design of the steam knob is actually not a knob at all. It is a slider that you can move up and down and can lock to stay on. We were really impressed with this design and the power of the stream. Get ready cappuccino, here we come!

The Musica comes with a professional 58mm portafilter so you can really show off to your friends. And if you are looking for POD compatibility, you are in luck because with a simple adapter kit you can turn your Musica into an  E.S.E. pod-based device for easy coffee production.

All in all, we really like this machine. Be sure to watch the full Crew Review of it below before heading over to our YouTube channel and subscribing!