Testing: Shot Blonding

Should you calibrate your shots to a specific timing duration or should you pull them until the coffee starts to blonde? We play around with blonding using Lavazza Super Crema on the GS/3 to see how blonding affects the shot’s overall flavor.

Do you experiment with blonding? We’d love to hear your experiences — please share!

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread

Get a double whammy of java when you pair this decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread with your favorite caffeinated drink. Great for breakfast, an afternoon snack or an after dinner treat, indulge yourself in it’s buttery goodness.

Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Shortbread


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee (or finely ground espresso beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, to drizzle)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, espresso and salt. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add nuts; blend until finely chopped.
  • Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Knead just until dough comes together.
  • Divide dough in half and press each into an 8″ or 9” round cake pan, or tart pan with removable bottom. If you like, press around the edge with the tines of a fork.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set. Cool on a wire rack, then cut each shortbread round into 12 wedges.
  • Makes about two dozen wedges.

Recipe: Dinner with Julie

How To: Saeco Xelsis Maintenance

Cleanliness is next to godliness — or so we’ve read, anyway. But even heathens should remain committed to a tidy espresso machine because roughly 80% of the machines we repair come to us due to lack of regular maintenance.

In this episode of Keep it Clean(tm), Gail walks us through the regular maintenance and care tips for the Saeco Xelsis one touch superautomatic.

Gear Testing: Zojirushi Water Boiler

Based on a customer recommendation (who swears by this as his go-to for making his daily Americanos with his Saeco Italia), we brought in a demo to try it out with different coffee and tea cups. We didn’t test how it performs with cup noodle, but it explicitly states in the user manual that it’s perfect for that, so we’ll take their word on that (for now).

Watch Gail go through its basic features and test it for pour over, Americano, press pot and tea.

Recipe: EcoNectar

Whether you’re celebrating Earth Day or Easter this weekend, boozy libations should most probably be involved — agreed? Agreed. This cocktail is a fresh, herbal fruit fusion that is a spirited way to celebrate spring.



  1. Fill glass with ice
  2. Add gin & syrup, squeeze in lime
  3. Finish with tonic water and stir
  4. Garnish with lime + mango slice optional
  5. Toast the blooms!

Crew Review: Capresso EC100

While our deep love for the Rocket Cellini is endless and binding, we do appreciate that not everyone has $2k to drop on their home espresso setup and they’d still like to make a rockin’ cup of joe in the morning. The Capresso EC100 is a small semi-automatic espresso machine that features stainless steel finishes and flexible brewing options — although, we did learn that you’ll need to use smaller sized pods for these if that’s the route you want to take … 40mm vs. the standard ESE.

Watch Gail take us through the features and demo its functionality.