Introduction to the Curtis G4 CGC Single Cup Brewer

During Seattle’s edition of Coffee Fest, we were lucky enough to meet with Brant Curtis, who showed us the ins and outs of their new single cup brewer, the G4 CGC. Designed for gourmet brewing tailored to your roaster’s specifications, this coffee maker enables you to brew delicious drip coffee on demand — an excellent option for businesses that don’t want to brew up a full pot.

Watch as Brant leads us through the features and specs, then demonstrates functionality by brewing a cup for Gail to enjoy.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso-Infused Vegetarian Gravy

Just work with us here.

Brandi doesn’t eat meat and she’s not a fan of mushrooms, so how can she produce a delicious gravy that has depth of flavor, great consistency and will stand up well to a lovely mash? By incorporating espresso, of course!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 garlic cloves — minced
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 – 2 cups of vegetable broth (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Directions

  1. Over medium heat, warm olive oil and then add onions and garlic; saute until onion is translucent.
  2. Add espresso and stir to incorporate.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and add the flour, mixing well to create a roux.
  4. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth while whisking at the same time. Continue adding broth until the gravy has reached your desired thickness and consistency.
  5. Allow the gravy to cook on low heat for a few minutes while all of the flavors combine.
  6. Finish with sage, salt and pepper to taste.

Compare: Breville YouBrew (Glass) vs. Technivorm

When Breville’s YouBrew was first released, we weren’t in love with the grinding functionality. Of course, we’re crazy when it comes to high concentrations of coffee particles suspended in our water, so a ton of people loved its grind and brew functionality without issue. With the recent release of their glass carafe version, Breville has tweaked the grinder and improved the consistency and dosage functionality to produce a stronger cup. So, of course, we had to put it to the taste test!

In this video, we brew up batches of java on the Technivorm and on the YouBrew, then ask our trusty crewmates to taste them and give us their opinion on which they prefer. Find out which coffee maker — if any — prevailed!

Crew Review: Durgol Descaling Solution

If espresso machines had a kryptonite, it would be scale build-up. This silent killer will degrade your machine’s performance over time — inhibiting steam performance, disabling valve functionality so that leaking begins and, eventually, contributing to boiler burn out. Your options in battling it are to use a filtration system, softener or a combination thereof … or to just plan on regularly descaling the machine.

One descaling solution on the market is the liquid formula produced by Durgol. Available in two different formats — one for coffee makers and one for espresso machines — these are very effective and easy to use solutions. Watch as Gail talks to us about their formulation and then demonstrates how to use it on the Saeco Aroma.

Compare: Saeco Poemia & Saeco Aroma

If your kitchen counter space is at a premium, an espresso machine with a small footprint is likely your first consideration. Saeco’s Poemia and Aroma models are great options to consider, as they pack a lot of simple functionality into a relatively small punch.

Watch Gail talk us through their features, how they compare and why you might choose one over the other. Then she demonstrates making a cappuccino on each so you can see them in action.

What it is!

Kaffeologie: Offering Sustainable Stainless Steel Filters

We’re featuring one of our favorite new products in our semi-regular Flash Sale this weekend, so thought we’d delve a little into its manufacturer: Kaffeologie.

Initially on the search for something to improve the flavor of their beloved french press coffee, founders Nate Jones and John Custer created the Coffee Catcher in 2009. This little gadget removed more silt from the coffee press, but wasn’t as popular as they would have liked.

‘We have the competency of working with stainless steel mesh,’ said Jones. But he wondered ‘if there are any other products  in coffee that need that?’ Fortunately for them, they discovered that their talent for creating reusable filters gained more traction with folks who enjoy pour over coffee preparations like the Chemex, Hario V60 and AeroPress.

By following this new direction and expanding from french press to pour overs, Jones and Custer have seen their company thrive. Based on customer input and a desire to produce the best quality stainless steel filters available, they completely redesigned their model for the AeroPress, the S Filter, which was produced in part by funding through the community site KickStarter.

‘We’ve connected to customers and have found a lot of folks who shop with us just want a better cup of coffee,’ Jones said. Stay tuned for more awesome filters for your favorite coffee preps coming from these Seattle-based designers.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Daiquiri

Given the mas fuerte state of this week’s recipe, we learn what happens when Brandi isn’t brewin’ up booze-infused concoctions on the regular: She schools us! This cocktail is not for the faint of heart — or stomach — so venture only if you have a deep love of rum drinks, straight up.

Ingredients

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well to combine. Serve straight up in a chilled martini glass.

Compare: Technivorm vs. Behmor Brazen Brew

We love innovations in the coffee makin’ world, so when Joe Behm talked to us about his new Brazen coffee maker, we were super excited to test this baby out against our tried and true: The Technivorm!

Watch as Gail brews up batches on these two coffee makers, then our trusty crew mates give us their opinion on which they prefer. One thing’s for sure: Yummy coffee was definitely had by all.

Cooking with Kaylie: Wafflegato

We’ve all heard of an affogato: Drop a scoop of ice cream in a glass and pull a shot over it. Delicious and refreshing!Wafflegato

However, it has very little to do with combining food and coffee, which is my overarching mission in life. So, what would you say if I told you I recently made a wafflegato?

Your first question might be, ‘What’s a wafflegato?’ Well, it’s basically an affogato with the added amazingness of a Belgian waffle. Mmmm-hmmmm, I went there!

Ingredients

Directions

  • Place a large scoop of ice cream into a glass (I like the larger Bodum glasses for this, as it gives some room for the waffle!).
  • Pull 2 shots directly into the glass, over the ice cream.
  • Drizzle with caramel sauce and situate the waffle into the cup.

Now use your waffle to soak up some of that delicious espresso and ice cream mixture.

I’m very proud to say that I’ve finally busted down the stigma surrounding eating ice cream for breakfast. Waffles and espresso somehow make it all okay … in my head, at least!

Bonavita Extravaganza!

In support of a bunch of fun new gear they’re releasing over the next few months, Bonavita‘s main engineer, Brian, visited with Gail to show ‘em off. Watch as they talk through a few different products aimed toward pour over coffee lovers. The Bonavoyage Travel Kettle has already hit the market and the other goodies will land during the winter of 2012.

Bonavita Bonavoyage Travel Kettle

Bonavita Porcelain Immersion Brewer

Bonavita Pour Over Stand & Dripper

Bonavita Pour Over Scale