Compare: Rancilio Rocky vs. Breville Smart Grinder – Redux!

Compare - Rancilio Rocky vs. Breville Smart GrinderLooking for a budget-conscious burr grinder that’s suitable for traditional espresso preparation? Consider the feature-laden Breville Smart Grinder or the robust, commercial-grade Rancilio Rocky. Both have great consistency and a wide grind range, so you can use them for anything from espresso to coffee press.

Watch Gail as she takes us through their features and functionality, then shows us how they compare, grind-wise.


Brewin’ with Brandi: Tea-Time Lemonade

Tea-Time LemonadeWe really wish that summer would actually come by Seattle and stay awhile. We really, really, really, really wish it would. But every year, we find ourselves in the same disappointed place … so you’d think we’d be used to it by now, right? Wrong! Why accept the reality of lackluster summers in the Pacific Northwest when you can use it as a prime opportunity to complain about the lackluster summers of the Pacific Northwest?

One method in which we register our surlitude is to craft deliciously refreshing beverages that we know would be amazing to sip under the hot sun as we work through the ol’ mini-golf course. And even though we have to don our rain jackets and most of our hazards are actually mud puddles, you know that we will be sipping this lovely Arnold Palmer-inspired drink this weekend … and you should, too.



Brew the tea hot and then allow it to cool down. You can then either combine everything in a cocktail shaker and shake well to incorporate, or simply pour everything over ice and stir it in. Enjoy!

Tasting: Rishi Teas

Rishi TeaWe’ve been crushing hard on the wide array of loose leaf Rishi Teas that we’ve added recently; in fact, there is nary a moment when someone isn’t enjoying a mug of Blueberry Rooibos or Earl Grey around these parts.

Their high quality tea leaves blended with care, their flavorful infusions of fruits and herbs, their creative take on well-known classics … the list of reasons to love Rishi Tea goes on. But don’t take our word for it! Watch as Jessica, Rachel, Sam and Shiami taste our current selection and give their thoughts on how delicious their deliciousness truly is.

Episode One – Green Teas, featuring Sencha, Jasmine Green, Jasmine Pearl, Jade Cloud and Pu-Erh Ginger teas

Episode Two – Black & White Teas, featuring Masala Chai, China Breakfast, Earl Grey and Silver Needle teas

Episode Three – Herbal Teas, featuring Cinnamon Plum, Chamomile Medley and Blueberry Rooibos teas

Hot Blog on Blog Action: We’re Back!

Kerry Park SeattleWant to know what’s on our collective mind? Much like the Borg we are single-minded in the pursuit of … coffee! Here’s where we comb the interwebs and report back to you on the the weird and the wonderful coffee-related things we find.  After a three-year hiatus, our highly curated and highly subjective links to the coffee blogosphere return with a vengeance.

If you want a daily dose, we spill the beans about Bacon Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s coffee date with David Letterman and other items of caffeinated interest on:

Crew Review: Curtis WB5GT Digital Hot Water Dispenser

Curtis WB5GT Hot Water DispenserWith the rise in popularity of pour over bars in cafes all over the world, delivering high volumes of hot water at a specific temperature can be a bit of a challenge. Similarly, tea houses need to be cognizant of the different ideal brew temps for the variety of teas they sell, and using traditional kettles doesn’t always meet a business’ needs.

That’s where an awesome hot water tower like the WB5GT by Curtis comes in. With its programmable temperature, five gallon water tank and agitation pump (which provides continuous aeration so that your water never tastes stagnant or stale), you can brew cup after cup of delicious coffee or tea without waiting for the kettle to boil.

Watch Brandon take us through all of its features and demonstrate its functionality.


Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Appia Semi-Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Nuova Simonelli AppiaAnother commercial-class espresso machine that will perform well in a medium-paced business is the Appia by Nuova Simonelli. Available in both semi-automatic and automatic/volumetric formats, the Appia is simple and straight forward and certain to keep up with you.

Watch as Brandon takes us on a tour of the semi-auto version, going over its features and specs and then demonstrating how well it performs.

Workshops @ Seattle Coffee Gear: Camp-Friendly Gear – June 30th

Camp-Friendly GearLooking for some inspiration for your on-the-go java making this summer? Join us for an in-store workshop to learn more about some of our favorite camp-friendly gear, including:

What: Using coffee from Middle Fork Roasters, we’ll demonstrate a few coffee preparations, then you’ll have the chance to play with them yourself to determine the best setup for your needs
Where: Our retail store – 6911 216th St SW, Suite A, Lynnwood WA 98036
When: Sunday, June 30th, at 11:30am
Why: Because you love drinking coffee and want to do it while you’re hiking, camping or glamping
How: Let us know you’re coming by sending us an email or giving us a call at 866.372.4734

We’re also offering 15% off the featured products and 10% off the entire store to all workshop attendees on the day of the event. So come on by, try out some new gear and get a smokin’ deal! We look forward to brewing with you. :)

How-To: SCG’s Tune-up Kits for the Saeco Via Venezia & Aroma

SCG's Parts KitsBack in our wayward youth, we purchased a motorized moon buggy for one of our brothers’ birthdays. After a few days of running it all over sand, grass, asphalt, linoleum and the spongy, pine needle-infused earth of the forest, his curiosity got the best of him: How did it work? To find out, he took it apart and meticulously laid out each tiny component on the table, then spent a couple of hours examining them, playing with where and how they fit, experimenting with how they interacted — or didn’t — with each other. Then it was time to put it back together again … and that’s when everything went a little bit sideways.

This story isn’t particularly unique; sure, it may reference a cheap plastic toy from the ’80s, but we’ve all heard of (or been personally involved with) situations in which someone decided to take the mechanical bull by the horns — literally — and lost. It’s super easy to take things apart, but the skill of a true engineer comes forth when it’s time to put it all back together again.

Preventative maintenance on your Saeco Via Venezia or Aroma includes a semi-regular replacement of some of the brew head components — the gasket, screen, anti-suction valve and more. But taking it apart and putting it back together again can seem daunting to some, and we want to allay your fears! Not only do we have parts kits with step-by-step instructions for each of these machines, we’ve made this guided video, courtesy of our parts guru Brendan. Check it out to see how easy it is to replace these well-worn parts — we promise you won’t have a non-functioning moon buggy at the end of it all.

How-To: SCG’s Tune-up Kit for the Rancilio Silvia

Rancilio SilviaPicture it: You have the day off, you wake up earlier than usual and lie in bed for awhile, staring up at the ceiling fan, which gently lulls your thoughts with its rhythmic whir … What will you do with the day? Where will you go? Should you finish that book you’ve been reading? Take the dog/cat/potbelly pig/chinchilla for a stroll? Help a pal with an errand that would be 4589% more enjoyable with a cohort? How will you design your perfect day?

Might we suggest that you first fire up your trusty Rancilio Silvia and prepare a delectable shot of espresso over which you may ruminate? Might we also suggest that, if that shot isn’t tasting as delectable as it used to, you consider performing a thorough tune up on your machine before doing anything else with your day? To facilitate this, we’ve produced this how-to video featuring one of the coolest cats in the espresso tech game, B. Swenson!

With that complete, perhaps it’s time to sip sangria in the park?