E.S.E. Pod Tasting – Redux!

ESE PodsIt had been awhile since we fired up a pod-friendly espresso machine and gave the ESE pods their day in the sun. So Bunny grabbed the Saeco Poemia and a selection of pods from illy (Medium Roast, Dark Roast, Decaf) and Caffe Umbria (Gusto Crema, Mezzanotte Decaf), then we got to tasting. Interested in finding out how these ultra-tidy little dudes perform? Watch them in action!


Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Gelato

While the sun keeps playing hide and seek with us here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re pretty sure that the rest of the you are having a hot and summery blast right now! Well, if you’re on this side of the equator, that is.

What better way to beat the heat than with a cool and delectable treat? Check out this super easy gelato recipe, courtesy of Brandi and Breville’s rockin’ Smart Scoop ice cream maker.



The Reluctant Barista: Finds Out the Saeco Intuita is a Super Hot Superauto

Saeco Intuita superautomatic espresso machineEveryone’s caffeine requirements vary. Coffee can be highly customized to your specific taste, which is one of the reasons why there are so many variations of coffee makers and espresso machines available today. In fact, there are so many, it is hard to know how to narrow the options to find the right machine for you.

When I’m considering the right machine for my personal needs, I like to start with my drink of choice: Not every espresso machine will accommodate my predilection for a hot hazelnut latte. Some superautomatic machines do not offer milk-steaming capability, which is great if your drink is an Americano, but you are out of luck if you want a Macchiato.

Next, I enjoy hot milk in my latte, around 160 degrees to be more precise. A common drawback to one-touch superautos is that often the milk does not get this hot. This works fine if you aren’t picky about your milk temp, but disappoints if you like your lattes hotter than the center of the sun (like me).

We just got the new Saeco Intuita superautomatic espresso machine in last week and I was curious to investigate where it fell in the spectrum of taste and versatility. Would the features meet my latte-making needs? At first glance the Intuita has a nice small footprint, a satin black retro color reminiscent of a 1980s tape deck and a selection of 6 backlit buttons to match. Fast forward to the good stuff: It also has a powerful panarello.

The cup clearance is such that I was able to steam milk and brew into my double wall glass mug. The panarello was so powerful I got a little out of control with milk splatters until I got the wand to the right depth in the cup. I stuck a drink thermometer in at the end and it measured a perfect 160 degrees. Then I set my cup under the spout and selected a double shot of espresso. With a splash of Monin Hazelnut Syrup I was able to craft my favorite beverage from start to finish in less than three minutes. Better yet, there was no clean up required except to wipe down the panarello with a damp cloth afterwards.

The Intuita is versatile enough to make a variety of beverages. With the combination of buttons you can have a single espresso, a double espresso, hot water for tea and milk-steaming with the panarello. This covers the basic elements needed for most drinks you’d care to make, and it does so with ease. While this machine lacks the high tech level of programmability and an LED screen others offer, the six buttons really do make the Intuita more intuitive. Consider this if you like the convenience of push button espresso with minimal cleanup and maintenance.

Crew Review: Saeco Intuita Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Saeco IntuitaThere is a special place in our heart for simplicity; what lack in brevity of speech we make up for in an appreciation of streamlined design. That’s probably why the new Saeco Intuita speaks to us, with its fine satin finish, easy-to-use button interface and unassuming way of dutifully getting the job done. And ‘the job,’ in this case, is making a latte — of course!

Watch as Gail guides us through an overview of the Intuita’s features and specs, then demonstrates its performance by making herself a latte.


Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric: Review, Internal Tour, Care and Maintenance

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II VolumetricAn incredibly popular machine for high production cafes, the Aurelia II Volumetric by Nuova Simonelli is built to keep up with long lines of latte-lovin’ customers. In this series of videos, our commercial sales manager, Brandon, guides us through everything from a straight-up functional and spec review to a detailed internal tour of the machine to best practice around maintenance and care. If you’re in the market for a machine for your business, the Aurelia II is definitely worth your consideration, and these videos lay down the groundwork for your research.

If you have more questions about these videos or need some guidance regarding the right equipment for your business, drop us a line!


Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric

Internal Tour of the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric Espresso Machine

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric Care & Maintenance

Brewin’ with Brandi: Spicy Mango Chelada

If there is a more lovely and refreshing drink to sip on the beaches of Mexico, we don’t want to hear about it!

Check out Brandi’s simple twist on the lovely chelada, incorporating a little mango yumminess!

Spicy Mango Chelada


  • 1 oz Monin Spicy Mango syrup
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • beer to taste (a lighter beer like a lager or pilsner is best suited to this drink)
  • ice


Fill a pint glass with ice, then add the syrup and lime juice. Pour in the beer and give it a quick stir. Enjoy!

Crew Review: Planetary Design Coffee Presses

Planetary Design Coffee PressesOne of the saddest moments in one’s life is when one accidentally drops their french press on the kitchen floor, only to watch it explode into millions of glass shards in what seems like slow motion. If you’re someone who suffers from early morning butter fingers, you know this pain all to well … and you might be in the market for a press that will withstand such a condition.

Enter the table top and travel presses from Planetary Design. These robust lil dudes will not shatter when dropped (we’re pretty sure they’ll bounce!) and will also stand up to the rough conditions of your car camping weekends. In this video, Gail shows us the different styles available.

Crew Review: Mazzer Kony Electronic Low RPM Commercial Burr Grinder

IMazzer Konyf you’re pulling tons of shots every day, investing in a high capacity espresso grinder will be one of the best decisions you ever made for your business — seriously. One of the more popular models that you often see in cafes is the Mazzer Kony E, which is a robust dude featuring a stainless steel conical burr set that is not messing around. It means business, and your business means business, and so it’s a business match made in business heaven.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this exceptional grinder works, watch Brandon’s video review; he talks to us about the grinder’s features, which cafes may be best suited for it and shows off its burr set. Then he demonstrates how well it grinds so you can see for yourself how fabulous your coffee grinding experience could be.