All posts by Kaylie

Tech Tips: Temperature Surfing on the Rancilio Silvia

Oh, Miss Silvia! A beloved home espresso machine among many a household, she can pull an Rancilio Silviaespresso shot like nobody’s business. However, like other single boiler espresso machines, you need to do a bit of temperature surfing after steaming your milk in order to get a quality shot of espresso. Unlike regular surfing, though, you don’t need to wear a bathing suit, so that’s pretty sweet.

Why do you need to temperature surf? Well, steam temperature is right around 212 degrees F, whereas brewing temperature is between 195-205 degrees F. If you steam your milk and jump immediately into the brewing process, you’re at far too hot a temperature for a tasty shot of espresso. Yes, it will still pull the shot, but there will be plenty of burned taste to be had!

Luckily, Gail and Brendan are here to walk us through the simple process in the video below. And let’s try to keep daydreaming about the beach to a minimum, shall we?

Brew Tips: How to Make a Macchiato

Sarah and Dori are back (at the same bat time on the same bat channel) and ready to share their cafe macchiatobrew tips with you! Up this time is the macchiato, but not the one drenched in caramel that you are accustomed to seeing in a big chain coffee shop. While, admittedly, those are delicious, this is an old fashioned foamed milk and espresso type o’ macchiato.

Composed of two parts espresso to one part foamed milk. And by “foamed milk” we really mean either the foam off the top of the milk or really, really well frothed milk. So milky coffee lovers may want to look at a cappuccino to get their espresso beverage fix!

How to Make a Macchiato

1)   Clear the extra water out of the steam wand.

2)   Follow our steps for frothing milk for a cappuccino (yes, even though you are making a macchiato) when preparing your milk.

3)   As you froth your milk, keep in mind that you should be expanding it quite a bit and incorporating in as much air as you can. Remember: We’re looking for that milk foam!

4)   Clean up that steam wand while you pull your espresso shot.

5)   Give your frothing pitcher a firm tap against the counter and swirl to incorporate the foam into the milk.

6)   For a macchiato with very foamed milk, pour the milk directly on top of the espresso shot. For a macchiato with a dollop of foam, let the milk sit for a minute to let it separate from the foam (or don’t tap and swirl initially) and then spoon a few tablespoons onto the espresso shot.

You can be as pro as Sarah and Dori, too. Just watch the video below and then follow the foolproof steps to macchiato mania!

Tech Tips: Plumbing in a Rocket Home Espresso Machine

We hear from customers quite frequently that directions for pluming in a Rocket Espresso machine are needed…desperately! We’re not going to lie, we’ve even heard from plumbers calling in on behalf of their customers, as they are in their homes trying to complete the installation. And, on more than one occasion, we’ve had stories recounted of multiple hardware store trips and a fair amount of frustration.

So we’re here to set the story straight: You don’t need a plumber to install your plumbed in machine. You don’t need to spend hours, or really more than 10-20 minutes, on the installation. Last, but not least, you certainly don’t need to suffer through sixteen trips to [insert name of your favorite hardware store]. What you do need is to watch the video below, which is a step-by-step walkthrough (with SCG’s very own repair technicians!) of how to plumb in your Rocket home espresso machine!

They’ll even explain how to disconnect the hoses, in case you need to remove the machine for a repair or relocation, and show you the steps for programming the PID to accept a direct connection the R58. Espresso lovers, unite!

Crew Review: Kuchenprofi Tea Products

Do you love tea? So does Kuchenprofi!Kuchenprofi Tea Timers

We’re going to skim over the Kuchenprofi Floating Tea Strainer because, well, it’s a tea strainer! We can say that it’s a really cool one that floats in your cup like a sea buoy (“Hey, I’m still here!”) and comes with a drip bowl to contain your post-brewing mess. If you want more details, and you know you do, then check out the video below!

Then there’s the real star of the show, at least in our eyes: Kuchenprofi Sand Tea Timer Set. Sure, you’re probably thinking that they look like the Scattergories timer that stares you down as you desperately try to think of vegetables that start with the letter ‘c’…but they’re so much more than that! Coming in a set of three, you’ll have a pretty timer for green, black and herbal teas. Say “goodbye” to over extracted tea and “hello” to a perfectly brewed spot o’ tea!

Tech Tips: Replacing a Steam Knob on a Saeco Via Venezia

The Saeco Via Venezia is one of our favorite machines. The perfect blend between affordable and sturdy, the Via Venezia has also proven to be a trooper in terms of longevity. With the most commonly replaced part on this machine being the steam knob, which Brendan demonstrates below to be easy peasy when using our Via Venezia Steam Knob Kit, you and your machine will enjoy many a year of great espresso together!

Interview with Behmor’s Joe Behm: Behmor 1600 Plus

Okay, we’re not going to lie, we’re pretty excited about a retrofittable coffee roaster. What do we mean by that? Well, if you would like to purchase the new Behmor 1600 Plus (more details on that below) then you totally can. But what if you purchased a Behmor 1600 and it’s still in perfectly good shape? Then you can purchase an upgrade panel, install it on your Behmor 1600 coffee roaster in 30 minutes to an hour, and get the functionality of the Behmor 1600 Plus!

If you purchase the Behmor 1600 Plus, or upgrade your Behmor 1600, you’ll be rewarded with more flexibility in your roasting. In addition to granting you access to a manual roasting mode, you can also cycle through the display during the roasting process to view temperature or press ‘D’ to double the speed of the drum and, ultimately, change the undertones of your coffee. There’s also an added safety feature that prompts you to interact with the roaster in order to continue. Trust us folks, it doesn’t take long for the roast to go from delicious to burned, so please don’t risk walking away from any roaster!

To get all of the details, watch the video below!

Interview with Behmor’s Joe Behm: Brazen Plus

The Behmor Brazen Brewer is back and better than ever in its newest iteration: brazen-brewerThe Behmor Brazen Plus Brew System.

With the wide variety of features from the first version still included, everything from pre-soak to altitude settings, the Brazen Plus has also improved and added to the original. For example, the updated carafe has a perfect pour and the gold-tone filter is now 15% larger to allow room for coffee blooming without overflow.

Joe Behm, the man behind Behmor, stopped by recently to chat with us about the Brazen Plus. Check out the video below to hear what Gail and Joe have to say about the new brewer!

SCG Alderwood Mall Store Update #1

Did you think we were done opening stores for the year? Not so fast, fellow coffee lovers! We’re happy to announce logo_full_color800x800the move of our Lynnwood, WA retail store to the Alderwood Mall. With a grand opening date of October 18th, we’re busily working away on getting it ready for its big debut!

Located just a few miles from our current Lynnwood store, and across the walkway from REI and Nordstrom, we’re super ridiculously excited about this new space!  You can bet that the store will be jam-packed full of amazing coffee and gear, plus an onsite service writer to check in ailing machines for a little TLC. Oh yeah, and did we mention the demo bar for coffee tastings and classes?

Watch below as Gail walks us through the new space and details her vision for displays aplenty!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Ice Cream in a Baggie

Let us just start off by saying that we realize there are more efficient ways to make ice cream.

Shaking It Up!

However, we believe this way may be the best. Why? Well, there are three things we really love about this recipe:

  • The ice cream is amazing
  • It’s a workout…seriously
  • Did we mention that the ice cream is amazing?

Plus, it really is (as Kaylie repeats over and over again) a science project. The freezing point of the ice is lowered when you add salt to the bag, meaning that the ice must absorb even more energy (heat!) from the ingredients than it would normally need to in order to melt. The more energy that’s absorbed from the ingredients, the colder the ingredients get and *voila!* ice cream is made.

So, yeah, don’t feel too bad about having your children shake you up a delicious ice cream treat. It’s a little like continuing their education through the summer months (or evenings or weekends…), yes?

Oh, and there will be water everywhere, so do this outside or in an uncarpeted area.

 

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 1 cup rock salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ shot of coffee concentrate (me made ours on the Toddy!)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Other Items

  • Gallon ziplock bag
  • Quart ziplock bag

Directions

  • Add ice to the gallon-sized bag until it is a little more than halfway full.
  • Pour the rock salt onto the ice and shake to mix.
  • In the quart-sized bag, add the sugar, coffee concentrate and heavy whipping cream. Mix lightly and then seal tightly, leaving a little bit of air in the bag.
  • Place the quart-sized bag into the bag filled with ice and seal.
  • Shake and shake and shake some more. Your muscles will burn like they’ve never burned before, but push through it! Shake for five minutes and then check the ice cream for consistency.
  • If the ice cream is still a bit too much on the liquid side, keep shaking. If it’s mostly solidified (remember, it won’t be frozen solid, it will just be more solid), then you’re good to go.
  • Remove the ice cream from its ice and salt bath, wipe off the bag and then eat it up!

Cooking with Kaylie: Mocha Brownie in a Mug

Mocha Brownie in a MugYou’ve probably all heard of the ‘cake in a mug’ trend going around. And, if you haven’t, you should really get in on this action.

Naturally, when I saw a brownie in a mug recipe, my brain replaced the word ‘water’ with ‘espresso’ and I was instantly in love! So, without further ado, I bring to you a gooey, chocolatey, espresso brownie in a mug!

Ingredients

Directions

  • Stir the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt into the mug.
  • Add the oil and water to the dry ingredients.
  • Mix thoroughly, being sure to eliminate any lumps of dry ingredients.
  • Microwave for 1-1.5 minutes, until the brownie is only slightly moist in the center.
  • Let sit for a few minutes before eating, as it will be very hot.

That’s right, my friends. You just made a mocha brownie and only dirtied one dish (unless you count a spoon as a dish but, let’s be honest, spoons are so small that they shouldn’t count!). You’re welcome!