Category Archives: Accessories

Crew Review: Bonavita Travel Kettle

If you’re looking for a traveling companion for your spring break plans, then you need the Bonavita Travel Kettle! Whether you’re traveling within the US or to Europe, this series has got you covered with the Bonavita Dual Voltage Travel Kettle and Bonavita Mini Travel Kettle.

In this Crew Review, Gail wants to see which one will brew faster. Which one do you think will win? Find out by watching the video below or continue reading. Ready. Set. Go!

Bonavita_Mini_Travel_Kettle

Here are some stats to help you guess which one will win. Both kettles hold half a liter of water despite the different heights (you can see the Dual Voltage is taller). They both auto shut-off once it’s boiling to save the heating element from burning out—a must-have when traveling because who wants that added stress?

The real differences come down to the power. The Dual Voltage model features a 700-watt heating element for fast boiling. This travel kettle model, though, can switch from 120 to 220 voltages, which is great for traveling in Europe. It doesn’t come with a converter plug-in so you’ll have to grab one of those separately.

The Mini is built for traveling within the US. Its itty-bitty size is packed with 900-watts for boiling super fast (no spoilers! You’ll know the winner soon enough). Its smaller size takes up less real estate in an office or suitcase and as long as you only need it for US travels, it’s a great little companion!

Time’s up!

The winner is the Mini Travel Kettle!

The Mini boiled the fastest at four minutes with the Dual Voltage right behind it at about five minutes. So what you’d really want to look for in these travel kettles is how often you’ll need the dual voltage.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Crew Review! Subscribe to our YouTube channel to discover new products and learn how they work.

Ask Gail: What Is My Superautomatic Bypass Doser Scoop Size?

“Help! I lost my bypass doser! What do I do now?”

Don’t worry, Gail is here to save the day! Check out the full video below and drop us a comment on our YouTube channel if you got a question for the next episode of Ask Gail.  

The quick and easy answer is to buy another scoop. Or, if you’re in a pinch, you can use a tablespoon to replace your missing scoop!

coffee_espresso_scoop_dual

On most superautomatics, like Saeco and DeLonghi, you want to put one tablespoon or 10 grams of pre-ground coffee into the bypass doser. On a Jura, it’s about two tablespoon or 14 grams of pre-ground coffee. Make sure to only put one scoop in for each brew! Too much coffee will clog up your brew unit.

The beauty of the bypass doser is you can quickly switch coffee types and specialities without having to remove all the beans from the hopper. Need decaf in the evening? Use decaffeinated pre-ground coffee or even grind whole beans for a quick decaf espresso.

If you’re grinding whole beans, make sure to use an espresso grind setting. If you’ve never used a bypass doser, the brewing process is the same but without using the built-in grinder on your superautomatic. Pro tip: Even though you’re skipping the built-in grinder, you still don’t want to use a dark, oily bean. The bypass doser still drops the grounds into the brew unit and that can get clogged up with oils.

Coffee Collaboration: A Stovetop Americano (Plus Half & Half!)

We’re calling this recipe, courtesy of Asher, a Stovetop Americano! Flavorful, stout and full-bodied, this brew makes one delicious cup we’ll be making for a while! Let’s get started on replicating this hot drink right in your home.

Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Ingredients & Equipment:

Instructions:

  1. Fill up your kettle with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Have 25 grams of freshly ground or pre-ground coffee ready
  3. Once the water is boiling, fill up the stove top chamber with it. Leave the hot water boiling.
  4. Add 25 grams of pre-ground coffee into coffee chamber.
  5. Carefully screw on the top of the stovetop (it’ll be hot!) and place it on the stove to boil. You’ll notice it start to brew quickly, so don’t walk away! It took us about 45 seconds to percolate.
  6. Now comes the fun! When the stovetop is done, pour 95 grams of the freshly brewed stove top coffee into your mug, then clear the scale and add 135 grams of hot water in, too.
  7. Add your shot of half and half and enjoy!

We’re always taking new coffee recipes. Leave your recipe in the comments on YouTube!

Tips & Tricks:

Add some extra hot water to reduce the concentration of coffee or if you like it stout, add less.

Crew Review: OXO Glass Electric Kettle

They say a watched pot never boils. But boy how they were wrong! We got our hands on the latest from OXO, Clarity their Glass Electric Kettle.Glass Electric Kettle

This is a huge kettle, holding 1.75 liters of water! That’s a whole lot of tea or coffee. We were really impressed how fast a full kettle came to a boil. In our testing this Glass Electric Kettle from OXO brought room temperature water to a boil in seven and a half minutes! Once the water is brought up to a boil the kettle automatically turns itself off, so not only is this fast but also very safe.

The Glass Electric Kettle is considered cordless because the base separates from the kettle itself. The handle has a great grip which makes for a very easy pour. We enjoyed how much control we felt we had when lifting the kettle while it was full of hot water. Two thumbs up in that department!

All in all, this is a great kettle for everything from tea to french press coffee and everything in between!  Be sure to check out the full Crew Review video below to hear all the features and see this kettle in action!

 Want to subscribe to our YouTube channel? We post daily videos from Crew Reviews to coffee experiments! All in the name of a better cup of coffee! Click here to subscribe! 

Crew Review: Spressa Mezzo Manual Lever Kit for AeroPress

*whew* Long name, awesome purpose! The Spressa Mezzo is an ingenious creation, dreamed up by some folks right spressa-2here in Seattle, that brings an ease to Aeropress coffee preparation. How so?

Well, it all starts with a flat box being shipped to you, ready for Ikea-style assembly (don’t worry, the Spressa Mezzo is quite easy to put together, unlike that 75 piece dresser you bought last year). This little buddy, which is built with sustainable wood products, comes together to provide you with much needed plunger leverage.

So what are you waiting for? Watch Gail’s video review, save your precious arms from a workout and pretty up your Aeropress setup!

Ask Gail: Does the Brew Basket with Manual Drip Stop Work on the Technivorm Grand?

This is a very valid question, indeed!

Before answering the question, however, let’s talk about why you might wish to use the Technivorm Brew Basket with Manual Drip-Stop. There are really two potential reasons you may wish to use a different basket with the Technivorm Grand:

  1. You want to brew less than a full pot of coffee
  2. You want to use normal #4 filters rather than purchasing the Technivorm Grand flat bottom filters

Do either of these scenarios fit you? Then you’re in luck, because you can indeed switch out the baskets! You will need a few other products (spray arm, brew basket lid and, of course, the brew basket with manual drip-stop), so keep this in mind. Alright, let’s watch that video!

Spressa + Aeropress Giveaway!

We’re celebrating the launch of SCG Rewards with a lot of caffeine and a giveaway! What kind of giveaway, you may ask? Well, the kind that includes all spressa-2the loot listed below:

Want to win it all? Head on over to Facebook and tell us how winning this giveaway, and the sweet products contained within said giveaway, will make you a better person (Will it give you x-ray vision? Will it help you stay awake during class, allowing you to earn a passing grade?)!

We’ll announce the winner on Friday, so stay tuned!

In-Depth Look: Philips Airfryer

You may have noticed recently that our website has been sporting a new addition that doesn’t quite fit in with our normal caffeine-centric product lineup: The Philips Airfryer!

How did this little marvel of cooking technology make its way to SCG? The answer lies in our Philips Airfryerawesome refurbishing department! We’ve worked with Saeco for years as their main refurbishing partner, decreasing the amount of sweet caffeine-producing machines that make their way to landfills – we love the environment! – and passing on slashed prices to the masses.

As such, Philips, owner of Saeco, approached us recently to do the same thing for their new Airfryer. Once we tried it, we knew we couldn’t resist adding these fellas to our refurbishing line. I mean, the fries that come out of this thing are insane(ly good)!

So, how does it work? Simply place your food in the basket, set the temperature and timer, then wait. Depending on what you’re cooking up, you may need to shake the basket about halfway through to ensure evenness, but it’s pretty darn foolproof! Also, if you’re using frozen fries, oil actually drips off of them during the cooking process, so…you’re kind of making them healthier for you. (And yes, this is how we justify using it several times per week.)

You can even make grilled cheese, fish and cakes in record time. We’re talking 10-15 minutes for a cake! We haven’t made every dish on it yet, but the recipe book is pretty mouth watering, and we’ll be posting some coffee cake videos just as soon as we can find the flour and sugar.

We know you’re at least a little, if not a lot, interested at this point. So what are you waiting for? Go check the Philips Airfryer out!

Giveaway: Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale

Have you seen this beauty of a scale? If Apple made a coffee scale, we’re pretty sure it would look just like the Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale. Clean lines, easy to use and bluetooth connectivity for sending data to and from the accompanying app.

Acaia Coffee ScaleThe Acaia scale features an LED display, which displays the weight and times your brew cycle. It also has touch-sensitive buttons, so as not to detract from the scale’s sleek design, and a whole slew of settings.

So, imagine how excited we are that wheniwork.com reached out to us to host a giveaway of the Acaia scale! An employee scheduling software, When I Work has been partnering with coffee shops on their scheduling needs and heard about Seattle Coffee Gear through the grapevine…which leads us to this Acaia giveaway ($129 value)! Simply visit our Seattle Coffee Gear Facebook page and enter by commenting on the giveaway post with how you would use the scale. Easy peasy!

We’ll announce winners tomorrow (Friday, January 9th) morning, so hurry on over and make your entry!

Crew Review: Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade

Saeco BottomlessSaeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter UpgradeOftentimes when we find an espresso machine or coffee maker that allows us to make a cup of coffee exactly the way we like it, we use the machine until it no longer works for us. Only then do we then consider upgrading to a different model. However, that is not to say we won’t improve upon the machine while it’s still in our hot little hands when given the chance. Not only does this make the coffee the machine produces better, but it also might allow us to hang on to the espresso machine a little while longer. Luckily, we were afforded this opportunity with a few of our tried and true espresso makers and were able to create a Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade that will work on machines like the Via Venezia and Aroma.

We were really excited that we here at Seattle Coffee Gear were able to develop an upgrade (that’s right you won’t find them anywhere else) for some of our favorite Saeco machines. The nice thing about this upgrade is that since the Aroma and Via Venezia already come with a pressurized portafilter, adding a non-pressurized portafilter increases the functionality of this machine. With the pressurized portafilter that comes with these machines you have the ability to use pre-ground in your machine, as the portafilter will compensate for the grind not being perfect. This will be your easy-peasy approach with no tamping necessary. In addition, with the non-pressurized portafilter you now also have the ability to get in touch with the barista side of your coffee experience and play around with the grind and flavors of coffee, which can be the most enjoyable part of espresso.

What is even better is we didn’t just create one non-pressurized portafilter upgrade for these machines; we created two. In addition to the standard Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade, we also created a Bottomless Portafilter Upgrade for Saeco Machines as well. The bottomless portafilter is truly a great teaching tool, as you see your shot as it comes out of the portafilter. If you have done everything correctly, you will see your coffee first start to dispense around the edges of the portafilter, then form into a cone in the middle. On the other hand, if your coffee starts coming out on the side, or does anything else, that means you have fractures or channeling in your puck. All is not lost if this happens, part of the learning process is trying again and seeing if you can adjust your technique to get a better shot the next time around.

To use these Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrades on your machine, all you have to do is pop out the basket from your pressurized portafilter and put into one of the non-pressurized portafilters and you are good to go. Keep in mind that when you use these non-pressurized portafilters you have to be really in tune with the grind of the coffee. As such, you will want to a get good grinder and 53 mm tamper to complete your setup, which you can do fairly inexpensively. Ultimately, adding a non-pressurized portafilter to your Saeco setup is a great option if you are interested in upgrading to a fancier semi-auto and want to see what you are getting into. Or, perhaps you are enjoying your Aroma or Via Venezia but want to start trying to make the same drinks your favorite barista has been making at your local coffee stand. Speaking of brewing like a pro, check out as Gail shows off her barista skills while she and Brendan explore all the options these non-pressurized portafilters provide.