*whew* Long name, awesome purpose! The Spressa Mezzo is an ingenious creation, dreamed up by some folks right here 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!
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!
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 awesome 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.
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.
The 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!
Oftentimes 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.
Oh, how we love a great scale! It’s the basis for a beautiful shot of espresso or a perfect pour over, as dosage of coffee to water has a huge impact on the outcome of your caffeine beverage of choice.
The Bonavita Electronic Scale not only meets the features a scale is pretty much required to (you know, weighing things properly), but it also is quite pretty. Look at that glass! Measuring accurately to .01 grams, the Bonavita Electronic Scale is now flying solo and can be purchased on its own versus just bundled with other Bonavita products.
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!
Want to ensure you stay on trend with your coffee making? Why not try pour over coffee? Manual coffee-making methods are becoming increasingly popular, you’ve probably seen them popping up in your favorite cafes and many coffee enthusiasts are using them at home as well. The nice thing about brewing with pour overs is that you have more control over the different variables (the grind, water temperature, length of the pour, etc.) that go into to making a cup of coffee so you can create your ideal cup of coffee. In addition, with a pour over, you can evenly extract your entire basket of coffee, which is big advantage. Oftentimes on drip machines the middle of your coffee will get extracted a lot more than the edges, which can impact the flavor. As result, pour over coffee is typically very smooth and highlights the unique flavor profile of the coffee brewed. Besides providing you with the control you need to create a quality cup of coffee pour overs are also a simple, lo-fi way to create a tasty cup of coffee. All you need is a cup, kettle, pour over and a filter of coffee to start brewing. Of course, if you are brewing on a pour over, it is also nice to have a stand! Devices like Melitta Pour Over Stands put the focus on the coffee brewing process and provide an extra helping hand by holding your pour over in place.
Just as there are a variety of styles and types of pour overs, there are also a couple of different Melitta Pour Over Stands to choose from. However, one of the benefits of these stands is that both types we carry come with a porcelain cone (or even two or three in some cases) as well as filters, so that at least that part of the selection process is taken care of for you. From there, you just have to decide if you would rather go with the Melitta Bamboo Stand, which is a single brewer that will allow you to brew like a “slow bar” professional at home. If you like to drink a lot of coffee, are worried about other coffee drinkers stealing your precious brew or are looking to get a third wave setup in your café, you might want to consider getting the Melitta Stainless Steel Pour Over Bar. These sleek pour over stations allow you to brew either two or three pour overs at once, so you can serve several eager coffee drinkers. Check out Gail and Brendan as they try out these Melitta Pour Over Stands and pick up a few brew tips along the way!
If you live in the United States, it is likely you are afflicted by hard water. According to a U.S. geologic survey completed by the American Water Works Association, 85 percent of the United States has hard water (also known as water that high mineral content). While hard water is not harmful to your health, it can have a funny aftertaste and, even worse, cause damage in the boilers of espresso machines by creating scale buildup. Now that you know that there is a good chance that you have hard water in your area, what do you do to protect your precious espresso machine? The easiest and relatively least expensive method is to invest in water softener for commercial espresso machines, such as the Everpure ESO7.
While there are a variety of different water softeners and filtrations systems on the market, we like the Everpure because it takes care of a lot of different aspects of water filtration. Not only will this cartridge soften your water, but it will also buffer and filter your water. This helps prevent the water from becoming too acidic and reduces minerals, chlorine, off tastes and orders. In addition, this system has a pretty long lifespan and covers most manufacture warranties. The Everpure ESO7 is a single cartridge system, so you will also need a filter head in order to connect it to your espresso machine. Everpure makes a couple of different heads, so you can get any one that fits this system, but we typically use the QL2 Filter Head since it is simple and economical.
However, before you install a water softener, it is important that you know exactly how hard your water is to ensure your purchase the right setup for you café. If you live somewhere that has water that contains five to three grains of scale, you will not want to get the ESO7, as it is too strong and will actually do more harm than good. On the other hand, if you are located in area that has six grams of scale or higher, that amount of scale does need to be brought down and you will want to install something like the Everpure ESO7 to protect your machine. Finally, if you are in an area with really hard water (yes, we’re looking at you Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona and southern California), you can build a double or triple capacity flirtation system using these Everpure cartridges.
Besides working on a variety of setups, these cartridges are easy enough to install and replace that you can do it on your own. This will save you both time and money, since you won’t need to have a tech sent out to you or have to pay any for any technician fees. Ready to start setting up your filtration system? Check out this video where Brandon tells us a little bit more about the Everpure ES07 and demonstrates how it is installed.