Category Archives: Coffee Makers

Crew Review: Cold Brew Comparison

Cold BrewGuess what? Summer is almost here! Seriously.

And do you know what that means? Cold Brew! Nothing beats the summer heat like an ice cold glass of cold brew coffee. Yes, you can drink cold brew year round, but summer really just shows it off the best.

And because summer is right around the corner we thought it would be helpful to compare the cold brew systems we have. Yes systems! We have 4 different at the moment, with a 5th on the way. With so many choices it might be hard to choose just one.

In this comparison we took a closer look at the Toddy. The Toddy is the OG of cold brew. We feel like this is best if you are going to be making a large batch of cold brew and drink it throughout the week (or day if you are like that!). We also took a look at the Sowden and Hario cold brew pots. On the smaller side, these are best for the occasional cold brew drinker (or those with limited counter space). Also in our comparison was the Primila Cold Brew Glass Carafe. This one has an on the go feel.

We also took a look at the newest cold brew system we will be carrying from OXO. Much like the Toddy, the OXO is going to make you a big batch of the cold stuff.

Watch the video below to see each of these next to each other. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you won’t miss the taste test comparison which we will be posting later this week!

Crew Review: Bonavita 5-Cup Coffee Maker

5-Cup Coffee Maker

Batman had Robin, Austin Powers had Mini-Me, and now the Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker has the 5-Cup Coffee Maker. That’sright folks, I’d like to introduce to you the latest from Bonavita; the Bonavita 5-Cup Coffee Maker with Stainless Steel Carafe. Yes it’s small, yes it’s cute and yes, we are in love with it.

Although it might not be as practical here at the office (we blow though the 8-Cupper like no ones business!), we just can’t help but love this new machine. The 5-Cup Coffee Maker has everything the 8-Cup machine has, there were no shortcuts made!

Just like the 8-Cup Coffee Maker the 5-Cupper has a cross shaped shower head for optimal extraction of your brew. The 5-Cup Coffee Maker keeps the  brewing temperature at an optimal 195F-205F, so your cup of coffee tastes the best every time!  The little guy/gal also has the new pre-infusion mode that the updated 8-Cup Coffee Maker is sporting.

Oh yeah, and all the plastic is BPA free…naturally ;)

Even if you are happy with your 8-Cup Coffee Maker be sure to watch the video above, you won’t be disappointed. Gail goes through all the features and brews up a batch of her favorite coffee. What is that you ask? Velton’s Twilight of course!

 

Crew Review: Planetary Design Coffee Press

Planetary Design Coffee PressThe double wall craze continues to sweep the nation! First it began with upgrading regular ol’ coffee cups, then we saw the double wall sneak its way into travel mugs and now, here at last, a double walled vacuum insulated table top coffee press! Folks, I would like to introduce to you the Planetary Design Coffee Press.

Like I previously mentioned this french press has a double wall that insulates your brew, keeping it nice and hot for hours. The Planetary Design Coffee Press comes in three sizes, 20oz, 32oz and 48oz. The 20 oz pot is perfect for a couple sharing some delicious coffee while the 48oz can caffeinate a crowd. All three of the sizes come in either a black or chrome finish, so the choice is truly yours.

What really makes the Planetary Design Coffee Press stand out in the crowd is the patented plunger and ultra-fine stainless steel mesh. It is designed to extract maximum flavor from your grounds and keep them where they belong (in the press!). I love the french press as much as the next guy but I really don’t like having to pick grounds off my tongue, which is why I love the additional mesh screen on the pour spout that prevents even the most elusive coffee grounds from entering my cup (and subsequently my mouth!).

All in all this is a great coffee press that is designed to last. It feels sturdy and brews up a mean cup of coffee. Watch the Crew Review below to see Gail brew up a pot and see what its all about! Thanks for watching!

 

Crew Review: Hario V60 Drip Station

Hario V60 Drip StationPour some sugar on me! Ok, maybe not sugar or on me. But you can pour some water on my freshly ground coffee! And if you want, you can use the Hario V60 Drip Station. What’s that you ask? It’s only the coolest thing sitting on my counter (granted, my 8 year old toaster is not much competition).

The Hario V60 Drip Station is designed to compliment the whole V60 pour over brewing process. The acrylic stand is easy to clean and easy to assemble. The stainless steel grate sits on top of the ABS resin drip tray, ready to catch any rouge coffee. The whole station fits perfectly on the Hario V60 Drip Scale, which makes for a no fuss brewing process. Once everything is set up, you are ready to brew just like they do at your local coffee shop.

Some may say that the stand is not an essential piece of equipment for brewing up a tasty cup of coffee. And yes that may be the case. The V60 Coffee Dripper does fit nicely on top of your standard coffee mug but if you like an organized and clean looking set up, this is for you (much like it is for me!).

Take a look at the video below to see Gail brew up a cup using the Hario V60 Dripper, station and scale! Yeah, she went all out. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well, Gail is always reviewing products or answering your questions. We’d love you to be a part of the conversation!

Ask Gail: How to Adjust The Water Hardness Level

Adjust The Water HardnessThe DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 might be small, but it’s packed with plenty of power and productivity-enhancing functions to deliver cup after cup of delicious roast. Magnifica ESAM3300’s digital control panel with programmable settings, built-in burr grinder and one-touch foam system help save you time, while its 7 1/2 cup (60 ounce) water reservoir means you’ll need to refill less often. Did we mention Magnifica’s self-cleaning powers? ‘Tis true, this sublime Super-Automatic includes a decalcification indicator and an easy-to-clean, removable coffee bin and drip tray.

With everything it can do, it is best to keep it running at tip top shape. Descaling when you need to and general maintenance that all espresso machines require. Knowing your how hard your water is will allow the machine to perform properly. How hard your water is depends on how much mineral content is dissolved in it. The more minerals the harder your water. You can test this level with the test strip that comes with the machine.

Once you know how hard your water is you need to do is adjust the water hardness level on the machine! (It’s a lot easier than it may sound). Watch the video below to find out how to set your water hardness level, Gail will be glad you did.

 

Crew Review: Hario Olive Wood Coffee Press

hario olive wood coffee pressWe love new things! This time it’s a new product from Hario. Building on the classic french press, Hario has really created something special. The Hario Olive Wood Double Walled Coffee Press is a new favorite of ours. While the 14oz won’t supply enough liquid gold for a crowd, it will easily satisfy a few.

One of our favorite things about this new product is the style. It’s contemporary design is complete with a removable (for easy cleaning) olive wood handle and leather strap. We know looks aren’t everything, but it truly looks great out on the counter. The design also includes (as the name suggests) a double wall which helps keep the heat where it belongs, in your brew! Another awesome feature worth mentioning is the mesh filter at the end of the plunger. It’s finer than you would typically find on a french press, which means less coffee silt in your cup. Yes please!

We asked Gail to give us a full Crew Review of the Hario Olive Wood Coffee Press. Watch the video below to see her brew a pot and give you the full scoop!

 

 

Crew Review: Saeco Gran Baristo Update

Saeco Gran Baristo In case you didn’t already know, we love our Saeco Gran Baristo with Removable Bean Container. In fact, we love it so much that we made an updated Crew Review just for kicks! Well, we actually wanted to showcase this machine again because we found the more we used it the better our experience was.

What are some of our favorite features of this machine you ask? Well the first one is in the name, “removable bean container”! This comes in handy if you find yourself with a couple types of coffee just waiting to be brewed. Perhaps something different for the evening? We also love the programmable user profiles. Since everybody likes their coffee a particular way, the Saeco Gran Baristo makes it easy for up to 6 different users to customize and save their drink preferences. Another feature that really rocks our world is the adjustable spout. You are able to adjust the spout so you can have up to 6.5 inches of cup clearance. Quad-shot cappuccino anyone?

We did few tests as well to see just how well the Saeco Gran Baristo functions in real world environments. The results of our temperature tests are as follows:

  • Espresso – During testing we were able to get both of these drinks up to 171°F on more than one occasion.
  • Milk – After three rounds of automatic milk frothing we were able to get the temperature to 144°F.
  • Hot Water – The hot water generally stayed around the 160°F mark.

We give this machine a thumbs up for functionality, performance, and quality of the drinks it makes. Watch the updated Crew Review below and then head over to our YouTube channel to see what else Gail has been up too.

 

 

Crew Review: Bonavita Coffee Maker

Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker

There really isn’t anything like waking up on a beautiful Sunday morning and setting a pot of coffee to brew while you check Twitter. We like to start our Sundays (OK lets be honest, basically everyday) with a full pot from the Bonavita Coffee Maker. This is the latest update from Bonavita that adds some really excellent features.

Some of the awesome updates include:

  • A larger shower head designed for optimal saturation of every last coffee ground. 
  • Pre-infusion mode to allow the grounds to bloom before being brewed.
  • A flat bottom filter basket for a fuller and more robust flavor.

Of course the Bonavita Coffee Maker still comes with the thermal carafe that will keep your coffee nice and hot for about an hour (if the pot even lasts that long!).

Watch this Crew Review video below and then head over to our YouTube channel for more videos featuring Gail and the rest of the Seattle Coffee Gear team!

 

 

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!

Crew Review: Technivorm Grand Coffee Brewer

A Technivorm that is large enough for the office? Why, yes, we do have one of those! It also works for technivorm-grandhouseholds with several coffee drinkers and extremely large mugs. You know, like ‘larger than your head, it won’t fit in any cup holder’ large. We all have one, so no use denying it…

Now, back to the subject matter at hand: The Technivorm Moccamaster Grand Coffee Brewer! This bad boy brews right around 54 ounces of coffee, features a hot plate to keep your brew super drinkable and has a drop-stop switch so you can grab that first cup mid-brew without a massive mess. Now that’s what we call forward thinking!

While we’re talking about forward thinking and all, now would be the time to share an inside tip with you: You’ll need to pick up some special large filters to use with the Grand.

Those are some of our favorite features, but we all know that a new product would be incomplete without a Crew Review from Gail, so check out the one below!