Back with another episode of Ask Andrew! This time we decided to ask Andrew his thoughts on the design and use of a PID on an espresso machine.
We all know that Rocket Espresso takes a lot of care when it comes to the design of their machines, both in their aesthetics and functionality! So we were sure he would have some thoughts around the PID design.
What’s a PID controller you ask? A PID, which stands for proportional-integral-derivative, is a device that is constantly reading the temperature of the boiler (or wherever a thermometer is placed). It continues to calculate and adjust the boilers heating element so that when you brew you can set and be confident that you are brewing at a specific temperature.
Watch the video below to learn more about the PID design and it’s part in the design of a Rocket Espresso machine!
First off, don’t panic! Everything is going to be ok. In fact it could be worse, you could think there is nothing wrong with putting oily beans in your brand new super-automatic espresso machine! The horror!
Maybe a friend brought over a bag of the oily stuff, or maybe you “accidentally” grabbed the wrong bag at the store. However the oily beans got there (we aren’t here to judge), here is what you need to do.
Step One: get the beans out of the grinder! Flip the machine over, vacuum them out, whatever you need to do.
If you have been using oily beans for a while in your super automatic, you may notice a clog forming. In this case you want to try and clean that clog out with an air compressor or vacuum. Unfortunately you can not use a grinder cleaner on your super automatic, those are designed specifically for stand alone grinders. If the clog is stubborn you will need to have your machine professionally cleaned.
Watch the Ask Gail video below to get the full scoop! Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel? No? Don’t worry! We got you covered. Click here to subscribe Thanks for watching!
Continuing our trip to the Portland Seattle Coffee Gear store, Gail thought it would be helpful to show everyone the current Saeco Machine Lineup. There are a ton of options out there, each one better suited for a different home barista! So without further ado, the current Saeco machine line up:
The Xsmall is just that! With the smallest footprint in the lineup, this little soldier delivers the solid bean-to-cup functionality you would expect from Saeco. A great entry level machine for those with limited counter space but an unlimited thirst for espresso!
The Saeco Syntia gives you the ease of one-touch espresso but also the control of frothing your own milk using it’s easy to master panarello wand. And let’s not forget the ability to store your favorite drink preferences for easy replication!
Featuring an ergonomic case style, easy to use interface, and Saeco’s integrated cleaning and descaling cycles, the Intelia couldn’t be simpler to operate. Easy operation makes for delicious espresso anytime!
The Intuita is for those who like their coffee ritual simple. Select one of three dosage settings using the dial above the brew head, and push either the espresso or coffee button depending on your desired volume. It is that easy!
The Minuto Pure is for the espresso enthusiast. This machine brews at an ideal 15BAR pump pressure, producing a smooth shot of espresso (or lungo!) every time.
The Minuto manages to be a superautomatic espresso machine and coffee maker, without sacrificing anything for either option. A clever lever on the adjustable spout allows you to switch pressure settings to provide optimal extraction for both coffee (3 bar) and espresso (15 bar). Some call this a win win!
Hot and frothy lattes and cappuccinos with just a touch of a button. Need we say anymore? The Energica Focus will surprise you with it’s efficient double boilers to reduce wait time between frothing and brewing.
With its automated milk frothing and programmability, the Exprelia Evo helps you make the perfect beverage every morning. Just hit one of the pre-programmed buttons, which can be customized to meet your specifications, and watch it go to work. It even cleans up after itself!
Program your favorite drink for one-touch capability or manually froth milk on the handy steam wand. With the Xelsis Evo, the choice is yours! Perfect your favorite drink and save the settings by creating your own user profile.
Continually improving the bean-to-cup experience, the Gran Baristo now makes cleaning and maintenance an effortless task with their one-finger removable brew group. Auto-cleaning and descaling cycles now require 80% less water than other Saeco superautomatics. Reduced water consumption helps save water for the fishes, creates a ‘greener’ machine and less tank refilling for you!
Whew! While there is a lot to choose from, Gail makes the choice (a little) easier in the video below! Be sure to watch below and subscribe to our channel for more!
Update! Update! We all love updates! That’s right folks, we are here to talk all about the updated version of the Rancilio Silvia. Some people call this the V4, but Rancilio just calls it the Silvia. It doesn’t really matter what you call it, as long as it brews up tasty espresso…am I right?
So what is new in the latest version of the Rancilio Silvia? The boiler of course! A boiler is the heart of an espresso machine, so any updates to one makes us giddy! The boiler itself is still brass but what Rancilio has changed is the heating element and how it is connected. The heating element on the new Rancilio Silvia is stainless steel, which is a little more resistant to burning out if you did run the boiler dry. But we never do that right…right??
But in the event that the boiler does burn out, the new design makes fixing it much easier (and cheaper!). In the past you had to replace the whole boiler, but this new version allows you to remove just the heating element. Not having to replace the brass boiler makes for a much easier fix.
We love this machine. Watch as Gail takes an in-depth look into this machine and brews up a cappuccino complete with some beautiful latte art Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!
This week Gail answers a question from the comment section! One of our loyal watchers wanted to know what the “white flappy thing” on the Technivorm was.
To be honest, we weren’t sure! So naturally we took one apart to find out! Watch as Gail and Miranda figure out what that “white flappy thing” is before admiring the beautiful internals of the Technivorm Moccamaster.
Do you have a question you want Gail to answer? Leave it in the comment section below the video on YouTube!
Is that….the sun?! This is a question we are hearing a lot up here in Seattle. And it can only mean one thing, summer is right around the corner! And for us at Seattle Coffee Gear, that means cold brew.
And to celebrate the magnificent sunshine, we are taking a look at the newest cold brew coffee maker on the market. The OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker! We all know the OXO products, you might even have their vegetable peeler in a drawer at home. But the OXO Cold Brew Maker won’t be slicing any vegetables, and that’s a good thing! This cold brew maker sticks to what is does best, brew cold brew!
The OXO Cold Brew Maker features a rainmaker design that you pour your cold water though. This design allows the grounds to be evenly saturated with water and bloom properly, resulting in a tastier finished product. The glass carafe that catches the final product is constructed out of borosilicate glass, which is extremely durable. After steeping, all that is needed to be done in order to drink the tasty concentrate is flip the brew release switch and let gravity do the work!
The cold brew that this brewer yields is concentrated , so diluting 2 oz of the cold stuff with some ice or milk is suggested. You could of course dilute it with hot water if you prefer a hot beverage. The choice is up to you!
While we were “working” in Portland Gail wanted to show you all the insides of the Rancilio Silvia with PID. The Rancilio Silvia is a simple, reliable and powerful espresso machine. It will produce excellent espresso and silky microfoam milk for your lattes and cappuccinos, and look pretty great doing it as well!
With it’s 67 oz Water Tank, 12 oz Brass Boiler and 15 BAR pump this little guy is ready for anything! And the Rancilio Silvia also has the option to add an optional PID. The optional PID is something that our tech team here at Seattle Coffee Gear installs and gives you precise temperature control.
Watch the video below as Gail walks you through the differences and opens up the Silvia with a PID installed!
Pour overs. Probably the hippest way to brew your coffee right now. And as you already know, we are pretty hip! But perfecting the art of pour over takes a little bit of patience, skill and some basic equipment.
We decided to take a trip down to our Portland store to get the scoop about what options for pour over equipment are out there. Because, if you didn’t know already, Portland Oregon is the place for pour over coffee. Gail met up with Celine and had her give us the low down.
Some of our big take aways from our “working” vacation to Portland:
There are a ton of different tools for making pour over coffee.
When it comes to pour over, it is all about the flow. (Certain cones help you attain the perfect flow by adjusting the amount of holes and their placement. The Kalita Wave is a great cone for those new to pour over)
You should not put your Hario Drip Pot filters in the washing machine, under any circumstances.
A gooseneck kettle, like this Hario, is essential for directing your water to all the right places.
Watch the video below to see all the pour over options and be sure to check out our Portland store, Celine is waiting for you!
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But there is one big difference. The 5-cup Coffee Maker has a number 4 filter cone while the 8-cup Coffee Maker has a new flat bottom cone design. When we tasted the two brews it was hard to tell the difference, even when looking for one.
So it is time to ask yourself, how much coffee do you really want? While you think about it, watch Gail compare the two Bonavita Coffee Makers and subscribe to our YouTube channel!