Category Archives: Coffee Makers

SCG in Portland: Silvia vs. Silvia with PID

silvia with PIDWhile 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!



SCG in Portland: Pour Over Equipment

Pour OverPour 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:

  1. There are a ton of different tools for making pour over coffee.
  2. 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)
  3. You should not put your Hario Drip Pot filters in the washing machine, under any circumstances.
  4. 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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Comparison: Bonavita Coffee Makers

Bonavita Coffee MakerHow much coffee do you really want? That is truly the ultimate question. And depending on your personal answer there will be a Bonavita Coffee Maker waiting for you.

As you probably know, Bonavita has recently come out with 2 new coffee makers. The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker and The Bonavita 5-Cup Coffee Maker both with the Stainless Steel Carafe. The two machines are built almost identically, aside from the difference in size .

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!

Thanks for watching :)

Breville Oracle Advanced Menu

If you are anything like us, and let’s face it you most likely are, you probably like to tweak every setting on your espresso machine! From the steam temperature to adjusting the clock, getting your machine dialed in to you is first on your list when you unpack your new espresso machine. So when you opened your Breville and saw the Oracle Advanced Menu, you were jumping for joy!Oracle Advanced Menu

But wait! Tweaking settings just for the sake of tweaking settings is not always the best course of action. Trust me when I say, you can easily adjust a setting that will put your machine on the fritz and have you calling our Customer Service department in tears. And while on occasion it may feel nice to chat to our wonderful customer service team with a tissue in hand, it’s best to avoid the situation altogether. How you ask? With knowledge!

The Oracle Advanced Menu is just that, an advanced menu. It won’t need to be adjusted regularly, some settings may not ever need to be touched. But knowing what each menu option controls is great way to know what to adjust when the time comes!

We had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Phil McKnight from Breville and thought he would be the best person to ask when it comes to the Oracle Advanced Menu. So we did!

Watch the in depth tutorial of the Oracle Advanced Menu below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here.

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!