Category Archives: Coffee Makers

Crew Review: AeroPress – Redux!

AeroPressIf you were to survey the crew at SCG about their favorite coffee prep, you’d learn that the AeroPress is the hands-down winner. We love how simple and easy it is to use, plus it’s compact, transportable and produces a delicious cup of coffee.

Over the years, we’ve featured it in a variety of videos, but hadn’t actually refreshed our original crew review of it, even though it was updated a bit in the interim by Aerobie. So we asked its biggest fan, Bunny!!!, to give us the rundown — how it works, what it comes with, etc. — in this updated review. Watch her show off its components and accessories, then prepare coffee using two different methods: That described by Aerobie and the very popular inverted technique.

Whether you’re camping, hiking, out on the road or just hanging out at home, the AeroPress is an excellent choice in coffee accoutrement. Pair it with the Hario Mini Mill and you’ve got an awesome java prep no matter where the day takes you.

Crew Review: AeroPress – Redux!

Crew Review: Frieling Insulated French Press – 44oz

Frieling French PressIf you were going to peek through our kitchen windows on a Saturday morning (which we’re really hoping you weren’t going to do), it’s highly likely you’d see us sipping a delicious cup of coffee produced by our small Frieling coffee press. It’s something we enjoy in blissful solitude, ruminating over the previous week’s hijinks and planning future hilarity so that it may flawlessly ensue.

But we totally understand that while we happen to be on the loner side of the spectrum, many of you enjoy sharing your Saturday morning java with other people — and, clearly, Frieling understands that, too! In answer to the prayers of all you extroverts out there, they’ve introduced a new size in their popular line of double walled stainless steel coffee presses: A mambo 44 oz.

To find out how much it actually yields, though, we put Teri to the test. Watch as she brews up a batch of coffee, measuring out her quantities and then showing us how much coffee the press produces. If you want to share your caffeine with those you love, pick one up today — they’re available in either brushed or polished finishes.

Crew Review: Frieling Insulated French Press – 44oz

As for us, we’ll be chilling over here in the corner with our tiny 11oz model, thinking deep thoughts and wearing nothing but a catsuit.

Crew Review: Saeco Minuto Automatic Espresso Machine & Coffee Maker

Saeco MinutoThe new Saeco Minuto is the innovative answer to a very common problem: How does a household split between an appreciation for drip brewed coffee and a love for espresso-based drinks ever see eye to eye? Historically, the resolution to such an issue was found in one of three ways:

  1. Completely separate pieces of equipment that yielded the best quality product for both preparations;
  2. Selecting a single piece of equipment that favored one preparation while short changing the other; or
  3. Engaging in an arm wrestling competition, wherein the victor gets to choose the home’s coffee setup.

Where the first option is concerned, you often have to give up considerable kitchen counter space to brewers, grinders and espresso machinery; not everyone has that luxury — in either kitchen or budget size — so collecting a variety of java accoutrement may not even be a viable option.

In regard to the second solution, implementing it means that you have to choose between lackluster coffee or less than stellar espresso. Combination drip brewer and espresso machines often utilize steam power for both preparations, which is just perfect for drip coffee but the fluctuating temperature of which wreaks havoc on espresso. Conversely, traditional espresso machines will produce delicious shots that can be mixed with water to approximate a drip coffee-style drink, but this is often considered not as rich or as smooth as some drip coffee aficionados adore.

Finally, putting everything on the line by competing in a feat of physical prowess may be preferable for those of you that rock especially enviable upper body strength, but the rest of us might not be as comfortable allowing our home coffee enjoyment to be decided by a session of biceps-roullette.

With the introduction of the Saeco Minuto, however, an effective compromise that doesn’t involve sacrifice or brute strength now exists! With the simple flip of a lever, the Minuto will adjust its pressure to either the traditional 9 BAR of espresso extraction or roughly 3 BAR for a drip coffee preparation. You can freshly grind and brew a single cup of rich coffee that tastes just like it was brewed in a high quality drip brewer, all at the single touch of a button. Pretty cool, eh?

So if you’ve been facing this coffee vs. espresso challenge in your own household, check out Gail’s review and demonstration of the Saeco Minuto;  we go through its features, experiment with its different functionality and sample its delicious java. Might it be the one you’re looking for?

Crew Review: Saeco Minuto Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Crew Review: Technivorm KB741 – Redux!

Technivorm KB741Last, but certainly not least, in our series of refreshed Technivorm Crew Reviews covers another of our original model styles, the KB741. With a glass carafe, auto shut off and the manual lever system that allows you to slow your roll when brewing smaller volumes, it’s the go-to model here in SCG’s break room.

Watch Gail guide us through its features and specs, then show off how easily its internal lava lamp produces a delicious pot of coffee! Enjoy.

Crew Review: Technivorm KBT741 – Redux!

Technivorm KBT741Yes, we’ve been hitting the Technivorm’s hard lately, but that’s just because we wanted to refresh all of our reviews and give you the latest and the greatest SCG crew perspective on these popular coffee makers. So please don’t be annoyed that today’s post covers yet another Technivorm review — this time, it’s one of the first model styles that we carried, the KBT741.

The KBT741 features a large (40 oz) thermal carafe and the tried-and-true manual lever that allows you to slow down the brew for smaller yields, if necessary. Other than that, it has the same, awesome build quality and copper heating element, so produces exceptional coffee for you and everyone you love.

Watch Gail take us through how it works and then show us its brew process by making a pot of coffee!

Crew Review: Bodum Chambord French Press with Coffee Catcher

Bodum Chambord Coffee Press with Coffee CatcherBorn from the campfires in the forests of Washington state, our love for press pot coffee is synonymous with our love for the outdoors. We know that nearly everyone you meet will have a different camp-friendly coffee gear preference, but ours will always be the coffee press.

Of course, cleaning it in the forest is no small chore and doing so at home is even more of a nuisance, so we were sufficiently jazzed when we caught sight of Bodum’s newest innovation: The Chambord with Coffee Catcher. This model is equipped with a little tray that appears to make short work of grounds removal, therefore simplifying the cleaning process.

Watch as Gail shows us this newest iteration of a well-loved classic, then brews up a batch o’ joe that would taste better only if you were sipping it in a pine filled forest, watching the sunrise.

Crew Review: Technivorm KBTS – Redux!

Technivorm KBTSThe next Technivorm model up for a refreshed Crew Review is the more petite lil’ guy that they have available, the KBTS. While their other models offer 10 cups (at 4 oz. apiece), the KBTS brews up 8 cups (also at 4 oz. apiece) so is a great choice for those that want a thermal carafe and a smaller yield. Other than that, however, it’s technically similar to its larger brethren — copper elements and excellent build quality — and the coffee it produces is similarly tasty.

Watch Gail guide us through its features and then demonstrates how easily it crafts a delicious pot o’ java.


Crew Review: Technivorm CDGT – Redux!

Technivorm CDGTEffortlessly embodying the axioms you get what you pay for and you get what you give, all it takes is one sip of the coffee produced by a Technivorm and you understand why it’s one of the specialty coffee world’s darlings.

Robustly built with high quality components — including a copper heating element — and simple in its feature set, this is not the coffee maker that will grind your coffee for you, brew it before you wake up, clean itself at the touch of a button … and then walk the dog. It’s also not the coffee maker that is going to go out in a blaze of glory after a couple of years — we’ve heard tales of folks rockin’ the same Technivorm they purchased in the ’70s. And while its five year warranty isn’t going to cover its entire lifetime, it’s still the broadest warranty offered on drip brewers.

In this review, Gail covers the cylindrical CDGT model, which, in addition to its curvy design, features a thermal carafe and mid-brew interrupt. Watch as she talks to us about its specs and then demonstrates making some of the best coffee we’ve had from a drip coffee maker.

Crew Review: Hario V60 Pour Over Tools

Hario V60 Pour Over Coffee GearWhen we first encountered the Hario V60 pour overs a few years ago, we were simultaneously entranced and intimidated by the artful precision with which the brewer crafted one of the smoothest cups of coffee we’d ever tasted. With some time, patience, experimentation and a lot of practice, however, we developed our own approach to our V60 prep … in fact, we love it so dearly now, we felt it was time to put it up on a pedestal.

Luckily for us, Hario USA released some new tools — including a modern acrylic stand — that gave us the opportunity to increase both the precision and the art of our pour. Watch Bunny and Teri show off the new Drip Station, Drip Scale and Glass Server from Hario. Pick up each of these separately or combine them together for a beautiful and sophisticated pour over setup.