Category Archives: Coffee & Tea

Comparison: Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Stovetop espresso. What is not to love? It is easy to use, looks great on your countertop, and produces an intense cup of coffee! Bialetti is probably what comes to mind when you think of a stovetop espresso coffee maker. Does this look familiar?Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Bialetti stovetop espresso coffee makers come in three different models! The first is the iconic Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker. With it’s art deco style, the Moka Express is easily recognized. It comes in 12 ounce size and is constructed out of aluminum. As with all the stovetop makers in this comparison, brewing is a breeze. Simply add your ground coffee and water, apply heat, and watch as your brewed coffee bubbles up!

Next up in our comparison of the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso makersBialetti Stovetop Espresso is the Musa. At just 7.25 inches tall for the 6 cup version, the Musa is small enough to stow away when no tin use. The Musa is built out of stainless steel, so if you are adverse to the aluminum construction of the Moka Express, this would be an option.

Bialetti Stovetop EspressoThe Bialetti Venus Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker is the next in our comparison. Similar to the Musa with it’s  stainless steel construction and 2 size options, the Venus’s look is slightly more refined. Be sure to take a look at our Crew Review comparison video below to see how the looks of all three of these stovetop espresso coffee makers compare!


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Crew Review: Jura Impressa F8

So you want to Impressa your friends. Ok, ok, we know a bad joke when we hear one. Today, we are here to talk all about the Jura Impressa F8, a superautomatic espresso machine ready for what ever you throw at it.

The first thing we noticed when we turned on the Jura Impressa F8 was the color display. Selecting one of the 11 pre-programmed espresso drink options was easy to do with the rotary dial. You are even able to customize the four drinks featured on the homepage. Coffee literally at the touch of a button!Jura Impressa F8

One common complaint about super-automatics is the strength of the shots they produce. The Jura Impressa F8 has a feature that helps remedy this problem. The variable brew chamber allows you to brew anywhere from 5 to 16 grams of coffee. So if you are looking for a strong cup of coffee, set that puppy to 16 and hang on tight!

We also love the hot water option on this espresso machine. Something that you don’t always find on a superautomatic espresso machine. Now you can start your day with an americano or maybe a spot of tea! The choice is yours :)

Watch our full Crew Review video below to see all the features and watch Gail brew up a drink! And while you are at it, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here!

Crew Review: Breville Grind Control

Grind Control to Major Tom

Grind Control to Major Tom

Take your coffee beans and get your caffeine on

Grind Control to Major Tom

….Now that we have that out of the way. We would like to introduce the latest from Breville, the Grind Control Coffee Maker! The next generation of the YouBrew Coffee Maker, with some excellent improvements.Grind Control

We all know that grinding your beans fresh is the most important step to great tasting coffee, which is why Breville put so much effort into creating the perfect internal grinder. This coffee maker features stainless steel flat machined burrs, which means they will be much more precise and sharp than the conical burrs on the old YouBrew machine.

The Grind Control allows for all the customization you could ask for.  Choose from eight different strength settings! Can anyone say good morning?! Brew a whole pot or just one cup, the choice is yours! The internal clock allows for auto start functionality (is there anything better than waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee?)

A little pro tip, be sure to pre-heat the stainless steel carafe, so that your coffee will stay hot as long as possible.  We are really impressed with this machine, you get a lot of control that you simply don’t find in other drip machines.

Check out the full Crew Review below! Are you subscribed to our YouTube channel? You can do so by clicking here, that way you will never miss a video! Thanks for watching!



Crew Review: Behmor Home Coffee Roaster

We drink a lot of coffee. But you probably already knew that. But did you know that we also roast our own coffee? Well, did you? Because we did!Behmor Home Coffee Roaster

That’s right folks! Gail and the SCG team are coffee roasters! Not professional roasters by any means (and probably not even that good if we are being honest!) But we did play around and roast up a quarter pound of coffee beans on the Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster.

The Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster is small but mighty. Coming in at only 19 pounds, and no larger than your standard microwave, this home coffee roaster can roast up to 1 pound of beans at a time.

The Behmor is pretty easy to use, and makes for a great entry level tool to begin roasting coffee beans at home. It features 5 pre-programmed roast profiles that allow for easy roasting of any type of bean. Simply set the amount of beans you are wanting to roast, a roast level and a profile, hit start and watch as your green beans turn into that beautiful brown we know and love.

After the roasting period, the Behmor 1600 Plus Home Coffee Roaster automatically goes into a cooling cycle. After a period of time, you can remove the drum and look at your freshly roasted beans. But don’t go grinding them up just yet. Several days of off-gassing is required for optimum taste!

Watch our full Crew Review below! And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the video where we taste the beans we roasted in the video!



Crew Review: Jura Gigga 5 Coffee Center

Coffee at work is no longer just a pot that someone brewed up who knows when. It’s 2015 folks, we all deserve much better. Enter the Jura Gigga 5 Automatic Coffee Center. It’s like a robot barista that sits in your break room, ready to fill all your caffeinated needs!Jura Gigga 5

We say its a robot barista that sits in your break room, because this machine can handle a large volume of drinks. But that isn’t to say the Gigga 5 can’t find a way into a home kitchen. Where there is a will there is a way.

The Gigga 5 features two bean hoppers, each one holding up to 9.8 ounces of coffee beans. This is a feature that you rarely find on a superautomatic machine. With two hoppers you can select which bean you want to brew, or you can even make your own “house blend” by combing beans from the two hoppers in any ratio you desire.

This Jura espresso machine is built with quality in mind. Many parts that you would typically find made out of plastic on other machines, are constructed out of stainless steel on the Gigga 5. The design details really makes this machine stand out.

As with all Jura machines, the digital display is simply beautiful. A full color display that is easy to navigate. Getting the beverage you desire has never been so simple. The Gigga 5 does  everything from shots of espresso to Irish coffees (whiskey not included)! No that isn’t a joke. The Gigga 5 has multiple recipes built in. Simply select the beverage you would like and follow the onscreen prompts.

Watch our full Crew Review of the Jura Gigga 5 Automatic Coffee Center below!


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Crew Review: Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker

What happens when you cross a science experiment with a coffee maker? You get the Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker of course! Vacuum Coffee Maker you ask? No we are not mad scientists, this style of coffee maker has been around for quite some time.Vacuum Coffee Maker

The Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker works on the principle of expanding and contacting gases. As the bottom compartment is heated up on the stove, some of the water inside is turned into  vapor. As the water vapor expands it forces the liquid water up the spout and into the chamber above, saturating the ground coffee. Once the water has filled the upper chamber the vacuum pot is removed from the heat. The water vapor cools and no longer exerts enough pressure on upper chamber to hold the water up, and so gravity pulls the coffee back down into the lower chamber.

The result is a really clean cup of coffee. Gail was especially impressed with the quality of the taste. It was very smooth and drinkable.

Be sure to check out the full Crew Review of this awesome vacuum coffee maker!

Crew Review: CamelBak Forge Travel Mugs

CamelBak Forge Travel MugAhh, the great outdoors. There truly isn’t anything better than that first breath of fresh air before embarking on an outdoor adventure. Or is there? The answer of course is yes, yes there is something better (and it involves coffee!)

That’s right, we are talking about travel mugs today! And more specifically, the CamelBak Forge travel mugs. We are quite fond of this mug. Sure it works great for commuting to work in the morning. But we think it is even more fitting when “forging” a trail, hot coffee in hand. And speaking of hot coffee, the CamelBak Forge travel mug does an excellent job at keeping your coffee hot! The double wall, stainless steel body keeps your hot coffee hot (or your cold, cold brew…well, cold).

Be sure to watch our Crew Review below to see the results of our temperature test! (Spoiler alert: it does an superb job!)

One of the best features on this travel mug is the self sealing lid. Say goodbye to accidental spills! The lid also comes apart for easy cleaning in all the nooks and crannies. The CamelBak Forge Travel mug comes in two color schemes. Solid black or stainless steel and blue!

Check out our Crew Review video below for the full scoop!


Latte Art University

Latte Art UniversityCongratulations! On behalf of Seattle Coffee Gear and the faculty of the School Of Coffee Extraction, we are pleased to offer you admission to the Ph.D. program at Latte Art University.

That’s right folks! Gail is going to Latte Art University and you get go along for the ride. We teamed up with Max from Spotted Cow Coffee Company to bring to you a full week of Latte Art training! Max has been a barista with Spotted Cow for quite some time now, even venturing into the Barista Competition Circuit!

In this week long course, Max and Gail will explore everything you need to know in order to produce excellent latte art. (Hint: It begins even before you take the milk out of the refrigerator!)

Max will demonstrate how to produce some of the basic latte art shapes, including the heart and the rosetta! He will also be discussing the best alternative milks out there for latte art, as well as sharing some tips and tricks to producing great latte art on a single boiler machine!

So grab your frothing pitchers and a bag of freshly roasted coffee and practice alongside Gail as she goes through the program here at Latte Art University.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a lesson! And as always, thanks for watching!



Morning Maintenance: Programming a PID

Time and temperature. If you break down the essentials of a good cup of coffee/shot of espresso you will arrive at two variables: time and temperature.Silvia PID

It doesn’t matter how fresh your coffee is or how expertly roasted it was. If your brewing time and temperature are not correct, you end up with something you don’t want to drink. So what’s the best way to control those two variables? With a PID of course.

Especially on a single boiler machine, where the boiler temperature will fluctuate between brew temp and steam temp, a PID will help you dial in a delicious shot of espresso, every time.

In the Morning Maintenance video below Gail will show you how to program your PID on the Rancilio Silvia. The PID’s we install on the Silvia will allow you to control the brew temperature, pre-infusuion time, pre-infusion wait time, and brew time.

Once you know how to program your machine, it’s fun to experiment with different temperatures and times for the same coffee. Each variable will bring out different flavors in your cup! Yum!

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Crew Review: La Marzocco Linea Mini

It’s new. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. It must be from La Marzocco.Linea Mini

Yes! That is right. We are here today with a Crew Review of the new La Marzocco Linea Mini. And while the word mini is in the name, it really is anything but mini!

The Linea Mini has a huge 3.5 liter  water reservoir which is sure to last you several brewing cycles before requiring a refill. (And that means more coffee! We all can get behind that!)

We were really impressed with the details that were put into this machine. The drip tray features a new magnetic connection. Which makes for easy removal and re-attachment, it literally snaps back into place. The Linea Mini also has their lion logo etched into the brew head screen. Sure it doesn’t change the way your espresso will taste, but it certainly looks awesome!

The steaming function on this machine is truly a show stopper. It features a 4 hole steam tip, which makes for some fast steaming. During the filming of our Crew Review, Gail was able froth up a 12 ounce pitcher in no time flat!

Gail seems to enjoy the stainless steel model, but the Linea Mini also comes in black, red and white. Something for everyone!

Be sure to watch the full Crew Review below to learn about all the details of the awesome machine!