Category Archives: Coffee & Tea

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!

Be sure to subscribe to our channel for more videos! Subscribe to our channel by clicking here!

 

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!

How To Ice Brew Coffee

Ice BrewIt’s summer. Which means iced coffee of course!

But we think iced coffee should be more than just hot coffee poured over ice. If you have been following our YouTube channel you know that we have been experimenting with different ways to get that coffee we know and love, ice cold.

We have experimented with cold brew, which is amazingly smooth, but takes up to 24 hours to brew! Luckily we found out about this Japanese Cold Brew method, or sometimes referred to as ice brew!

We made some great coffee using this ice brew method. It’s as easy as making a cup of pour over except you substitute half of your brewing water with ice. As a result, you brew concentrated coffee directly onto ice, which instantly cools your coffee–locking in all the flavor. Trust us when we say, you need to try this!

Watch the video below to see Gail demonstrate how to brew using the ice brew method! And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking here. We publish a new video every day of the week, so we are confident there will be something for you ;)

 

 

 

 

Crew Review: Saeco Intuita Espresso Machine

IntuitaThe Saeco Intuita with its unique satin finish and simple push button interface, it brings brewing back to the basics. The Intuita is one of the entry level superautomatic espresso machines by Saeco.

It features essential programming functions, allowing you to set your desired coffee volume for both the espresso and long coffee buttons. While this machine won’t allow you to program multiple users, programming the volume is easy enough to do on the fly!

Keeping the Intuita clean is easy to do. It automatically rinses the brewing circuit after use and after waking it up, allowing for optimal brewing. The brew group easily snaps in and out, which makes rinsing it in the sink quick and painless.

The steam wand on this machine is a panarello design. The panarello makes frothing milk for lattes a no brainer. But don’t expect a micro foam suited for latte art. With the convenience of the panarello, you miss out on the control a conventional steam wand gives you.

Check out the full Crew Review of the Saeco Intuita super automatic espresso machine below before heading over to our YouTube channel to subscribe!

 

Ask Gail: Bitter and Sour Espresso Shots!

Sour EspressoBitter and sour espresso shots, oh my! Getting that perfect espresso shot takes time and practice. But knowing what to taste for and what adjustments to make goes a long way to pulling that perfect shot.

Espresso shots can have two extremes, either an overly bitter shot or a very sour shot. Both of which are very easy to recognize. But how do you go about fixing the off flavors? We asked Gail to give us the run down.

So if you espresso shot tastes sour check out the video below to find out the cure!

 

Does your espresso shot taste overly bitter? Watch the following video for some helpful tips!

 

Did you find these videos helpful? Then you might want to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos just like these!

 

Crew Review: Saeco Aroma

Do you smell that? That aroma? Well? :)Saeco Aroma

That’s right! We are talking about the Saeco Aroma semi-automatic espresso machine. Perfect for those with limited space but still want the control for great espresso. The Saeco Aroma is a pressurized portafilter system which will improve the extraction from almost any fineness of ground beans. The pressurized environment promotes the perfect brewing conditions without need of an expensive grinder.

The Saeco Aroma has a huge water tank. Or should we say swimming pool. At 88oz, you will rarely need to refill this machine. The panarello steam wand makes frothing milk a breeze. You won’t have all the control you would get with a traditional wand, but it will get you very close! The steam wand does have limited motion, which can be make frothing larger pitchers more difficult.

The Saeco Aroma is smaller than the Saeco Via Venezia, therefore it’s great for those with limited space. Watch the full Crew Review below!

 

 

Morning Maintenance: How To Descale A Rancilio Silvia

Descale SilviaIf you own an espresso machine you have probably heard that you
need to descale your machine. But what is descaling and how do you do it?

Descaling is the process of removing deposit build up from the inside of your espresso machine. This deposit build up is caused by minerals in your water supply. All water has tiny amounts of minerals and over time they attach and build up. Much like cholesterol plaques build up inside arteries!

So the first step to descaling begins before the scale can build up! Using filtered water in your espresso machine is key, as you don’t want to be descaling all the time. But when the time comes, following the steps demonstrated by Gail will have your machine up and running in no time.

Watch the full Morning Maintenance video below to find out how to descale your Rancilio Silvia.

 

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