Category Archives: Coffee & Tea

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!

 

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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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Ask Gail: Does Water Quality For Espresso Matter?

Water QualityWe are always stressing the importance of the coffee beans when it comes to espresso. But what about the other half of the shot? What role does the water quality play?

We know too many minerals will lead to scale build up in the machine. But what effect does this have on flavor? Does espresso taste different based on the water being used to brew?

Gail found out. Watch the Ask Gail video below and then head over to our YouTube Channel and subscribe!

 

Crew Review: Saeco Exprelia Evo

The best of both worlds! This is something you don’t always see. But on the Saeco Exprelia Evo, you truly get the best of both. I am referring, of course, to the traditional steam wand and automatic milk frother.

Exprelia EvoWhen it comes to super-automatic espresso machines you typically get exactly that, super automation! Which is great if what you want is to push a button and the result be delicious espresso and milk based drinks. But sometimes you want more. Maybe it’s your curious side peeking out or maybe you are feeling especially creative. Whatever it is, with the Exprelia Evo you can have that automation and the control over your milk’s texture and temperature with the steam wand.

The removable milk frothing carafe has an automatic cleaning cycle as well. Simply fill it with milk, plug into the machine when it’s time to brew, and then pop it back in the refrigerator for next time. The swiveled handle goes off to the side to dispense frothed milk into your beverage, then swivels back into place for an automatic rinsing cycle. It’s a pretty fantastic design. And Gail confirms, it makes a hot drink!

The Exprelia Evo‘s dual boilers are stainless-steel, so it is always ready to brew! It has a  removable water tank can hold 1.6 liters of water. Each drink type can be customized to your liking. If you are like Gail and prefer a stronger cup, go ahead because you can!

Watch the full Crew Review below! Then head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe!

 

Ask Gail: Coffee Bean Comparison

coffee beanWe all know that we shouldn’t use a oily coffee bean on a superautomatic espresso machine because it will eventually clog it up, which can be costly to fix.

But the question still remains, what does an oily coffee bean look like? Where in the proverbial sand is the line drawn?

Well you are in luck because Gail is here to answer your questions! She took a few different beans from a few different roasters and compared them based just on their looks.

Be sure to check out the video below! Do you have a question for Gail? Ask her in the comment section on YouTube!

 

 

Crew Review: Saeco Intelia Class

Saeco Intelia ClassBlack or stainless steel. One touch or panarello. With so many choices it might be hard to find the best machine for you! But not to worry! Gail is here to show you through the Saeco Intelia Class.

In this Crew Review Gail takes a closer look at the Intelia Class with the cappuccinatore. What’s a cappuccinatore? It’s a milk frothing device that draws milk up from a pitcher and combines it with steam before dispensing your frothy milk into your cup! Perfect for those who can’t function in the morning until that first cup of coffee!

The Saeco Intelia Class is much more than an automatic milk frother though (obviously). It is also a powerhouse superautomatic machine. Complete with a ceramic grinder, pre-brewing technology, and a bypass doser in the event you like decaf in the evenings.

The menu on this model offers some great programmability as well. So if you are the type that likes to tweak a variety of settings ranging from temperature settings to dosing strength to display contrast, you are in luck!

Be sure to watch the complete Crew Review below! And while you are at it, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss our latest videos!

 

Ask Gail: Can I Use Grindz In A Superautomatic?

GrindzWe are always say, the cleaner you keep you espresso machine the longer it will last. And we will continue to say so until the end of time. But sometimes cleaning your machine improperly can cause more damage than just leaving it dirty! Who woulda thought?

Case in point, using Grindz in a superautomatic espresso machine. Running Grindz Cleaner through your burr grinder every few weeks will work wonders  in terms of keeping your grinder clean and keeping your coffee tasting fresh. It also happens to be  all-natural, gluten free and completely food safe. But this is only useful on a stand alone grinder!

If used in a superautomatic, the Grindz will go into the brew unit and expand due to the brewing water. This expansion is really bad for the inside of your superautomatic, and will cause damage.

Watch the full Ask Gail below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for daily coffee videos!

 

 

 

Cold Brew Temperature Test

Cold BrewAs you know, we get tons of questions and requests. And we try to answer as many as we can! Some may call it science, but we just think of it as an excuse to drink more coffee!

Since summer is right around the corner we started getting a lot of requests around cold brew coffee! This question in particular was interesting to us. The viewer asked us if there is a difference in flavor if you steep your cold brew out at room temperature vs. steeping the cold brew in the refrigerator.  Well, there is really only one way to find out!

We used the Primula for this experiment. Using the same dosage for both, we steeped one bottle at room temperature for 16 hours and we steeped the other bottle in the refrigerator for 16 hours.

Watch as Gail gives these two a taste test and compares the methods!

 

 

Ask Gail: Coffee Cans vs. Coffee Bags

The question was asked, why are some coffees bagged in cans while other coffees are bagged in, well, bags? A great example of this can be found in Lavazza’s product line. The Qualita Oro Espresso comes in a can while the Top Class Espresso comes in a bag, and this goes on and on. So what is the real reason for the different packaging, coffee cans and coffee bags?coffee can

Naturally, we had to Ask Gail. She looked into this for us and came up with her own hypothesis. And it really came down to two things:

Cost and availability of equipment.

For a local roaster, packaging his or her roasted coffee in a can just isn’t  feasible. The equipment and space to store said equipment would simply cost too much. So why then do we see cans of coffee on the shelves? It turns out the raw cost of a can is cheaper than the raw cost of bag. So for a roaster at a large enough scale it would make business sense to package some coffees in a can.

Be sure to watch the full video below! Do you have a question for Gail? Ask her in the comment section on Youtube! And while you are there, subscribe to our channel :)