Category Archives: Coffee & Tea

Coffee On The Brain: Mundo Novo & Catuai Coffee Varietals

On this Episode of Coffee On The Brain, we travel to Brazil to explore the Mundo Novo and Catuai coffee varietals. These South American coffees create a tasty blend that you have to try! After a short history lesson, we’ll brew up some of 49th Parallel’s Honduras Finca Bonanza coffee blend

The Mundo Novo coffee varietal thrived in Brazil and is a natural hybrid of Typica and Bourbon plant. It’s a favorite amongst farmers for its resistances to disease and its higher fruit yield than a Bourbon varietal. It didn’t, however, inherit the desired flavor profile that people love from a Bourbon. That doesn’t mean you can’t find quality Mundo Novo beans! When you are lucky enough to come across some, the flavor is described as heavy and sweet with lower acidity.

What do you do then when beans are missing desired traits? You make new ones, of course! The Catuai is a high-yield Arabica cultivar from the Mundo Novo and Caturra coffee varietals. It was bred in the 1950s by the Instituto Agronomico do Campinas in Brazil likely as an attempt to create a high-yielding, pest resistant plant with delicious cherries.

The Catuai is a high-yielding cultivar with a sweet, Bourbon-desired flavor, but, unfortunately, it is susceptible to diseases—we call this a success in the coffee world! Two out of three desired traits isn’t too bad. While the dream for a bean with all three traits wasn’t fully realized in this varietal, the Catuai coffee produces some espresso blends that we’ve come to love.

Want to get your hands on some Catuai coffee?

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Amber brewed up 49th Parallel’s Honduras Finca Bonanza and gave it a try. She detected notes of sweet, caramel balanced with tropical fruit undertone—like a mini-vacation in a cup! Try it and tell us what you think. 

If you’re curious to try Amber’s quick pour over, here’s the easy instructions.

Quick Pour Over Recipe:

  • Chemex Carafe with filter
  • 30 grams of ground 49th Parallel’s Honduras Finca Bonanza coffee
  • 500 grams of water at 205 degrees
  • Brew for 3:50 minutes
  • Serve  hot and enjoy!

Ask Gail: How To Sign Up for SCG Subscriptions!

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Imagine waltzing into the office and throwing a friendly “hello” to Gail before making a beeline to the kitchen. You expect to be greeted by the aroma of piping hot coffee but the stale air and huddle of co-workers around the pot confirm your suspicions. You ran out of coffee. Again.

Why run out of coffee when you can get fresh roasted beans delivered straight to your home or office? We launched SCG Subscriptions to put the pep back in your step and free your mornings for important tasks like brewing another pot. With SCG Subscriptions, you can have selected coffee, tea and cleaning supplies mailed directly to you!

If that’s not the definition of convenience, then this certainly will be! We made it super easy to sign up and change your subscription. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1. First, you’ll need a Seattle Coffee Gear Account. If you don’t already have one, you’ll be prompted to create one or log in before you can set up your subscription. 

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Step 2. To start your subscription, go to seattlecoffeegear.com. For an example run-through, we’ll subscribe to—you guessed it—coffee! Click on the “Coffee & Tea” tab and browse through the coffee based on their flavor profile and specialities. Currently, we offer SCG Subscription on most coffees, teas and cleaning supplies.

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Step 3. Choose an item and click on the photo to get more information. This is also where you will subscribe to that item.

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Step 4. On items that are available for SCG Subscription, under the “Add to Cart” button is the “Subscribe” button. Click on “Subscribe” and the website will prompt you to login to your SCG Account.

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Step 5. Log in to your account and fill out the subscription information. In your account, you will be able to:

  • Adjust frequency between every week, two weeks, a month or two months for delivery
  • Address who’s receiving the delivery
  • Change your address when you move
  • Add, change or cancel your order at any time!

That’s all there is to it! Watch the full video below with Gail and Miranda as they explain the awesome convenience of this new feature!

Coffee Collaboration: Coffee + Butter + Coconut Oil = Yum!

You asked for it, so Gail brewed it! It’s time for the much anticipated bulletproof coffee recipe on Coffee Collaboration!

This fresh, creamy drink takes you on a tropical island cruise that you’ve always dreamed of and leaves your taste buds swimming in an irresistible buttery-smooth texture—until the cup’s empty and you find yourself back in your kitchen. Needless to say, this pallet pleaser lives up to its hyped reputation!

Besides the incredible taste and texture, there are some positive reviews out there about the health benefits of bulletproof coffee. One of those benefits comes from consuming coconut oil. Its benefits include speeding up your metabolism and giving you an extra energy boost (you know, in case caffeine wasn’t enough). There are also opinions that coconut oil and certain butter (depends on the kind) add healthy fats to your diet too. Benefits or no benefits, Gail is more than impressed with the final flavor results! Enough chit-chat; let’s make this recipe!

Grab:

  • 10 ounces of coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Blender
  • Coffee maker (we used a French press)
  • Mug!
  1. Brew 10 ounces of coffee. Check out our How To Make Excellent French Press Coffee, if you’re new to the French press brew method.
  2. Grab a blender and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Pour your fresh coffee into the blender and blend! Drink up, me hearties!

Tips & Tricks: Try grass-fed butter for a different flavor and health benefits.

Do you have a recipe you want us to try? Leave us a comment on the video with your unique cup of joe and, as always, get all things coffee by subscribing to our YouTube Channel!

Coffee On The Brain: Timor & Catimor Coffee Varietals

What do you get when you cross a Robusta and Arabica plant?

The Timor coffee varietal!

This cross breed is a rare and hard to find coffee varietal. The Timor was discovered by chance on the East Asian Island of Timor (where it got its name) and was loved because of its unique characteristics. The Robusta parent had blessed the Timor with disease resistant qualities that farmer’s love while it maintained the desirable flavor profile of its Arabica parent.

Eventually, the Timor grew up and had other coffee varietals of its own. One of those varietals is the Catimor, the child of the Timor and Caturra coffee varietals (here in the coffee-sphere, we mashup coffee names like they’re celebrities). It was purposely bred to have the disease resistant qualities of the Timor and the sweet and fruity notes of the Caturra. The flavor results of the Catimor, however, weren’t satisfying.

If you’re lucky enough to find high-quality Catimor beans, the notes are nutty with an herbal aroma. Occasionally, some beans have cherry or berry undertones. However, without the proper care, the beans become overwhelming earthy and rubbery (mmm, delicious). Because of the Catimor’s flavor profile, it’s not a highly sought after varietal, and therefore, it’s rare to find.

Luckily, as Amber points out, there are way better coffee varietals out there! Amber gave us the 411 on the Caturra varietal last week on Coffee On The Brain. Check out the full video on the Timor and Catimor varietals below and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get a healthy stream of all things coffee!

Coffee Collaboration: Head To Head: Cold Bloom Method

It’s a Brew Off!

On a previous episode of Coffee Collaboration, Carl sent us a cold bloom French Press recipe that we tried and loved. A new challenger, Ian, sent us his recipe and was absolutely sure it was better! We love a good competition, so we brewed up both recipes for Gail to judge.

How did our competitor’s fair?

Check out the full video below to see who brewed it better! Plus, watch Gail be, well Gail, and make a mess as she brews both Ian and Carl’s cold bloom methods.

Have a recipe you want us to try out? Drop us a comment on YouTube with your recipe!

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Ian’s Cold Bloom Recipe:

Coffee: 18 grams, finer than drip coffee

Water: 60 grams of cold water

Mix water and coffee before leaving for about 20 hours. Drop the slurry into an AeroPress and top up (to the number 4) with hot water at 195F.

Brew for 10 seconds. Plunge!

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Carl’s French Press Recipe:

Begin prep for French Press coffee (12 hour wait time). Put the grounds into the press, pour enough water to get all the grounds wet, then add just a splash more water and let sit for 12 hours.

Add your hot water (195F) to the slurry and brew for the normal amount time (about four minutes) and there you have it!

Coffee On The Brain: Gesha Coffee Varietal

Described as complex and ethereal, the Gesha coffee varietal sounds as divine as it tastes. The delicate, floral and black-tea-like profile make it a sensational brew that’s highly sought after.

The Gesha is just one of the Ethiopian Heirloom coffee varietals but by far this varietal’s taste soars above the rest.

The rareness of finding the varietal, too, makes it even more desirable. The Gesha plant is just as delicate as it tastes. The thin, frail branches make it difficult to grow and the cherries are easily knocked off the plant. It’s also vulnerable to pests and temperamental to weather, which makes this varietal more expensive to care for.

How did such an otherworldly plant come about?

An Ethiopian heirloom was transported to Central America where it mutated and created the Gesha (not to be confused with Geisha. It was named from the town of Gesha, Ethiopia). It wasn’t until the 1950s in Costa Rica that the Gesha was discovered; however, the coffee really grew in popularity after a Panama farm won a competition with their Gesha varietal. 

Join Amber as she explores the Gesha coffee varietal in the full video below. If you love our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel to get your fill of all things coffee!

Coffee Collaboration: A Stovetop Americano (Plus Half & Half!)

We’re calling this recipe, courtesy of Asher, a Stovetop Americano! Flavorful, stout and full-bodied, this brew makes one delicious cup we’ll be making for a while! Let’s get started on replicating this hot drink right in your home.

Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Ingredients & Equipment:

Instructions:

  1. Fill up your kettle with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Have 25 grams of freshly ground or pre-ground coffee ready
  3. Once the water is boiling, fill up the stove top chamber with it. Leave the hot water boiling.
  4. Add 25 grams of pre-ground coffee into coffee chamber.
  5. Carefully screw on the top of the stovetop (it’ll be hot!) and place it on the stove to boil. You’ll notice it start to brew quickly, so don’t walk away! It took us about 45 seconds to percolate.
  6. Now comes the fun! When the stovetop is done, pour 95 grams of the freshly brewed stove top coffee into your mug, then clear the scale and add 135 grams of hot water in, too.
  7. Add your shot of half and half and enjoy!

We’re always taking new coffee recipes. Leave your recipe in the comments on YouTube!

Tips & Tricks:

Add some extra hot water to reduce the concentration of coffee or if you like it stout, add less.

Coffee On The Brain: Bourbon & Caturra Coffee Varietals

Bourbon? We’ll take ours on the rocks, please.

In this episode of Coffee On The Brain, Amber explores the Bourbon and Caturra coffee varietals. Check out the full review in the video below!

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Sweet, complex and crisp, the Bourbon coffee varietal is one of the first two know varietals from the Typica plant discovered on the island of Bourbon, now called Réunion. If you’re looking for the island, you’ll find it located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. Today, the Bourbon varietal is more commonly grown in Brazil and South America.

The Bourbon’s high bean yield made it desirable (understandably so) and it quickly spawned some other varietals like the Caturra. The Caturra subspecies is favored for its “compact” growth, allowing farmers to grow more plants together and get more beans.

How do they taste?

The Bourbon is sweeter with crisp acidity and is gentle on the palette. A great blend to try is the Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso, which features the Bourbon and other coffee varietals. Try it as an espresso or cappuccino—either way, it’s delicious!

For a sweet and fruity coffee, Counter Culture’s  Los Rosales, a Caturra varietal, has a smooth, well-balanced taste with slight cherry undertones.

If you’re curious about trying one the Bourbon or Caturra coffee varietals, check out our tasting wall at the Alderwood store and ask one of our coffee specialist for a sample!

P.S. Hey, Bellevue! The Bellevue SCG Store is celebrating the grand opening of “The Wall” on Saturday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m. and we want you to join us! “The Wall” features forty speciality coffees that you can have freshly ground and brewed on the spot! (Sample the Black Cat Classic while you’re there.) RSVP for the grand opening in Bellevue here. 

Comparison: Xelsis Evo vs Gran Baristo

We compared two of high end superautomatic espresso machines from Saeco. The Xelsis Evo and the Gran Baristo, the Xelsis Evo being the top of the line machine! Be sure to watch our full Crew Review Comparison video below to see these machines in action.Xelsis Evo

The first thing we noticed when comparing these two machines was the difference in size. The Gran Baristo is a slim machine, coming in at only 8.25 inches wide. The Xelsis Evo sits a little taller and about 3 inches wider. So if counter space in your kitchen is limited, it would be best to measure! The looks of both of these espresso machines are sharp. Stainless steel galore!

The Gran Baristo model that we compared comes with a removable bean hopper. This is a feature you just don’t find on superautomatic espresso machines, but is great to have! Swap out your beans with ease (a decaf in the evening perhaps?)

The Xelsis Evo features some great programability. In the easy to use interface, you can program up to 9 customized drinks for up to 6 different users! Everyone in your family (or office) can have the drink just how they like it, from the amount of milk used for a latte to the temperature of the espresso. What really sets the Xelsis Evo apart from the Gran Baristo is the available customization. The Xelsis Evo even has a traditional steam wand so you can froth the milk yourself to your desired temperature and texture.

Gran BaristoThe Gran Baristo only features an automatic milk option, and to be honest, we were not terribly impressed. The process as a whole was louder than other auto milk forthers and quite a bit messier. For this reason we feel the Xelsis is a better option for those who like to drink milk based espresso drinks daily.

Check out the full Crew Review Comparison below before heading over to our YouTube channel for more on both of these espresso machines.

 Want to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss a video? Click here! 

Crew Review: Saeco Xelsis Evo

The top of the line superautomatic espresso machine from Saeco, that’s right, we are talking about the Xelsis Evo! Programmable, customizable, what more could you ask for in a coffee making machine?Xelsis Evo

We took a closer look at this machine to see where what really separates the Xelsis Evo from the rest of the Saeco line up. In our Crew Review, three things stuck out to us as key features. The first being all the programmability you get with the Xelsis Evo. You can create and customize 9 different drinks for 6 different users! Each profile is designated by an easy to recognize icon, and once the drink settings are saved, brewing your drink just the way you like it is a button press away.

The next key feature that the Xelsis Evo has over it’s competition is the temperature of the espresso shots. After several tests, we measured the temperature of the espresso at the spout to be 193 F! That is hot, especially for a superautomatic espresso machine! So if you like a hot beverage, this is the machine for you!

Last but absolutely not least, the steam wand. A steam wand is a rare find on a superautomatic espresso machine. Even more rare, is a steam wand that is this caliber. Most steam wands on superautomatics have limited movement and/or only have a panarello. The steam wand on the Xelsis Evo is the real deal. So if the one touch milk carafe isn’t quite to your liking, feel free to steam on!

Be sure to watch the full Crew Review in the video below! Want to learn more or read customer reviews about this machine? Head over to our website for all that and more!

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