Category Archives: Coffee & Tea

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 :)


A Look Inside A Breville Oracle

Breville OracleIn case you haven’t noticed, we like to take things apart here at Seattle Coffee Gear. So anytime we are offered a Breville Oracle that is cut in half, we obviously take it.

And now we get to share it with you!

The Breville Oracle is a cross between a super-automatic and a semi-automactic espresso machine. Which means we knew there would be parts inside we had never seen before! Gail was particularly interested in looking at the auto tamping machinery. And of course it was just as cool as we imagined.

Take a look at the video below to see what the insides of the Breville Oracle looks like! You will not be disappointed.



Crew Review: Sowden Tea Maker

Gail has the tea, you should bring some muffins! Seriously, she is waiting.sowden tea maker

Gail took the Sowden Tea Maker for a spin. You may recognize this clean and modern look from our Cold Brew Comparison video, but there is a key feature that separates the two products! As Gail demonstrates in this video, the screen that filters the tea or coffee out of the water is designed differently. And rightfully so, coffee grounds are much finer than teas. The removable stainless steel filter is large enough to allow the tea to breath as it steeps, so you get a perfect pot everytime.

The Sowden Oskar SoftBrew Tea Maker is easy to clean, a simple rinse after each use and you will keep it looking like the day you got it. Be careful when handling the pot after you steep the tea, it can get a little hot.

Watch the Crew Review below! Thanks for watching :)





Crew Review: OXO Cold Brew Maker

OXO Cold Brew Is that….the sun?! This is a question we are hearing a lot up here in Seattle. And it can only mean one thing, summer is right around the corner! And for us at Seattle Coffee Gear, that means cold brew.

And to celebrate the magnificent sunshine,  we are taking a look at the newest cold brew coffee maker on the market. The OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker! We all know the OXO products, you might even have their vegetable peeler in a drawer at home. But the OXO Cold Brew Maker won’t be slicing any vegetables, and that’s a good thing! This cold brew maker sticks to what is does best, brew cold brew!

The OXO Cold Brew Maker features a rainmaker design that you pour your cold water though. This design allows the grounds to be evenly saturated with water and bloom properly, resulting in a tastier finished product. The glass carafe that catches the final product is constructed out of borosilicate glass, which is extremely durable.  After steeping, all that is needed to be done in order to drink the tasty concentrate is flip the brew release switch and let gravity do the work!

The cold brew that this brewer yields is concentrated , so diluting 2 oz of the cold stuff with some ice or milk is suggested. You could of course dilute it with hot water if you prefer a hot beverage. The choice is up to you!

This brewer won our unofficial Cold Brew Taste Test. Be sure to check out that video if you haven’t already. Watch this Crew Review below before heading over to our YouTube channel and subscribing!


Brewin’ With Brandi: Chocolate Espresso Waffles

Chocolate espresso waffles, need I say more?

This time on Brewin’ With Brandi, Brandi and Leslie whip up a batch and top it off with more chocolate chips and espresso syrup. Is it breakfast or dessert? That is really up to you to decide!

Watch the video recipe below and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for all things coffee!

 Ingredients For About 5 Waffles:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teasponns baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 shots espresso
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips

Ingredients For Espresso Syrup:

  • 1 cup brewed espresso (about 8 shots)
  • 1 cup sugar


To make the espresso syrup: Combine the espresso and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Stir consistently for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is thick like a syrup.

To make the waffles: Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the milk, sugar, espresso, and oil. Blend until well mixed.

Preheat a waffle iron. While the waffle iron is preheating beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixed until the form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter until mixture is just combined.

Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and add enough batter to cover the waffle iron, about 1 cup of batter. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through. Top with chocolate chips and espresso syrup and enjoy!


Ask Gail: Lavazza’s Packaging Change?

Lavazza's packagingJust as soon as you get used to something, it changes. Believe you me when I say, I get it! It can be frustrating, especially when you really loved what was changed.

Well I have some good news for you. It’s what is on the inside that counts! In case you don’t know what I am talking about, Lavazza updated some of their packaging a little bit ago. And to be honest, I rather like the change, it looks more fresh! But what does Lavazza’s packaging change really mean?

But like I said, it is what is on the inside that counts :) And even though Lavazza’s packaging is new and improved they didn’t change the coffee. So when you order your new bag of coffee, you won’t be able to taste a difference (because there isn’t any!)

Gail can assure you this. Watch the video below to see what Gail’s speculation is as to why the change happened! Then head over to our YouTube channel to see what else Gail has been up too!


Comparison: Bonavita Coffee Makers

Bonavita Coffee MakerHow much coffee do you really want? That is truly the ultimate question. And depending on your personal answer there will be a Bonavita Coffee Maker waiting for you.

As you probably know, Bonavita has recently come out with 2 new coffee makers. The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker and The Bonavita 5-Cup Coffee Maker both with the Stainless Steel Carafe. The two machines are built almost identically, aside from the difference in size .

But there is one big difference. The 5-cup Coffee Maker has a number 4 filter cone while the 8-cup Coffee Maker has a new flat bottom cone design. When we tasted the two brews it was hard to tell the difference, even when looking for one.

So it is time to ask yourself, how much coffee do you really want? While you think about it, watch Gail compare the two Bonavita Coffee Makers and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Thanks for watching :)

Taste Test: Cold Brew!

As promised, our taste test of the 5 cold brew systems! In case you missed it you can check out the comparison video here.

For this blind taste test we brewed each of the cold brew systems following the manufacture’s instructions.  We had three loyal Seattle Coffee Gear employees to taste the concentrate undiluted in order to keep a level playing field. You may even recognize some faces! (Actually I’d be surprised if you don’t!)

Watch the video above to see which cold brew system was preferred by the team! Hint: It may surprise you!

Carbonating Cold Brew?

Carbonating Cold BrewRecently, we tried some of this nitro cold brew that everyone is talking about. And it was pretty tasty. But it also got us thinking, how can we do this at home? We have the cold brew, but how can we get the illusive carbonation? Well, as it turns out carbonating cold brew isn’t much of a hassle when you Ask Gail.

Gail offered to put her Soda Stream on the line. So we brewed up some cold brew with our Toddy and put our experiment in motion!

Watch the video below to see the results! It turned out better than expected!