Category Archives: Coffee & Tea

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

Process:

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!

 

Ask Gail: How To Make A Latte

How to make a latteYou ask. Gail delivers. Simple as that.

We here at Seattle Coffee Gear get asked all the time by customers, potential customers, family,  friends and even people waiting for us to leave work. Ok maybe not the last one, except that one guy. Anyways…the question we get asked all the time is how to make a latte. And not just any latte, the perfect latte.

So we asked Gail if she wouldn’t mind giving us a tutorial. And you know what she said? NO! But to her credit, she said she would find someone who could. Fair enough Gail. And like I said earlier, she delivered. Gail was able to track down and convince a local barista who has competed in several international barista competitions  to come to our offices and show us how to make a latte. And not just any latte, a perfect latte.

We met Sean, our very kind barista,  and gave him the best equipment we could get our hands on: the La Marzocco GS/3, the Rancillio Rocky grinder, a frothing pitcher and a tamper. Everything you could need. We asked for the best latte he could make, and he showed us every step of the way.

Be sure to watch the video below if you want to be able to make a perfect latte every time. We all learned a lot from our time with Sean and hope you do too! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well for new videos all the time!

 

Ask Gail: Can you Steep Tea in a Kettle?

can you steep tea in a kettleTea is a lot like coffee in that it requires a precise control of temperature and time in order to extract the deliciousness. But sometimes you want something quick. So what are the short cuts you can take, if there are any? Well, unfortunately there aren’t many. A common question we get is if you can put your loose leaf tea directly in the kettle as you heat up the water. And the simple answer is no. Because time and temperature are essential factors to brewing coffee or tea, this short cut won’t give you good results.

Watch this Ask Gail video to find out why this won’t work and to hear a few solutions to the problem.

 

Crew Review: Hario V60 Drip Station

Hario V60 Drip StationPour some sugar on me! Ok, maybe not sugar or on me. But you can pour some water on my freshly ground coffee! And if you want, you can use the Hario V60 Drip Station. What’s that you ask? It’s only the coolest thing sitting on my counter (granted, my 8 year old toaster is not much competition).

The Hario V60 Drip Station is designed to compliment the whole V60 pour over brewing process. The acrylic stand is easy to clean and easy to assemble. The stainless steel grate sits on top of the ABS resin drip tray, ready to catch any rouge coffee. The whole station fits perfectly on the Hario V60 Drip Scale, which makes for a no fuss brewing process. Once everything is set up, you are ready to brew just like they do at your local coffee shop.

Some may say that the stand is not an essential piece of equipment for brewing up a tasty cup of coffee. And yes that may be the case. The V60 Coffee Dripper does fit nicely on top of your standard coffee mug but if you like an organized and clean looking set up, this is for you (much like it is for me!).

Take a look at the video below to see Gail brew up a cup using the Hario V60 Dripper, station and scale! Yeah, she went all out. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well, Gail is always reviewing products or answering your questions. We’d love you to be a part of the conversation!