Category Archives: Commercial

Commercial Rancilio Self-Installation

commercial RancilioAny café owner will tell you that the secret to success is having a good espresso machine as part of your setup, as it will supply you and your customers with delicious espresso for years to come. As such, you’ve done your due diligence, researched a variety of machines and ultimately decided that a commercial Rancilio espresso machine is the best option for you. However, if deciding on which machine to choose wasn’t tough enough, now you have to get your machine installed in your shop.

This may sound like a challenging and complicated process, especially once you open up the box and see your beautiful new machine accompanied by a bunch of wires and hoses. While it might look scary, installing a Rancilio yourself isn’t quite as hard as you think. The process can be broken down into six easy steps. And yes, when it comes to installing the electrical plug on a machine, we know that each hot wire is 110 volts (not 120) in order for the two to be equal 220 volts total. Since the machine wasn’t setup yet when we filmed this video, we hadn’t had the amount of espresso necessary for number crunching!

Of course when you have an expert in commercial machines, like Brandon, around it is hard not to put their skills to the test for the sake of knowledge. We had him plumb and wire-in a commercial Rancilio in our test kitchen to see the process in action. To simplify your installation process, follow along with him in this comprehensive video. If you have any questions, we’re always happy to help! Just let us know.

SCG How-To Guides: Rancilio Commercial Espresso Machine Installation

Crew Review: Curtis G3 Electric Water Dispenser

Curtis G3In recent years, the popularity of slowly-crafted, by-the-cup coffee preparations like pour over and immersion brewing has steadily increased in cafes across the US. Some shops will employ dueling hot water kettles in order to tailor the water temperature to each and every brew, and if you’re offering a wide selection of coffees prepared in this manner, then that still may be a great way of doing it. However, if you find that you’re brewing these coffees at relatively similar temperatures or your demand dictates a more efficient approach to water delivery, the Curtis G3 hot water dispenser is an essential tool of the trade.

With a simple programming interface, temperature control and the ability to aerate your water prior to delivery to ensure it is highly oxygenated — and tastes great — the G3 is an updated version of their tried-and-true electric hot water dispenser. It has a much more fetching case design, allowing it to fit right in behind the counters of even the most hip and stylish cafes, but it’s still easy to use under high volume brewing conditions.

In this review video, Brandon guides us through the Curtis G3’s features and functionality, shows us how to program it and set temperature and then discusses what kind of applications it is best suited for. In addition to aforementioned manual coffee brewing methods, we think this would also be an exceptional tool in a tea house.

Crew Review: Curtis G3 Electric Water Dispenser

Compare: Dual Boiler Espresso Machines

After many requests, we were finally able to get all of our dual boiler espresso machines in the same place at the same time — these guys have very busy schedules! But once we cornered a La Marzocco GS/3, Rocket Espresso R58 and Breville BES900XL at our Bellevue retail location, Gail made short work of a very thorough comparison.

First off you may be wondering why you’d choose a dual boiler machine to begin with. One of the primary benefits they offer is that you can control the temperature of the brew boiler independent of the steam boiler’s function. You can also brew and steam at the same time, producing cafe-quality lattes and cappuccinos in a snap. Each of the dual boiler machines we carry offer something a little bit different … here’s a quick overview:

La Marzocco GS/3 Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

La Marzocco GS/3

Originally designed by La Marzocco for roasters to use to test their espresso roasts, the smallish stature yet commercial grade components have made the GS/3 a sought-after home espresso machine for truly committed enthusiasts. Because it technically is a commercial machine, and can be used in very low volume commercial environments, its shot and steaming performance is most like that of a much larger pro model. The steaming is fierce and forthright, the shot temperature consistent throughout and it features an internal reservoir or plumb-in option. This is the machine for those that appreciate high quality with a little brand cachet.

Rocket R58 Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Rocket Espresso R58

The R58, on the other hand, is a decidedly home-oriented espresso machine with commercial-grade components. Featuring an E61 brew head, a removable PID interface and an exceptionally polished stainless steel case design, it also has a convertible water source and a large steam boiler. While the GS/3 will steam your milk a bit faster, the R58 does enable you to work your milk a little bit, which is perfect for those with mid-range milk frothing skills. If you love the look of polished stainless steel and want a machine that recalls the classic design of early espresso machines, the R58 is a solid choice.

Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Breville Dual Boiler

Finally, we have the BES900XL, which is Breville’s entry into the dual boiler ring. Like their entire suite of products, this espresso machine is designed from a home appliance perspective — smaller footprint, increased ease of use and some people-friendly elements like an integrated storage tray and the ability to move the machine around on a wheel that’s integrated into the bottom. It has the smallest boiler set of the trio, making its steaming functionality much slower, which can be great news to anyone just learning how to make the fine micro foam necessary for latte art. It’s also the most budget-conscious of the lot, so definitely a great choice for folks who don’t want to drop a few thousand bucks for an espresso machine.

Want to learn more? Watch as Gail gives us a detailed feature and spec overview of each machine, then demonstrates how they perform by making us lattes. If you’ve been curious about these models or the benefits of a dual boiler espresso machine, this video should answer most of your questions.

SCG Compare: Dual Boiler Espresso Machines

Crew Review: Victoria Arduino Adonis

Victoria Arduino AdonisIf you asked us to characterize the nature of our time recently spent with the Victoria Arduino Adonis at Nuova Simonelli’s US headquarters, it would not be fit for the family-friendly tone of this blog. This sleek, gorgeous and elegant commercial-class espresso machine takes the sophisticated functionality of Nuova Simonelli Aurelia 2 T3 and wraps it in an incredibly fetching design.

Available in two to four brew group configurations, each with individually-controlled temperature and volumetric shot programming, the Adonis is designed for cafes that want the best of both worlds … if those worlds happen to be named Form and Function. With its gleaming stainless steel, accent lighting and unique brew head design, the Victoria Arduino Adonis is an elegant showpiece that will also produce exceptional coffee.

In this review video, Brandon guides us through its features and specs, then demonstrates how to make a latte. If you’re designing your cafe to include an element of showmanship and high design, then the Adonis by Victoria Arduino should definitely be considered.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Victoria Arduino Adonis

Field Trip: Nuova Simonelli Talento Overview with Ryan

Nuova Simonelli TalentoDuring our recent field trip to Nuova Distribution, the US arm of Nuova Simonelli, we had the opportunity to interview one of their master technicians, Ryan, on the ins and outs of the uber-sophisticated Talento commercial superautomatic espresso machine.

As a follow-up to Brandon’s comprehensive review and demonstration video, Ryan speaks to the design approach and methodology that makes the Talento such an excellent choice for certain commercial environments. With a high level of control on the part of the administrator and extensive troubleshooting tools for techs, the Talento is designed to provide worry-free espresso based drinks in environments that may not be conducive to lengthy barista training.

He also shares with us the technical decisions behind elements of the machine’s design, specifically around the brew group functionality, and then dives deeply into guiding us through the machine’s internal menu — how to program it, the different options and settings available, what each sub-menu is designed to do and more!

If, after watching Brandon’s video review, you wanted more detail on the Talento, this video is right up your alley. And if you want even more info on or want to discuss whether or not  this machine is the right fit for your business, contact us!

Field Trip: Nuova Simonelli Talento Overview with Ryan

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Talento

Nuova Simonelli Talento While there are several superautomatic espresso machines designed for home use, there is a relatively smaller selection in the commercial space. If your business requires exceptional ease of use and consistency, yet cannot support lengthy barista training, then a machine like the Nuova Simonelli Talento is well worth your consideration.

How does it differ from its residential-oriented counterparts? Like most commercial machines, it comes down to the robustness and quality of the components used to build it. Commercial-grade equipment is designed specifically for high volume wear-and-tear, so you can rely on it to consistently create what may be your business’ most important product. Some environments like large hotels with room service, high school cafeterias or even fast food restaurants lend themselves better to a superautomatic because, with little training on part of the operator, tasty espresso-based drinks can be crafted to order.

In addition to its exceptional build quality, the Nuova Simonelli Talento also features sophisticated programming for up to twenty different types of drinks and the option of using a one-touch cappuccino function or an automatic steam wand. During our field trip to Nuova Simonelli’s US headquarters, Brandon dove deep into this sophisticated superauto! Check out his full review and demonstration in this comprehensive video.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Talento Commercial Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Aurelia 2 T3 Commercial Espresso Machine

Aurelia 2 T3While sophisticated temperature control and experimenting with how different brew temps affect the flavor of coffee was born in the world of Third Wave coffee, more and more cafes are getting in on the fun lately. Nuova Simonelli designed their Aurelia 2 T3 commercial espresso machine to meet this need. Combining their well-known commitment to excellent build quality, ergonomic design and intuitive functionality, they’ve designed the T3 version of their popular Aurelia 2 series of machines with independent brew boilers and separate temperature control.

By using a combination of heat exchange and multiple boiler technology, each brew head on the T3 (from two to four) will produce a very consistent shot. You can program each of them for different temperatures, allowing you to brew coffees in different ways without having to adjust your machine in the process. As this is targeted toward higher end specialty coffee businesses, it is currently only available in a semi-automatic configuration — Nuova Simonelli is assuming that you and your baristas will want to be actively involved in your shot extraction!

To learn more about the Aurelia 2 T3, we visited Nuova Simonelli’s US headquarters in Ferndale, WA, and took one out for a test drive. In this comprehensive review video, Brandon guides us through the T3’s tech specs, functionality and design, then demonstrates how to make a latte.

These machines are designed for very high volume businesses, so if you’re in the market for something that affords you sophisticated customization yet can also keep up with your busiest rush, the Aurelia 2 T3 is well worth your consideration.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Aurelia 2 T3 – Commercial Espresso Machine

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Mythos

Nuova Simonelli MythosWhile we’ve reviewed other Nuova Simonelli commercial-class coffee grinders like the MDX and Eureka, we had never had the opportunity to spend quality time with the oft-mentioned Mythos. So when we visited Nuova Simonelli’s US headquarters in Ferndale, WA, we couldn’t wait to get our paws on one — let alone three!

Currently, the Mythos has a couple of variations that will soon evolve into three distinct models: The Basic, the Plus and the ClimaPro. The Basic is a straightforward dosing grinder that has an expansive bean hopper, programmable dosing functionality and the Mythos’ unique vertically-aligned burr set. The Plus has everything the Basic does, but adds a mechanical tamper to the mix. Finally, the ClimaPro features a smaller profile and a heating element in the dosing chute, which maintains a consistent temperature and, therefore, grind consistency amidst ambient temperature changes.

Watch as Brandon guides us through these three grinders, showing us how they work and compare with each other. He also talks about which type of business would benefit more from each of these styles of Mythos grinders, so you’ll be able to select the right model for your coffee-oriented business.

If you’d like to learn more about these specific models or pre-order a model, please contact Brandon and he can work with you to do so.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Mythos Grinders

Crew Review: Jura Impressa XJ9 One-Touch for Offices

Jura Impressa XJ9If you own a small business and you’re looking to upgrade your office’s coffee experience — plus pretty much secure your receipt of a World’s Best Boss mug from your trusty crew — the Jura Impressa XJ9 is the only way to go! With all of the sophisticated features of the Impressa J9 one-touch, the XJ9 has been adapted for an office environment by expanding the capacities of its bean hopper, water reservoir, drip tray and dregs box.

Aside from the more generous volumes, it pretty much performs as the J9 does — programmable drink buttons, an intuitive full color TFT navigation screen and one-touch cappuccino functionality. Watch as Chris guides us through its features and specs, then demonstrates how easy it is to make a delicious cappuccino!

Crew Review: Jura Impressa XJ9 One-Touch for Offices

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Major Commercial Coffee Grinder

Mazzer MajorEach time we provide an overview of a new coffee grinder like the Mazzer Major, we feel the need to also get down to the nitty gritty and show you how to take it apart, care for it, look for signs of wear & tear, then put it back together again.

A lot of our day-to-day work involves helping people get the most from their coffee gear, and one big way that you can do that is by keeping it enviably clean. Especially if you are running a coffee-oriented business! Day in and day out, you’re serving up delicious coffee to your adoring customers and you want to make sure that it’s fresh and fully represents what you’re all about, right? Taking care to regularly clean your grinder’s bean hopper, burr set, grinder chute and doser chamber (if applicable) will go a long way to improving both the consistency and the flavor of your espresso.

In this comprehensive how-to video, Brandon guides us through how to perform regular care and maintenance on the Mazzer Major. Watch him take it apart, assess the internals, clean and then re-assemble this popular commercial coffee grinder. If you own or work for a business that uses a Mazzer Major in your operation — and you’re not performing similar maintenance on a regular basis — might we recommend that today’s the day you change that trend? Follow Brandon’s guidance and you’ll see how simple it is to do so.

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Major Commercial Coffee Grinder