Category Archives: Commercial

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Rancilio KRYO 65 Commercial Espresso Grinder

Rancilio KRYO 65Designed for high capacity commercial environments, the Rancilio KRYO is an espresso-grade grinder that enables you to craft shot after sumptuous shot. With its 64mm stainless steel burrs, dosing chamber and unique aluminum fins (that dissipate the grind temperature) it quickly grinds up coffee for your double shots. But one key element of consistent shot flavor is to ensure that you’re using fresh coffee, and not inadvertently melding flavors with a built-up melange of old coffee grounds.

To avoid that, we highly recommend that you clean the grinder on a regular basis — at least monthly, if not weekly. Getting into it, taking it apart and then getting it back together again can seem a bit overwhelming, however, so we’ve filmed a how-to video for you! Hopefully, watching it will give you the confidence you need to take this project on.

Watch as Brandon walks us through the whole process, gives us tips on best practice and even tutors us in the ways of knowing when it’s time to replace the burrs. Even if you don’t want to dive into the full cleaning every week, doing it each month will improve your coffee flavor, and your customers will definitely dig it!

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Rancilio Kryo Commercial Espresso Grinder

 

Rebuilding the Rancilio C-Lever Steam Arm Assemblies

Rancilio C-Lever TechnologyIf you’re running a fast-paced coffee business, slinging a high volume of milk-infused espresso drinks throughout the day, you’ll be giving your commercial espresso machine’s steam wands a serious workout. This results in some degradation of a few of its internal parts, which will require replacement in order to maintain full steam functionality.

But performing this regular maintenance doesn’t have to mean a tech call if you know your way around your machine’s steam arm assembly. In fact, since performing this maintenance can be required sometimes as often as every 6 months, learning how to do it yourself will save you money, in addition to extending the life and performance of your machine. Sure, it sounds a bit daunting, but we’re here to help!

The first demonstration we have for you is on the Rancilio series of commercial espresso machines that feature their C-Lever functionality. We asked our commercial expert, Brandon, to guide us through how to remove, disassemble, replace parts, reassemble and then reinstall the steam arm on the Rancilio Classe 9, but this process applies to the majority of their machines. If you’re starting to notice water or steam leaking from the wand when it’s in its ‘off’ position, this is a hallmark sign that it’s time to perform this maintenance. So watch this video and then dive in!

SCG How-To Guide: Rebuilding Rancilio C-Lever Steam Arm Assembly

Crew Review: Rancilio KRYO 65 Commercial Burr Espresso Grinder

Rancilio KRYO 65Can’t sacrifice quality for quantity or vice versa? The Rancilio KRYO 65 feels your pain and was designed specifically to alleviate it.

Featuring 64mm stainless steel burrs, an aluminum fin collar to dissipate heat more evenly and a simple worm-drive adjustment mechanism, the KRYO 65 is built for high capacity coffee shops that need to produce consistent, excellent espresso. It also features a doser chamber for you to grind and dose quickly during a particularly mad rush, which also has the virtue of keeping things (relatively) clean.

If your cafe’s pace means you need to craft a quality espresso-based drink each minute, the KRYO 65′s speedy delivery (14 grams in about 4 seconds) will get you where you need to go. Watch as Brandon shows us its tech specs and features, including an internal tour of the burrs and grind shaft, plus a demonstration of of its grind quality.

Crew Review: Rancilio KRYO 65 Commercial Burr Espresso Grinder

A Tea Lover in a Coffee World: Tea Republik Review

Tea RepublikOne of the best parts about living in Seattle is the opportunity to explore a variety of different foods and drinks due to the abundance of cultures found in the city. Recently, my quest to try new teas and coffees lead me to Tea Republik, which is located on the Ave (45th Street) in the heart of the U-District. Curious to find out the story behind the teahouse with the unique name, I chatted with the store’s owner, Anton Lim, to learn more.

According to Lim, ‘Republik means people in Bashasa [Lim’s native language], so Tea Republik means people of tea.’ Lim went on to explain that after coming to United States from South East Asia as a student in 1998, he was inspired to provide people who love the natural flavor of tea with something new — fusion tea. As Lim states, ‘Tea does not have to [always] be served traditionally because there is so much more potential for tea blending. In my opinion, each tea has its own natural flavor that can be enhanced and used [to] complement other flavors once you know how to blend them; it can make something unique and delicious.’ Thus, in January of 2012, Tea Republik was born.

Even the design of the store itself is distinctive. Stalks of bamboo line the walls, beautiful and brightly colored flower lanterns hang from the ceiling and there is a bamboo canopy over the cash register (causing it to resemble a Tiki hut). Lim explained that his goal was to create ‘an outdoor experience in an indoor space [so that customers will feel like they are in the outdoors] when sipping our teas.’

What is more impressive is the wall of glass jars filled with tea that line the hallway to the back of the store. Lim says that they have ‘more than 100 loose leaf teas [including] traditional teas, natural flavor teas, herbal teas and decaf teas such as fruit tea. We are not limited to green, black and oolong teas but also have some South African teas (Rooibos).’

Striking decorations aside, the true highlight of Tea Republik are their special teas. These are tea blends that have milk or creme added for volume, or are mixed with fresh fruit and juices. Lim says the most popular teas are the ‘Lavender Creme Earl Grey special tea, [which] has lavender herbal tea blended with Earl Grey black tea [and is sweetened] with soy or creme’ and the Tropical Rainforest, which is ‘a fruity iced lemon tea with lemon, key lime, passion fruit and apples slices.’

After hearing about their special teas, I had to try one. At the counter, I poured over their tea menu (which is actually more like a book) and ended up going with an iced Chocolate Chimp Chai (a chocolate and banana flavored chai). The drink had a strong chocolate flavor, followed by the spicy and creamy flavor of traditional Chai tea – a definite winner. While there, I also tried their ‘Healing Tea,’ which was served in a cute personal tea pot and came with a caddy for my spent tea bag. The server at the counter said this sweet tasting peppermint tea is great for upset stomachs, which was great news since peppermint tea has always been my go-to when I have a stomach ache.

If for some reason you can’t find a tea that appeals to you on the menu (which seems virtually impossible with the huge selection of traditional and blended teas they offer!) you are not entirely out of luck. The staff at Tea Republik strives to create new special teas every day and customers also have the ability to create their own tea blends. The teahouse also rewards loyal customers with knowledge of their secret menu (a la In and Out) that features an even larger selection of specialty teas. No wonder this shop has become so popular with students and locals alike.

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Nuova Simonelli MDX Coffee Grinder

Nuova Simonelli MDXCaring for your Nuova Simonelli MDX is an essential element of producing excellent espresso, and it’s easier than you think! The MDX features a burr configuration that adjusts the bottom burr instead of the top during calibration, so cleaning it doesn’t mean you’ll need to completely dial in your grinder again. It also has a super simple method for removing the front doser chamber for cleaning, so you can also keep this area in tip-top condition.

In addition to regularly running a product like Grindz through it, you should completely disassemble, clean and then reassemble the Nuova Simonelli MDX every so often to ensure optimal performance. The frequency of this is dictated a bit by how busy your cafe is — many businesses do this weekly, while others do it monthly. You’ll know which is the best schedule for your coffee shop once you start doing it regularly and can gauge how much coffee is building up in the burr chamber.

Recommended tools include a vacuum of some sort and a firm-bristled brush, like the Grindminder; other than that, a little soap and water for the bean hopper and doser chamber keeps everything squeaky clean. For guidance on this procedure and tips on how to care for the grinder once you’ve taken it apart, watch Brandon’s in depth video.

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Nuova Simonelli MDX Coffee Grinder

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli MDX Grinder

Nuova Simonelli MDXWhen we first met the Nuova Simonelli MDX a few years ago, it seemed to fall into the same class as other similarly sized commercial-grade grinders did: It ground coffee quickly, uniformly and easily, so that you could extract a shot of espresso in under a minute from start to finish. But as we got to know it a bit better, we found that some its unique features made it a particularly learned choice for coffee connoisseurs and crafters alike.

First, unlike other grinders that keep the bottom burr stationary and move the top burr up and down during calibration, the Nuova Simonelli MDX does the opposite. The top burr remains stationary while the bottom adjusts up and down during calibration. This means that when you remove the top burr during cleaning, you don’t lose your grind setting and post-cleaning dial-in is a snap.

Next, the adjustment mechanism on the MDX is pretty tight: A smooth moving knob on top of the grinder versus a sometimes-jerky adjustment collar. It’s super simple to dial in the grind using the knob, leaving very little guesswork around where your grind setting is.

Other than that, though, it’s a fairly standard mid-sized commercial grinder — removable bean hopper, stainless steel flat burrs with a ~1100lb. bean lifetime, front doser chamber to capture ground coffee on the fly. In Brandon’s crew review video, he goes over all the Nuova Simonelli MDX’s features and specs, then demonstrates its grind consistency and performance.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli MDX Coffee Grinder

Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic: Programming Guide

Rancilio Classe 9 AutomaticSometimes you find yourself in the middle of a little bit too much technology and you need a helping hand to guide you to the other side. If the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic commercial espresso machine is that for you, then Brandon is your tech sherpa who will happily pilot you through its menus and programming functionality.

In this comprehensive how-to video, you’ll learn all about the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic’s internal menu and programming, including tips on how to best dial in your volumetric dosing.

SCG How-To Guide: Programming the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Rancilio Classe 9: Crew Review & Internal Tour

Rancilio Classe 9The Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic espresso machine is a model that some folks consider may be too much machine for their business. There are so many styles available, how do you know which manufacturer, let alone model, to go with?

When selecting a commercial espresso machine for your business, there are a few things you should think about: How many espresso-based drinks do you think you’ll make during your busiest hour? What style of drinks do you want to prepare — straight espresso, milk-infused concoctions or something altogether different like a Rooibos tea latte? What level of training and staff turnover might you expect in your business? Finally, how quickly will you see the return on your investment at different espresso machine prices?

Once you’ve determined the answers to those questions, it’s much easier to select the right machine that will keep up with your business’ pace, perform well under market demands and produce the type of drinks that are popular in your area or that you specialize in.

If your business happens to be high volume and particularly fast paced, the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic espresso machine is definitely worth considering. It features some great automation, such as volumetric dosing, that can make it easier for your staff to quickly produce consistent espresso shots and its impressive boiler design makes short work of even the largest steaming pitcher. You can also select a model that allows for more room beneath the portafilter spouts, designed for extracting directly into tall to-go cups. This is the machine of choice for popular drive-through espresso stands that need to quickly serve up quality drinks during a serious morning rush.

Want to learn more about the Rancilio Classe 9? In these videos, we take you through a standard feature and specification review, then we guide you through an internal tour so you can see how everything works from the inside out. If you have any other questions on the Classe 9 or think it might be the right fit for your business, please feel free to contact us — we’d love to help!

Crew Review: Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Internal Tour of the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Crew Review: Waring Xtreme Hi-Power Blender

Waring Xtreme Hi-Power BlenderWe’ll admit that we weren’t big fans of frozen and blended coffee drinks in the past; we love our java straight and to the point. The Waring Xtreme Hi-Power blender may change all of that, though!

For a cafe, some of your highest margin products can be blended drinks, such as coffee-infused frappes or fresh fruit smoothies. Making them quickly and simply is the key to ensuring they’re not an adverse impact on your coffee shop’s workflow, so investing in a commercial-grade blender like the Waring Xtreme is essential.

Watch Brandon show off its powerful features and specs, then demonstrate how quickly you can whip up a frappe. You’ll be impressed by how fast this blender produces a silky blend with no ice chunks to be found!

Crew Review: Waring Xtreme Hi-Power Blender

Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee Grinder – Crew Review

Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee GrinderWhile we often consider the Mazzer Super Jolly to be a relatively large coffee grinder in the home espresso space, it’s certainly more petite than others you might see down at your local cafe. Its larger size is attributed mostly to its bigger motor and burr set, which will produce finely ground coffee in a matter of seconds — essential in a fast paced production environment.

Watch as our commercial manager, Brandon, takes us through this popular coffee grinder — we learn about its features and specs, take a look at the burrs and discuss which businesses should consider the Super Jolly for their cafe setup.