Category Archives: Commercial

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.

A Tea Lover in a Coffee World: Follow Up Field Trip to Cederberg Tea House

Cederberg Tea HouseIt’s not always easy being a tea drinker when you’re working in an office full of java aficionados. Don’t get me wrong; I love triple shot lattes just as much as the rest of the crew, but sometimes a cup of tea just sounds better. Whenever I brew up one of our delicious Rishi teas, I end up having to explain why I chose to indulge in tea rather than coffee. If only I could pretend to be drinking espresso while secretly sipping on a cup of tea!

Amazingly, I recently discovered that one of our customers has come up with a way to drink espresso without actually drinking coffee. How is this possible? Natasha Robson-Lovato and her mother, Cecile Robson, of Cederberg Tea House pull Rooibos tea espresso shots using a Nuova Simonelli Appia that they purchased from us. Once I heard about this fascinating technique, I had to experience it for myself. So now that their store has been open for a couple of weeks, I stopped by to pay them a visit.

The charming shop, which is located on Upper Queen Anne, is named after the region in South Africa where Rooibos Tea naturally grows. Upon entering the store you’ll notice the walls are covered in beautiful shots of South African scenery and animals, some of which Cecile took herself. You’ll find cozy couches as well as a number of tables and chairs that invite you to relax and chat. In fact, Natasha says that taking the tea tray out to customers, seeing their reaction to its attractive design and getting to talk with them are her favorite aspects of owning the store.

Speaking of the tea, I had to try it. I ordered a Rooibos tea latte, and Natasha prepared the drink by filling up the espresso machine’s portafilter with finely ground Rooibos tea, loading it into the espresso machine and pulling pressured hot water through it. The beauty of making drinks with tea rather than coffee is that there is no tamp, grind or timing to worry about, which is great for espresso newbies like myself. Natasha explained she can tell a shot is right when it has three layers — heart (a dark brown layer at the bottom), body (a medium tan layer in the middle) and crema (a creamy-yellow layer at top, just as you would find on a shot of coffee). The two shots of Rooibos espresso are then combined with steamed milk, then topped with a swirl of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Of course, I couldn’t drink my latte without sampling at least one of the many tasty looking pastries displayed in their deli case. I asked Natasha which pastries were the most popular and she said the malva pudding (a pound cake, filled with apricot jam) and koeksisters (a braided donut covered in sweet syrup) were the most popular sweet treats, while the sausage rolls were the most popular savory. The shop also serves a couple of vegan goodies as well. While I didn’t sample them myself, I couldn’t help overhearing a fellow customer exclaiming how the pastries were so good that she wouldn’t have guessed they were vegan at all.

I ended up going with a sausage roll to accompany my Rooibos tea latte. Both the latte and the sausage were served to me a on a cute black and white tea tray, making me feel as though I was at teatime. The Rooibos tea latte, served in a clear glass so I could see all of its layers, was almost too pretty to drink. The honey and cinnamon on the top of the drink provided an added sweetness, which went well with the smooth, slightly sweet taste of the tea. The sausage roll was made up of spiced pork and beef sausage covered in puff pastry, also delicious.

Natasha, a former teacher, was inspired to open the shop so she could bring South African culture to Seattle and she clearly has succeeded. Cederberg is likely one of the only stores in United States where you can get a Rooibos tea latte made on an espresso machine, and the food she serves and the way it’s presented are unique as well. Even though the shop has just opened, they already experience a morning rush and another at teatime, not to mention a growing number of regulars. I know I’ll definitely be one of them!

SCG Customer Field Trip: Cederberg Tea House – Parts 1 & 2

Cederberg Tea House - SeattleOne of the coolest things we do here at SCG is help others get the equipment they need to start the businesses of their dreams. Recently, we headed out on a field trip to the labor of love of mother and daughter team Natasha and Cecile: The Cederberg Tea House, located in the heart of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. With a unique rooibos tea latte preparation and delicious treats, these gals are focused on bringing a little bit of South African culture to damp Seattle.

Before they were fully open, we wanted to learn more about their experiences with starting their new business. What did they enjoy the most? What was the most difficult part of it? What do they know now that they wish they knew when they started out? Hear their story and watch Natasha craft us a delicious rooibos tea latte using a Nuova Simonelli Appia espresso machine.

Part One: Natasha and Cecile share their startup experiences

Part Two: Natasha makes us a rooibos tea latte

Rancilio Classe 7 E Commercial Espresso Machine: Crew Review & Internal Tour

Rancilio Classe 7 E Commercial Espresso MachineWhen people outside of the Pacific Northwest come to visit our neck of the woods, they are somewhat surprised — albeit a tad humorously — that there really is a coffee business on nearly every corner. Drive through espresso stands are the way of the world around here — you see a few on every block and they’re always busier than you’d think could be supported by the population.

If a drive through coffee business is in your present or future, planning for high volumes of coffee production in an often fast-paced and hectic environment is essential. After all, there’s a reason that folks are staying in their car while ordering their coffee from you: They’re on a schedule and may very well be pressed for time. But that doesn’t mean you should serve them inferior java!

Investing in a machine that will more than keep up with your business is going to be the best decision you ever made. Up for consideration is the Rancilio Classe 7 E, which is an automatic commercial espresso machine available in multiple group styles. This machine is a heat exchanger that will recover so quickly from the repetitive 16 oz lattes you’re whipping up that you won’t ever notice a dip in performance.

Want to find out if its the machine for you? Learn all about its features, functionality and performance and then go on an internal tour to see how it works in these videos with Brandon.

Crew Review: Rancilio Classe 7 E

Internal Tour: Rancilio Classe 7 E

Crew Review: Curtis WB5GT Digital Hot Water Dispenser

Curtis WB5GT Hot Water DispenserWith the rise in popularity of pour over bars in cafes all over the world, delivering high volumes of hot water at a specific temperature can be a bit of a challenge. Similarly, tea houses need to be cognizant of the different ideal brew temps for the variety of teas they sell, and using traditional kettles doesn’t always meet a business’ needs.

That’s where an awesome hot water tower like the WB5GT by Curtis comes in. With its programmable temperature, five gallon water tank and agitation pump (which provides continuous aeration so that your water never tastes stagnant or stale), you can brew cup after cup of delicious coffee or tea without waiting for the kettle to boil.

Watch Brandon take us through all of its features and demonstrate its functionality.


Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Appia Semi-Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Nuova Simonelli AppiaAnother commercial-class espresso machine that will perform well in a medium-paced business is the Appia by Nuova Simonelli. Available in both semi-automatic and automatic/volumetric formats, the Appia is simple and straight forward and certain to keep up with you.

Watch as Brandon takes us on a tour of the semi-auto version, going over its features and specs and then demonstrating how well it performs.

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric: Review, Internal Tour, Care and Maintenance

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II VolumetricAn incredibly popular machine for high production cafes, the Aurelia II Volumetric by Nuova Simonelli is built to keep up with long lines of latte-lovin’ customers. In this series of videos, our commercial sales manager, Brandon, guides us through everything from a straight-up functional and spec review to a detailed internal tour of the machine to best practice around maintenance and care. If you’re in the market for a machine for your business, the Aurelia II is definitely worth your consideration, and these videos lay down the groundwork for your research.

If you have more questions about these videos or need some guidance regarding the right equipment for your business, drop us a line!


Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric

Internal Tour of the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric Espresso Machine

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric Care & Maintenance

Crew Review: Mazzer Kony Electronic Low RPM Commercial Burr Grinder

IMazzer Konyf you’re pulling tons of shots every day, investing in a high capacity espresso grinder will be one of the best decisions you ever made for your business — seriously. One of the more popular models that you often see in cafes is the Mazzer Kony E, which is a robust dude featuring a stainless steel conical burr set that is not messing around. It means business, and your business means business, and so it’s a business match made in business heaven.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this exceptional grinder works, watch Brandon’s video review; he talks to us about the grinder’s features, which cafes may be best suited for it and shows off its burr set. Then he demonstrates how well it grinds so you can see for yourself how fabulous your coffee grinding experience could be.