Category Archives: La Marzocco

Crew Review: La Marzocco GS3

GS3The La Marzocco GS3. Need I say any more?

Folks, this is one of the best machines we have ever brewed up a shot of espresso on. You may recognize the machine in this video from our April Fools 2015 video, but trust us, this machine deserves all the respect it gets.

The GS3 is in the top of it’s class and for a good reason!It’s commercial grade features are built with the precision every serious espresso enthusiast looks for. Dual stainless steel boilers, powerful steaming functionality, PID temperature control, volumetric pump and variable hot water temperature regulation just to name a few.

What makes the La Marzocco GS3 so special is the blend of excellent internal parts with it’s beautiful customizable exterior. That’s right, customizable exterior. The machine Gail is demoing in this video has walnut wood side panels and a classy flat white body. We think this combination would look very stylish on your countertop, but you can choose which ever design you would like :)

Watch the video below to see Gail go through all the details of this impressive machine, and even brew up a cappuccino complete with latte art! Ok, maybe just the cappuccino (Sorry Gail!)

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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

SCG Crew’s Favorite Gear: Single, Hx and Dual Boiler Espresso Machines

Next in our series of the crew’s favorite picks covers the world of traditional espresso machines. Find out which single, heat exchange and double boiler machines the team digs.


Single Boiler Espresso Machines


Heat Exchange Espresso Machines


Dual Boiler Espresso Machines

Compare: Rocket R58 vs. La Marzocco GS/3

In the market for a big baddie? Is having control over your brew temperature and/or steaming enough milk to serve up cappuccinos to a small army a high priority for you? If yes, you probably should check out the Rocket Espresso R58 or La Marzocco GS/3 double boiler espresso machines.

Look we don’t want to tell you how to live, but we do care about you. So we’ve put these two popular machines side by side to show off their features, tech specs, internals and performance. Watch Gail walk us through this glorious adventure!

Crew Review: La Marzocco Stainless Steel Portafilter

Portafilter cleanliness is one of our favorite subjects around here, but we have noticed that the regular soaking and scrubbing of the chrome-plated brass versions adversely affects their finish over time. What was once shiny and beautiful becomes dark black and the chrome plating can even begin to wear down.

For heavy use environments, like cafes, this means that portafilter replacement is a standard cost of doing business, so La Marzocco created a stainless steel model aimed at decreasing that cost.

Watch Gail demonstrate this stainless steel portafilter with breakaway spouts and show us how it holds up over several weeks of use without cleaning. She also compares it to a standard chrome-plated brass version, as well. These do cost a pretty penny, but could definitely be worth it for folks that do need to regularly replace their portafilters.

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Field Trip: Green Bean Coffeehouse

Next up in our series featuring local cafes is the Green Bean Coffeehouse in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. What started out as the first physical location for a local church has evolved into an essential element of the Greenwood community — a non-profit designed to bring the neighborhood together through open space, charitable support and community events.

Find out about their history, purpose and tips that they have for anyone interested in starting their own community or coffee focused business.

Field Trip: Milstead & Co.

What does it take to open your own cafe? We hit the road with Allison in this field trip series to find out.

First up is the newly opened brainchild of Andrew Milstead, Milstead & Co., located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Featuring tons of reclaimed materials in its build design, low countertops and recessed equipment to improve engagement between baristas and customers, and a singular focus on providing uniquely brewed coffees — using everything from a La Marzocco Strada to an AeroPress — Milstead & Co.’s concept is rooted in education and producing high quality coffee for people who dig it.

Watch as Andrew talks to us about his background, concept behind the cafe, what went into opening it and tips he has for others interested in doing the same. If you’re in the Seattle area, definitely don’t skip visiting Milstead & Co. for a gorgeous, and delicious, cappuccino.

Experimenting with Ristrettos

You know that since we are part of the goblin class, we love short things, right? It took us awhile to strong arm Gail into doing a ristretto comparison on several different machines, but we finally wore her down and here is the proof of our labors!

Watch as Gail pulls double ristretto shots (1.5 oz total) on the La Marzocco GS/3, Rocket Giotto Evoluzione, Nuova Simonelli Musica, Rancilio Silvia and  Saeco Via Venezia.