Keeping your equipment sparkling clean is just as important as the freshness of your coffee and dialing in your grind & tamp — in fact, without the former, the latter will be an exercise in futility. If we have to tell you that rancid coffee oils will adversely impact the quality of your shot, we’re sorry. But if we have to be the first, then we might as well do it right, right? So we asked Louie Poore, who specializes in educating professional baristas on proper equipment care for Urnex, to give us the rundown.
First, he introduces us to Urnex’s new Full Circle, sustainably-produced cleaning products — including a toe-to-toe comparison of Cafiza and Full Circle’s coffee equipment wash.
Finally, Gail shows us the newly arrived 1, 2, Brew Kit for Espresso Machines, which features the goodies you need to keep your machine in tip-top shape (plus a bag of Velton’s Coffee of your choice!).
We’ve been having a ton of good, clean (we swear!) fun with the La Marzocco GS/3 lately. A few weeks back, Gail pulled such a phenomenal shot from this machine and we wondered if she could reproduce it again. Watch as she works through the basic variables of dialing in a shot: Grind, tamp and temperature.
And for those who just love little upgrades here and there, checkout La Marzocco’s version of the bottomless portafilter — our favorite so far!
We had a few viewer requests lately around the weight of things, so we produced two videos covering the following questions: How much coffee is left in the grinder after grinding? How much water is injected into milk when frothing?
In this first video, we weighed out 20 grams of whole beans and then ground them in several different grinders, weighing the grounds afterward to see if any was retained in the grinder.
In the second video, we weighed out 200ml of milk (in most cases — the exception being the stand alone frothers), frothed them to the same temperature on several different machines and then weighed them afterward to see how much water was injected into the frothed milk.
Gift hunting season is on! For those with caffeinated accoutrement in their sights — but who are not quite sure about their target — we’ve created a series of introductory Buyer’s Guides to give you some ideas.
Check ‘em out:
- Back to School Coffee Fix for Students: Next semester is going to be even better than the last! Right? Right. Make it so with these java preps which require very little equipment and can easily produce excellent coffee from the convenience of cramped quarters — like dorm rooms.
- Give your Student the Gift of Espresso: It will increase their focus and concentration. They will get a 4.0. There won’t be a grad school that won’t accept them. They’ll go on to be extremely successful in their field. They’ll build you a little retirement cottage on a river somewhere. You will both thank that little espresso machine for years to come. Live the dream.
- First Time Espresso Makers: 2011 is your time to shine. We’ve selected some excellent introductory espresso machines that will have you — and/or the lucky beneficiary — making your favorite espresso drinks at home with ease.
- Picking a Grinder for your Cup o’ Joe: If you know anything about us, you know we’re serious about picking a good grinder. There are several out there that work for a specific purpose or budget, and this guide is a great primer.
- Gadgets for the Espresso Enthusiast: Is buying coffee gear for someone in your life kind of like trying to buy Richard Branson something he doesn’t already have? Here are some options for items they may not have in their setup — although we make no promises here.
We’re (almost) totally settled in and ready to show off our new digs! Please join us this Sunday, November 14th, from 12pm – 4pm at our new location (6911 216th St SW, Lynnwood WA 98036) and help us celebrate a new chapter in our story!
Gail, Kat, Jessica and Allison will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about equipment, demonstrate gear and provide any buying advice you may need — plus we’ll have a few special guest stars:
Andy & Scott from La Marzocco will be on hand, pulling shots on the GS/3 and talking about the machine. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about La Marzocco and the GS/3.
Velton will be here with an arsenal of Hario V60 pour overs, serving up tastings of three of his favorite single origins as well as his limited edition Holiday Blend.
If you needed more of an incentive to come party with us, we’re also holding a trivia drawing with a grand prize of a $100 Seattle Coffee Gear gift certificate! Show off how much you know about our videos and you may be richly rewarded.
Should be a fun, casual and tasty get together — hope to see you Sunday!
We don’t know everything there is to know about Cuba or all the ways in which it’s residents, expatriates and members of the diaspora dig their coffee, but we do know that this sweet and strong preparation is enjoyed by friends in Miami. Gail whips up a Cuban Coffee — incorporating sugar with the coffee grounds and pulling them together — on the La Marzocco GS/3. Sweet!
If you have a pretty penny to spend on your home espresso setup, or you’re looking for a light-duty commercial machine for your business, La Marzocco’s GS/3 is a single group wonder that’s definitely worth your consideration.
Featuring dual stainless steel boilers (3.5 liter steam and 1.5 liter brew), convertible water source options, mechanical paddle brew functionality and a PID interface, the GS/3 is known to offer some of the best temperature consistency on the market.
We love its powerful steam boiler — you can easily produce silky microfoam in what seems like seconds — and the pre-infusion control that the paddle gives you. It’s also got a monstrous drip tray (into which you can install a drain kit) and a unique bottom-access 3.5 liter internal water reservoir which makes refilling easy, regardless of your overhead cabinets. We do wish the casing design was a little less industrious looking and shinier — but that’s just us. And we realize that, at nearly $7k, this piece of equipment is really priced well outside many folks’ budgets.
Other than those two minor cons, there’s not much bad to say about this machine; if you’re serious about your espresso and can justify the investment, the GS/3 is one of the best options available and worth checking out.