When is it time to say when? We’re often asked where the portafilter should be in respect to the machine — at a 90 degree angle? 45 degree? A little over to the right? Every machine will be a little bit different and the key is to make sure that it feels snug. Additionally, you’ll find that you’ll move it further as the gasket ages.
Watch as Gail demonstrates the position on several of our demo machines of varying style and age.
You know we are so focused on cleanliness, baby! In addition to descaling, backflushing and washing all your gear regularly, cleaning around the brew head and keeping the gasket free of coffee residue will ensure an effective seal with the portafilter — and a better shot in the end.
If you have a machine with a 58mm brew head, check out this snazzy little brush by Cafelat. It locks into the brew head and makes short work of your maintenance.
Last week, Joe Monahan and Jack Kuo of La Marzocco were kind enough to talk with this about their new, highly-precise basket — currently dubbed the Strada (after their cutting edge pressure profiling machines). Watch as they explain the theory behind it, why they wanted to build a better basket and the calibration process itself. The goal? Increase consistency in extraction, of course! These 58mm baskets will be available shortly.
Should you calibrate your shots to a specific timing duration or should you pull them until the coffee starts to blonde? We play around with blonding using Lavazza Super Crema on the GS/3 to see how blonding affects the shot’s overall flavor.
Do you experiment with blonding? We’d love to hear your experiences — please share!
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.
Next, he walks us through using tablets to backflush the La Marzocco GS/3.
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.
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!
Leaving your machine alone for the winter? Need to store it or move it (by hand) to a new location? Gail gives us some tips on what you should do to prepare your machine so you limit the possibility of damage.
As we wrote last week, Seattle Coffee Gear now carries the La Marzocco GS/3 — and now here’s the Gail review that shows you how this excellent piece of equipment performs. Watch as she walks us through its features, function, pros and cons, then whips up a latte.