Watch as Bunny brewed these up using a coffee press, to allow the folks to taste some of the differences between the Premium House, Qualita Oro, Qualita Rossa, Crema e Gusto, Tierra Intenso and Caffe Espresso blends.
We recently transitioned our Lavazza product offering to focus on their Home line — a series of blends formulated with home espresso lovers in mind. In addition to large, 2.2lb bag versions of the whole bean Qualita Rossa and Qualita Oro, we now have three new blends for you to try: Gran Crema, Gran Aroma Bar and Crema e Aroma.
Watch as the team tastes these new coffees, then gives us their feedback on their different flavors and how they compare.
You’ve probably all heard of the ‘cake in a mug’ trend going around. And, if you haven’t, you should really get in on this action.
Naturally, when I saw a brownie in a mug recipe, my brain replaced the word ‘water’ with ‘espresso’ and I was instantly in love! So, without further ado, I bring to you a gooey, chocolatey, espresso brownie in a mug!
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 shot espresso (I used Lavazza Super Crema from my Xelsis)
- Mug (My Bodum Bistro Latte Cup worked perfectly for the job!)
- Stir the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt into the mug.
- Add the oil and water to the dry ingredients.
- Mix thoroughly, being sure to eliminate any lumps of dry ingredients.
- Microwave for 1-1.5 minutes, until the brownie is only slightly moist in the center.
- Let sit for a few minutes before eating, as it will be very hot.
That’s right, my friends. You just made a mocha brownie and only dirtied one dish (unless you count a spoon as a dish but, let’s be honest, spoons are so small that they shouldn’t count!). You’re welcome!
In the search for a clean, caffeinated world, Easy Serving Espresso (E.S.E.) pods make a tight little case for themselves. Individually wrapped and ready to rock, they make shot extraction a breeze — and clean up even breezier! But how do they taste?
Since you know we love nothing more than a grudge match, we pit a few brands against each other in this side by side tasting. Using the Saeco Via Venezia, Gail brews up shots with Caffe Umbria’s Gusto Crema, Lavazza’s Gran Crema and illy’s Medium & Dark Roast variations. Watch to learn which, if any, we prefer.
We offer a couple of different coffee varieties that are treated with a nitrogen flush during their packaging (specifically, Lavazza and illy employ this practice), and we often have folks ask about what this is and why it’s done.
Once a food is processed, it begins to deteriorate immediately with exposure to oxygen. Foods that are high in fat or oil content are especially susceptible to this degradation, as their oils will begin to break down and become rancid in relatively short order. Flushing the package with nitrogen forces out the majority of oxygen and, unlike vacuum-sealing, also provides a bit of packaging protection as well. Nitrogen-flushing is often used with more delicate foods (like potato chips!), but is also very popular in preserving coffee beans.
According to a few different roasters over on coffeed.com, coffee preservation experiments revealed that while packaging the coffee directly after roast did result in the out-gassed CO2 expelling oxygen through the one-way valve, their nitrogen-flushed counterparts lasted longer. In fact, one roaster reported that the shots pulled with a bag roasted 24 days previously still held up well! A major drawback, however, is that the nitrogen flushing process is not considered to be an organic-friendly practice, so roasters that are certified organic cannot employ this technique.
Whether or not you’re cool with this preservation process is sort of personal preference, but it’s something that a lot of large scale roasters practice — even some of the renowned third wave roasters, like Europe’s Coffee Collective. And while the coffee will stay fresher using this method, once the bag is opened, it will age just as rapidly as any other variety … so use it or lose it.
For folks that dig precision, a dual boiler espresso machine with PID temperature control of the brew boiler is hard to beat. While we tend to shoot from the hip in general around here, that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a shot pulled from one of these beauties!
We asked Gail to pull shots from the Izzo Alex Duetto II, La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi and Breville Dual Boiler so that we could see how they compare. No science at work here, friends (hey, old habits die hard!), but we did use the same grinder for each machine (the Nuova Simonelli MCI), coffee (Lavazza Super Crema) and brew temp (199F) to try to nail down a few of the variables.
Watch as we taste and discuss the shots from each of these machines, then rank them in terms of our favorites, flavor-wise.
Sometimes you just don’t want too much extra skip in your step, but you’re not willing to give up the flavor of a great cup of coffee. We asked the crew to blind taste the four different decaf coffees we carry — Lavazza, illy, Caffe Mauro and Velton’s — to determine which ones they thought tasted like a good, solid cup of coffee.
If you’re interested in learning about the different methods used to decaffeinate coffee, you can check out this article we wrote a couple of years ago.
We took one of our most popular coffees, Lavazza Super Crema, and brewed it using different temperatures on the La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi. While the 204F degree espresso extraction temperature is a general rule of thumb, a lot of single origin/estate beans and even some blends are particularly sensitive to heat and will perform better at a different temperature.
Watch as Gail brews several shots at different temperatures, tasting each to determine the ideal brew temp for Super Crema.