Part of their newer series of machines, Saeco’s Intelia Cappuccino is both petite and, quite simply, gorgeous. Featuring an upgrade to their one-touch milk frothing functionality that produces hotter auto-frothed milk and a sleek case design, we love its simple interface and its hematite hue.
Watch as Gail takes us through its features and then demonstrates making a one-touch cappuccino in this video review.
As any good product developer knows, the key to keeping things real for their customers is to iterate, iterate, iterate! In Rocket’s newest version of their popular R58 dual boiler espresso machine, they’ve made a few adjustments to improve both the form and function of the machine.
Form-wise, they’ve strengthened the chassis, added nylon rails to improve the fit of the drip tray and implemented a magnetic drip tray closure. Function-wise, they’ve installed a new control board to optimize steaming and brewing and updated the firmware on the external PID.
Watch as Gail takes us through all the features and specs of the V2 R58, then makes a delicious cappuccino in a gorgeous Lino cup!
We have spent years proselytizing about our shooting-from-the-hip ways, and while we may not be giving that up completely, we are beginning to enjoy the part a bit of precision can play when experimenting with coffee and tea. To that end, we have been regularly using the both gorgeous and functional Arti scale by Escali.
Featuring a shiny silver glass finish, multiple weight units and tare functionality, this is a great scale for coffee and food measurement alike. Watch Gail show it off to us!
There is something so intriguing about a secret menu. Starbucks has one. In-N-Out Burger has one. And now, the Jura GIGA 5 Automatic Coffee Center does too. After a hot tip from Kat that there was indeed a secret menu, I decided to play detective. I found these new recipes through my favorite machine testing method called ‘random button pushing.’ You won’t find this covered in the Jura user manual (unless you happen to look at page 20…). The Reluctant Barista has some delicious insider information to share.
The initial screen shows what you might come to expect from a superautomatic menu: Ristretto, Espresso, Coffee, Hot Water, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Milk, Milk Foam. From these simple settings you can further customize the coffee dosage, water temperature, water volume, milk volume and milk foam. The Jura GIGA 5 does not come standard with an integrated milk carafe, so I used a Jura Cool Control Automatic Milk Cooler and the included hose that came with the GIGA 5 to make a bevy of milk-based beverages.
Last week I made my go-to drink, a foamy hazelnut latte and was happily surprised by how hot the drink got. Monday morning I had the GIGA 5 pour me a double cappuccino. I needed it! After the caffeine kicked in, it was time to explore uncharted territory. There were 12 more “secret” recipes once I twirled the rotary dial on top. I have to admit, these recipes perplexed me. Were they chosen by an Italian espresso aficionado? Were they chosen by the Swiss manufacturer? Who mixes lemonade and espresso? They did not seem to be targeted to Seattle taste profiles, or at least not my particular taste. However, I did try the recipe for ‘Winter Magic Coffee.’ This turned out to be what I would describe as a Nutella Latte. It was so popular with the SCG Crew that I ended up making 5 drinks back to back.
Sadly, there was no barista gnome inside the Jura GIGA 5 to prepare the drinks. You need to provide your own ingredients. From home I brought my treasured Nutella and used Monin Honey Sweetener although it was sweet enough without it. The GIGA 5 walked me through each step with a series of easy to read screens. I especially liked the final step of each drink I made when the GIGA 5 screen simply said, ‘Enjoy!’
The Jura GIGA 5 “Secret” Drink Menu:
- Marocchino – espresso, Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce, chocolate powder
- Pepresso – espresso, Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce, mixed peppercorns (Watch Brandi make this recipe)
- White Cool – espresso, carbonated lemonade, ice cubes
- Gourmet Latte Macchiato – espresso, evaporated milk, Monin Irish Cream Syrup (non-alcoholic) or Bailey’s Irish Cream (alcoholic)
- Irish Coffee – coffee, brown sugar, Irish Whiskey (alcoholic), whipped cream on top
- Café Melange – coffee with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top
- Viennese Coffee – coffee, vanilla ice cream, Monin Vanilla Syrup and chocolate shavings on top
- Winter Magic Coffee – espresso, Nutella, honey and a pinch of ginger and cardamom on top
- Shakerato – espresso, lemons, sugar, ice
- Mango Lassi – espresso, yogurt, mango puree
- Red Cool – espresso, carbonated lemonade, Campari (alcoholic), ice
- Summer Fire – espresso, Monin Coconut Syrup, lemon pepper
Thank you GIGA 5 — we will enjoy!
In the world of commercial coffee beverage service, Curtis offers a variety of models in all shapes, sizes and formats. Old school carafe, thermal airports and even a gourmet single cup brewer are on offer, and in today’s blog, we’re going to cover two of them: the D1000GT Twin Airpot and the G4 Single Cup.
Watch Gail’s provide a feature overview, functionality tour and brew demonstration on each of these coffee makers.
Curtis D1000 GT Twin Airpot Brewer
Curtis G4 CGC Single Cup Brewer
If texturing milk is not your jam or you want to easily whip up a batch of frothy hot cocoa at the touch of a button, a stand alone milk frother like the FrothTec from Capresso could be the answer to your prayers. With a glass carafe and dishwasher safe components (except the base, love!), it easily produces hot or cold frothed milk while you tend to other endeavors, like finally completing that needlepoint lighthouse you’ve been working on since 1996.
Watch as Gail takes us through the FrothTec’s features and specs, then demonstrates whipping up a batch of dry cappuccino-quality foam.
One of the most venerable names in the coffee business, illy is credited with creating the machine that eventually led to the espresso machines we know and love today. They’ve also been roasting coffee in Trieste, Italy, for a heckuva long time, mostly focused on their tried-and-true blends for espresso, drip and stovetop coffee.
They recently released a series of single origin beans, however, and so we wanted to see how they measured up! Check out this review and tasting video featuring their Ethiopian, Brazilian and Guatemalan offerings.
Often sporting several different features and functions — like steam wands or automatic frothers — the U is a streamlined version of their capsule espresso machine. It’s small, incredibly intuitive to use and, since it’s using the same brew technology and capsules of its pricier counterparts, produces a great cup of coffee with minimal work on your part. Plus, it incorporates magnets and you know how much we love that. The future!
Want to see it in action? Check out Gail’s walkthrough and demo of the Nespresso U.
Not all of us are blessed with excess kitchen counter space, and Jura is here to help us out with that. Their new Micro series of machines feature smaller footprints and heights than any of their other models, without sacrificing their well-known brew quality.
Watch as Gail shows us the ENA Micro 9, which features one-touch cappuccino functionality that will whip up a milk-based drink for you in a jiffy.
Watch Gail break this lil dude down — features, specs and how to make a cappuccino. We’ve also got it on a smokin’ deal through Monday, 11/26/12 — $100 off! — so if it speaks to you at all, definitely pick one up soon.