Perfect for a small office kitchen environment, the Krups Cup on Request allows you to brew into a removable stainless steel urn that doubles as a dispenser. With two programmable options, dosage selections, volumetric and manual pours and the ability to keep it warm for up to four hours, the Cup on Request provides excellent functionality in an improved design.
Here at SCG, we love our Technivorms and always have a few of them going at any given time. Because we drink the coffee so quickly, we prefer to use the glass carafe — this also prevents sad moments when you attempt to pour out of an empty thermal carafe. But this does result in more messiness, with coffee sometimes spilt on the hotplates, resulting in a burned in residue.
We love that the Cup on Request enables you to easily dose out fresh, hot coffee in regular or to-go cups with ease. Watch as Gail goes through all of her fancy book learnin’ and then demonstrates making a pot!
We’ll admit that we weren’t deeply in love with DeLonghi’s superautomatic espresso machines. For a long time, we felt like their grinders were on the louder side of the spectrum, their coffee wasn’t quite hot enough and their automatic milk frothing was just a smidge shy of amazing.
But all of that changed a few years ago with the release of their new series of machines. Their coffee quality improved, their grinders toned down a bit and their automatic milk frothing reached that heavenly nexus between temperature and foam density that cappuccino dreams are made of. With their newest model, the PrimaDonna De Luxe, they’ve taken their recent functional improvements and wrapped it in a gloriously gleaming stainless steel case.
Featuring intuitive programming, a front loading water reservoir and optional one-touch cappuccino functionality, the PrimaDonna De Luxe is both flexible and refined. Watch as Gail guides us through all of its specs and then demonstrates both one-touch and standard cappuccino creation.
Crew Review: DeLonghi PrimaDonna De Luxe Espresso Machine
When you’re dropping a couple thousand bucks on an espresso machine, your choices generally involve models with a more luxe approach to style and design, replete with commercial-grade components and sophisticated functionality. But beneath the heavy use of polished stainless steel and chrome-plated brass, these prosumer-class espresso machines feature different technical specifications that speak to the specific manufacturer’s method of getting to the same goal: You, making excellent espresso-based drinks for everyone you know.
And because you know we have a deep, abiding love for a grudge match, we’re pitting two more pieces of coffee gear against each other, for fun and profit! In the left corner, we have the Livia G4 Auto with PID by Pasquini and, in the right, we have a Nuova Simonelli Musica. While these are two Italian heat exchange espresso machines with commercial-class build quality, they have some pretty big functional differences.
First, the Livia G4 is available in a few configurations (semi-auto, semi-auto with PID and auto with PID) while the Musica is a simple, straightforward heat exchange with no temperature control options. Next, the Musica has proprietary brew head temperature regulation that produces some of the best no fuss, no muss espresso shots we’ve ever had, yet the Livia G4′s unique internal technical design (on the auto, its heat exchange is controlled by a PID and a thermoblock at the brew head maintains a consistent brew temp) means that you can play with how different brew temperatures affect your coffee. Finally, the Livia’s steam functionality, while strong, is a little more tame than what the Musica produces, giving it an edge to folks that are learning how to steam and texture milk.
Want to learn more about these two espresso machines? Watch as Teri gives us functional overview, then shows us how they compare, performance-wise.
SCG Compares: Pasquini Livia G4 v. Nuova Simonelli Musica Espresso Machines
While we’ve seen PIDs implemented on heat exchange espresso machines before (primarily as a method for managing the steam boiler’s pressure versus being able to effectively manage brew temperature,) the Pasquini Livia G4 also incorporates an additional thermoblock at the brew head so that you can actually manage the brew temperature. The PID interfaces with the steam boiler, which in turn affects the water in the heat exchange, supplying a thermoblock at the group head with pre-heated water. The result? Markedly improved temperature regulation and the ability to produce more consistent espresso shots.
The new LIvia G4 series also incorporates a few other changes: Expanded cup warming surface, weight-based water reservoir sensor, a super sexy portafilter and increased steaming functionality. It’s also available in three different formats — the standard Semi-Auto without a PID, a Semi-Auto with a PID and an Auto with a PID — so you can take advantage of some or all of the upgrades Pasquini has made to their Livia series.
Watch as Teri guides us through the features and tech specs, then takes it for a test drive by making some espresso and a cappuccino for the crew to enjoy.
While we each have a deeply personal love for OXO products, much of their awesome gear just doesn’t make sense for us to sell as purveyors of coffee and tea related equipment. Sure, you could be the hardest working manual grinder in the business by utilizing your OXO chef’s knife to finely chop your specialty coffee, but … that’s kind of ridiculous (sorry).
Consequently, we were thrilled to be bringing on a selection of their products, which are more oriented toward coffee and tea preparations: Two differenttea kettles, a tea infuser and (our personal favorite) a measuring beaker set. Watch as Teri shows off these fun and highly functional pieces of kit; isn’t it time you experimented with a little mad science? We thought so.
If you’ve been following along these past few months, you may have noticed that we have greatly expanded our selection of both teas and tea ware. The final round of new additions come from Frieling and Cilio, and we asked Bunny to take us through these gorgeous stainless steel and porcelain sets. Check ‘em out!
When we first encountered the Hario V60 pour overs a few years ago, we were simultaneously entranced and intimidated by the artful precision with which the brewer crafted one of the smoothest cups of coffee we’d ever tasted. With some time, patience, experimentation and a lot of practice, however, we developed our own approach to our V60 prep … in fact, we love it so dearly now, we felt it was time to put it up on a pedestal.
Luckily for us, Hario USA released some new tools — including a modern acrylic stand — that gave us the opportunity to increase both the precision and the art of our pour. Watch Bunny and Teri show off the new Drip Station, Drip Scale and Glass Server from Hario. Pick up each of these separately or combine them together for a beautiful and sophisticated pour over setup.
When we talk about water at SCG, we’re usually dishing about mineral content, filtration or how to remove pesky scale build-up. Although water makes up 98% of the coffee that’s our daily lifeblood, we often take it for granted. Did you know that almost one billion people across the world live without access to clean drinking water? Imagine three times the total US population struggling to find a safe water source — it’s a staggering statistic.
Inspired by his time in Liberia, Bryan Papé founded MiiR in 2009 with a simple idea: How to provide clean drinking water for one person for one year. Now this Seattle-based company uses their product design prowess to positively impact communities worldwide through their water bottle and travel tumbler sales. Using their one4one program, MiiR partner’s with One Day’s Wages to fund clean water projects around the world. One dollar from each water bottle and tumbler sale provides clean drinking water to someone in need for an entire year. One bottle, one dollar, one person for one year. It’s a simple and powerful commitment to clean water and community empowerment.
We are thrilled to partner with MiiR to bring you their newest product, a coffee cup designed to change the world. The MiiR Travel Tumbler is an insulated double-walled stainless steel tumbler, built to keep your piping hot pour over or chilled cold brew at an ideal temperature. For every tumbler sold, one dollar is donated to clean water projects around the world. One of our favorite features is that each tumbler comes with an impact bracelet that lets you track how your purchase affects local communities worldwide. Simply enter your unique code online, and MiiR will follow-up with you within 6-18 months with GPS coordinates and photos of the clean water projects to which your tumbler is linked. Transparency and tracking are one aspect that sets these products apart from other one-for-one business models out there, and we’re excited to see how our tumblers can make a difference.
Social enterprise, sustainability and streamlined design — we dig you MiiR!
One of the things we love the most about DeLonghi’s superautomatic espresso machines is their sleek styling. The new Gran Dama 6620 is no exception — and it’s been updated to reduce the noise while grinding coffee beans and to increase the temperature of your automatically frothed milk.
Watch Gail walk us through all of its features, show off its internals and demonstrate how well it performs by making a cappuccino. If you’re in the market for a superautomatic loaded with features and encased in gorgeous brushed metal, the 6620 should definitely be on your list for consideration.
With the rise in popularity of pour over bars in cafes all over the world, delivering high volumes of hot water at a specific temperature can be a bit of a challenge. Similarly, tea houses need to be cognizant of the different ideal brew temps for the variety of teas they sell, and using traditional kettles doesn’t always meet a business’ needs.
That’s where an awesome hot water tower like the WB5GT by Curtis comes in. With its programmable temperature, five gallon water tank and agitation pump (which provides continuous aeration so that your water never tastes stagnant or stale), you can brew cup after cup of delicious coffee or tea without waiting for the kettle to boil.
Watch Brandon take us through all of its features and demonstrate its functionality.