Category Archives: Rancilio

Rebuilding the Rancilio C-Lever Steam Arm Assemblies

Rancilio C-Lever TechnologyIf you’re running a fast-paced coffee business, slinging a high volume of milk-infused espresso drinks throughout the day, you’ll be giving your commercial espresso machine’s steam wands a serious workout. This results in some degradation of a few of its internal parts, which will require replacement in order to maintain full steam functionality.

But performing this regular maintenance doesn’t have to mean a tech call if you know your way around your machine’s steam arm assembly. In fact, since performing this maintenance can be required sometimes as often as every 6 months, learning how to do it yourself will save you money, in addition to extending the life and performance of your machine. Sure, it sounds a bit daunting, but we’re here to help!

The first demonstration we have for you is on the Rancilio series of commercial espresso machines that feature their C-Lever functionality. We asked our commercial expert, Brandon, to guide us through how to remove, disassemble, replace parts, reassemble and then reinstall the steam arm on the Rancilio Classe 9, but this process applies to the majority of their machines. If you’re starting to notice water or steam leaking from the wand when it’s in its ‘off’ position, this is a hallmark sign that it’s time to perform this maintenance. So watch this video and then dive in!

SCG How-To Guide: Rebuilding Rancilio C-Lever Steam Arm Assembly

The Reluctant Barista Dials in a Coffee Grinder on the Last Frontier

IMG_1796Lots of Seattle Coffee Gear fans watch our YouTube videos to learn more about coffee and espresso with our hands-on tutorials. But what if you don’t have internet or wireless service available? This summer, I carefully hand-carried a Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder to Homer, Alaska, a location often highlighted as part of the current ‘Alaskan Reality TV Show’ craze. Let me tell you about the reality I faced as I tried to help my family dial in their new coffee grinder without the SCG Crew there to help me.

First of all, my family lives on twenty acres located ten miles outside of town. Fair to say, it is a little remote. Tom Bodett calls Homer The End of the Road: Electricity is a new arrival at the house and my mom still cooks on a wood stove. Internet comes via satellite service, which is comparable to the dial-up systems of yore in terms of both speed and reliability. My step-dad unpacked this nice hand-built Italian grinder on the coffee table and fished around inside the box for instructions. I laughed a little at the old-fashioned notion of reading a user manual and pulled out my smartphone. The joke was on me when I had no cell reception and such limited wi-fi that I could navigate to YouTube, but not play a video! Then, the joke was on him because the poorly translated Italian-to-English instructions left us scratching our heads.

I love the Rancilio Rocky grinder. It is a home grinder, but it’s made with commercial parts, so I knew it would be the right grinder to reliably produce the daily espresso needed to make my folks an Americano and a cappuccino. I reached deep into my memory bank to help set up this burr grinder. The one thing I clearly recalled was to make sure beans are ground through it as the burrs are adjusted lower so they do not grind against each other and cause damage. I wish I had seen Teri’s excellent video on how to dial in a Rocky before I left Seattle. We did find a written blog post by Kat years ago and used it to guide our efforts.

The part that frustrated me most about dialing in the new grinder was not the physical adjustment, but rather the amount of espresso beans used and time it took. Compared to the Baratza Virtuoso I have at home in Seattle, the process was night and day. By the time I ran through the recommended ¼ pound of beans on the Baratza I found my grind. With the Rocky, it took a full bag of beans plus the stopwatch app on my phone and multiple taste tests that left us all wired. The Rancilio instructions say that this process will never need to be repeated but I know from watching Kat and Gail’s videos that any time you get new beans or a new machine, re-calibration is required.

The Rancilio Rocky grinder is an excellent coffee grinder and the fuss of a more temperamental set up is rewarded with an ideal home espresso grind. My parents wanted a grinder that could be carefully maintained and serviced to last many years. In the greater scheme of things, an evening spent hopped-up on espresso shots was family bonding time and not actually wasted. Plus each morning thereafter was like Christmas as we raced to see who would get to use the new grinder first.

What is the takeaway from this cautionary tale? A) Don’t count on modern technology to work in the wilderness B) Be more patient than I am C) We put a great effort into creating the perfect home espresso station while there’s still no thought of indoor plumbing. And that is the reality of life on the Last Frontier.

homer

 

Crew Tip: Rancilio Rocky Doserless Adjustment

Rancilio Rocky GrinderIf you own a Rancilio Rocky doserless coffee grinder, you sometimes might wish you were blessed with as many arms as Blinky is with eyes … how else do you hold down the adjustment lever, turn the hopper and then also run the grinder when you’re making the grind more fine?

First off, let’s cover why you should do this. Whenever you’re adjusting a burr grinder to a finer setting, you’re essentially bringing the burrs closer together. If you do that without running the grinder at the same time, you run the risk of compacting coffee beans in the grind chute and even warping or permanently damaging the threads. This is such a costly repair, it really means that you’re looking for a replacement grinder.

To avoid such horror, you need to run the grinder as you bring the burrs closer together. On the Rocky model that includes a doser chamber, this is easier, as you have an on / off button to use. The Rocky without a doser, however, simply has a rocker switch that must always be engaged in order to grind. So how do you manage all three at once? Watch Teri as she demonstrates her trick for adjusting the Rocky doserless more finely when you’ve only got your own hands to spare!

SCG Crew Tip: Rancilio Rocky Doserless Adjustment

Crew Review: Rancilio KRYO 65 Commercial Burr Espresso Grinder

Rancilio KRYO 65Can’t sacrifice quality for quantity or vice versa? The Rancilio KRYO 65 feels your pain and was designed specifically to alleviate it.

Featuring 64mm stainless steel burrs, an aluminum fin collar to dissipate heat more evenly and a simple worm-drive adjustment mechanism, the KRYO 65 is built for high capacity coffee shops that need to produce consistent, excellent espresso. It also features a doser chamber for you to grind and dose quickly during a particularly mad rush, which also has the virtue of keeping things (relatively) clean.

If your cafe’s pace means you need to craft a quality espresso-based drink each minute, the KRYO 65’s speedy delivery (14 grams in about 4 seconds) will get you where you need to go. Watch as Brandon shows us its tech specs and features, including an internal tour of the burrs and grind shaft, plus a demonstration of of its grind quality.

Crew Review: Rancilio KRYO 65 Commercial Burr Espresso Grinder

Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic: Programming Guide

Rancilio Classe 9 AutomaticSometimes you find yourself in the middle of a little bit too much technology and you need a helping hand to guide you to the other side. If the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic commercial espresso machine is that for you, then Brandon is your tech sherpa who will happily pilot you through its menus and programming functionality.

In this comprehensive how-to video, you’ll learn all about the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic’s internal menu and programming, including tips on how to best dial in your volumetric dosing.

SCG How-To Guide: Programming the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Rancilio Classe 9: Crew Review & Internal Tour

Rancilio Classe 9The Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic espresso machine is a model that some folks consider may be too much machine for their business. There are so many styles available, how do you know which manufacturer, let alone model, to go with?

When selecting a commercial espresso machine for your business, there are a few things you should think about: How many espresso-based drinks do you think you’ll make during your busiest hour? What style of drinks do you want to prepare — straight espresso, milk-infused concoctions or something altogether different like a Rooibos tea latte? What level of training and staff turnover might you expect in your business? Finally, how quickly will you see the return on your investment at different espresso machine prices?

Once you’ve determined the answers to those questions, it’s much easier to select the right machine that will keep up with your business’ pace, perform well under market demands and produce the type of drinks that are popular in your area or that you specialize in.

If your business happens to be high volume and particularly fast paced, the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic espresso machine is definitely worth considering. It features some great automation, such as volumetric dosing, that can make it easier for your staff to quickly produce consistent espresso shots and its impressive boiler design makes short work of even the largest steaming pitcher. You can also select a model that allows for more room beneath the portafilter spouts, designed for extracting directly into tall to-go cups. This is the machine of choice for popular drive-through espresso stands that need to quickly serve up quality drinks during a serious morning rush.

Want to learn more about the Rancilio Classe 9? In these videos, we take you through a standard feature and specification review, then we guide you through an internal tour so you can see how everything works from the inside out. If you have any other questions on the Classe 9 or think it might be the right fit for your business, please feel free to contact us — we’d love to help!

Crew Review: Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Internal Tour of the Rancilio Classe 9 Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

SCG How-To Guides: Packing Your Espresso Machine for Shipping

Packing an Espresso Machine for ShippingDoes your Saeco Via Venezia need to be repaired but you don’t have a repair center in your area? Did you try on a DeLonghi Magnifica for size and it didn’t quite fit? Will that Rocket Espresso R58 see more action at your vacation home? Regardless of your reason for shipping your espresso machine — repair, return or simple transit — ensuring that it’s packed properly to limit damage is key.

In this series of videos, we asked a member of our shipping crew, Spencer, to guide us through the best practices for three general styles of espresso machines: Small (under 35lbs), large (over 35lbs) and superautomatics (watch those drip trays!). Check out the video that most closely matches your style of machine to learn how the pros do it.

Episode One: Packing a Small (Under 35lbs) Espresso Machine

Episode Two: Packing a Large (Over 35lbs) Espresso Machine

Episode Three: Packing a Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Rancilio Classe 7 E Commercial Espresso Machine: Crew Review & Internal Tour

Rancilio Classe 7 E Commercial Espresso MachineWhen people outside of the Pacific Northwest come to visit our neck of the woods, they are somewhat surprised — albeit a tad humorously — that there really is a coffee business on nearly every corner. Drive through espresso stands are the way of the world around here — you see a few on every block and they’re always busier than you’d think could be supported by the population.

If a drive through coffee business is in your present or future, planning for high volumes of coffee production in an often fast-paced and hectic environment is essential. After all, there’s a reason that folks are staying in their car while ordering their coffee from you: They’re on a schedule and may very well be pressed for time. But that doesn’t mean you should serve them inferior java!

Investing in a machine that will more than keep up with your business is going to be the best decision you ever made. Up for consideration is the Rancilio Classe 7 E, which is an automatic commercial espresso machine available in multiple group styles. This machine is a heat exchanger that will recover so quickly from the repetitive 16 oz lattes you’re whipping up that you won’t ever notice a dip in performance.

Want to find out if its the machine for you? Learn all about its features, functionality and performance and then go on an internal tour to see how it works in these videos with Brandon.


Crew Review: Rancilio Classe 7 E


Internal Tour: Rancilio Classe 7 E

Compare: Rancilio Rocky vs. Breville Smart Grinder – Redux!

Compare - Rancilio Rocky vs. Breville Smart GrinderLooking for a budget-conscious burr grinder that’s suitable for traditional espresso preparation? Consider the feature-laden Breville Smart Grinder or the robust, commercial-grade Rancilio Rocky. Both have great consistency and a wide grind range, so you can use them for anything from espresso to coffee press.

Watch Gail as she takes us through their features and functionality, then shows us how they compare, grind-wise.

 

How-To: SCG’s Tune-up Kit for the Rancilio Silvia

Rancilio SilviaPicture it: You have the day off, you wake up earlier than usual and lie in bed for awhile, staring up at the ceiling fan, which gently lulls your thoughts with its rhythmic whir … What will you do with the day? Where will you go? Should you finish that book you’ve been reading? Take the dog/cat/potbelly pig/chinchilla for a stroll? Help a pal with an errand that would be 4589% more enjoyable with a cohort? How will you design your perfect day?

Might we suggest that you first fire up your trusty Rancilio Silvia and prepare a delectable shot of espresso over which you may ruminate? Might we also suggest that, if that shot isn’t tasting as delectable as it used to, you consider performing a thorough tune up on your machine before doing anything else with your day? To facilitate this, we’ve produced this how-to video featuring one of the coolest cats in the espresso tech game, B. Swenson!

With that complete, perhaps it’s time to sip sangria in the park?