Category Archives: Reviews

Crew Review: OXO Glass Electric Kettle

They say a watched pot never boils. But boy how they were wrong! We got our hands on the latest from OXO, Clarity their Glass Electric Kettle.Glass Electric Kettle

This is a huge kettle, holding 1.75 liters of water! That’s a whole lot of tea or coffee. We were really impressed how fast a full kettle came to a boil. In our testing this Glass Electric Kettle from OXO brought room temperature water to a boil in seven and a half minutes! Once the water is brought up to a boil the kettle automatically turns itself off, so not only is this fast but also very safe.

The Glass Electric Kettle is considered cordless because the base separates from the kettle itself. The handle has a great grip which makes for a very easy pour. We enjoyed how much control we felt we had when lifting the kettle while it was full of hot water. Two thumbs up in that department!

All in all, this is a great kettle for everything from tea to french press coffee and everything in between!  Be sure to check out the full Crew Review video below to hear all the features and see this kettle in action!

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Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Oscar

We are back with an updated Crew Review of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar! This was the first cost-efficient heat exchanger espresso machine that we saw enter the market that didn’t compromise on the quality of espresso produced. Since it’s debut there have been a few other machines that get close to the price point of the Nuova Simonelli Oscar, but here are some of the features that keep this machine a top contender.nuova simonelli oscar

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar sports a 2 liter copper boiler. Be sure to give this machine about 25 minutes of warm up time to get optimal shots! The water reservoir in the back is a great size, coming in at 2.3 liters. Enough water to get you through several brew cycles by small enough that your water won’t go stale.

As we mentioned before, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a heat exchanger machine. What is a heat exchanger? It is the design of the boiler. The boiler is heated up to steam temperature, and the running through the boiler is a copper tube. This copper tube allows for cold water to quickly be heated up to brew temperature as is travels to the brew head. This design will allow you to steam and brew at the same time, while keeping the cost of a second boiler out of the equation.

The Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a great machine for someone looking for a quality design while keeping a budget. Be sure to check out our full Crew Review of this machine to hear all the stats and see this machine in action! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for daily coffee videos by clicking here! 

Comparison: Rancilio Rocky vs Smart Grinder Pro

In today’s Crew Review Comparison we have two popular grinders for you! Introducing the Rancilio Rocky vs Smart Grinder Pro from Breville. Which is best for you? Which grinder will give you the grind you are searching for? Let’s find out!Rancilio Rocky vs. Smart Grinder Pro

The Rancilio Rocky is quite the machine! With 50mm flat stainless steel burrs grinding at an impressive 1725 RPM, this coffee grinder will wow any home barista. The Rancilio Rocky weighs 18 pounds, the motor itself weighs 11 pounds. Basically this grinder can grind! Some like to compare this grinder to other commercial quality grinders, and while it is not designed for a commercial setting it certainly can hold its own.   It is operated by a simple on and off switch and the grind setting is adjusted by rotating the bean hopper. What the Rancilio Rocky may lack in bells and whistles it certainly makes up in grind quality.  This grinder is an excellent choice for all types of consumer espresso machines!

Rancilio Rocky vs. Smart Grinder ProNext up on our comparison list is the Smart Grinder Pro from Breville. The Smart Grinder pro has 40mm stainless steel conical burrs. The conical burrs allow for a faster intake of beans and as a result can produce a double shot in 17 seconds (compare to 25 seconds with the Rocky). The Smart Grinder Pro is powered by technology. You are able to program the grind time, volumetric grind amount, and the grind setting on the easy to navigate digital display. The Smart Grinder Pro has an adjustable upper burr, which will allow you to compensate for use over time. So grind on you crazy diamond!

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Comparison: Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Stovetop espresso. What is not to love? It is easy to use, looks great on your countertop, and produces an intense cup of coffee! Bialetti is probably what comes to mind when you think of a stovetop espresso coffee maker. Does this look familiar?Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Bialetti stovetop espresso coffee makers come in three different models! The first is the iconic Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker. With it’s art deco style, the Moka Express is easily recognized. It comes in 12 ounce size and is constructed out of aluminum. As with all the stovetop makers in this comparison, brewing is a breeze. Simply add your ground coffee and water, apply heat, and watch as your brewed coffee bubbles up!

Next up in our comparison of the Bialetti Stovetop Espresso makersBialetti Stovetop Espresso is the Musa. At just 7.25 inches tall for the 6 cup version, the Musa is small enough to stow away when no tin use. The Musa is built out of stainless steel, so if you are adverse to the aluminum construction of the Moka Express, this would be an option.

Bialetti Stovetop EspressoThe Bialetti Venus Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker is the next in our comparison. Similar to the Musa with it’s  stainless steel construction and 2 size options, the Venus’s look is slightly more refined. Be sure to take a look at our Crew Review comparison video below to see how the looks of all three of these stovetop espresso coffee makers compare!


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Comparison: Technivorm vs Bonavita

What do you get when you take two SCAA certified coffee brewers and put them head to head? You get our latest Crew Review Comparison!

That’s right folks we have another comparison for you, this time it’s the Technivorm vs Bonavita coffee brewers! The key to a great cup of coffee is optimal extraction time and a perfect brewing temperature. This is where SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America, steps in. Both of these brewers, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 and the Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker, have been tested and approved by SCAA which means they brew at the ideal brewing temperature- between 195F and 205F.

Technivorm vs BonavitaThe Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 stands 15 inches tall and it the taller of the two brewers in this comparison. The thermal carafe is double walled stainless steel. It will keep your coffee hot, without burning the coffee which can easily happen with a glass carafe and hot plate warming design. We tested how long this carafe would keep the coffee hot and after 3 hours the temperature had only decreased by 24 degrees. Still piping hot! The Technivorm does brew 2 ounces more than the Bonavita, with a maximum of 42 ounces of brewed coffee per pot!

The Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker has a great feature not found on Technivorm vs Bonavitaall coffee brewers. What is that feature you ask? Pre-infusion! The Bonavita will bloom your coffee, allowing the grounds to off gas before the brew cycle. The result is a more evenly extracted cup of coffee! Standing at just 12 inches tall, this brewer can easily be stored under a cabinet. We love how simple the Bonavita brewer is, one simple switch to  master! The Bonavita can brew up to 40 ounces of coffee at one time. The double walled stainless steel carafe cooled 26 degrees after 3 hours. So no matter which brewer you decide on, a hot cup of coffee you will have!

Be sure to watch the full Crew Review Comparison below! Want to subscribe? Click here and never miss a video!

Crew Review: OXO Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Brewer

Continuing our review of OXO’s latest line of coffee related gear, we took a closer look at the Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Brewer! Although this is the smaller cousin of the OXO 12 Cup coffee maker, the  Barista Brain 9 Cup brewer still has all the brains!Barista Brain 9 Cup

First and foremost, the OXO Barista Brain 9 Cup coffee brewer is SCAA certified. What does that mean? It means that this brewer is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America to brew at the optimal temperature, between 197.6 degrees F – 204.8 degrees F. When looking at any coffee maker, temperature stability is something that should always be considered. While bells and whistles are totally awesome, properly brewed coffee is really what we want (and good thing this brewer gives us both)!

Speaking of bells and/or whistles, the OXO  Barista Brain 9 Cup has some! The beautiful digital screen allows for intuitive control of your brew. Like to wake up to the smell of coffee? Well now you can with the wake up timer control feature! Simply program the brewer to begin brewing when you want to wake up and voilà!

We think OXO did a great job with the design of this brewer. It looks great and brews up a hot cup of coffee! Be sure to check out our full Crew Review in the video below!

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Crew Review: OXO Barista Brain Grinder

Next in the line up from OXO is their grinder, the Barista Brain Grinder to be exact! And speaking of exact, the Barista Brain Grinder has a built in scale!

That’s right folks, the Brain in the Barista Brain is really a microchip that take a lot of the guess work out of your daily brewing. This grinder allows for 3 grinding modes: grams, cups, and portafilter mode. When in grams mode, you set how many grams you would like to be ground, and the Barista Brain Grinder will grind that amount into your collection vessel.

Cups mode is perfect for brewing drip coffee. OXO has preset the grinder to grind 8 grams of coffee per cup, the ideal ratio. You even have a micro adjustment tool on this grinder. So if you like your coffee a little stronger, adjust away! Portafilter mode will grinder until you say stop! But don’t let all that power go to your head :)

The Barista Brain Grinder from OXO has a nice contemporary look. Black plastic and clad stainless steel will look great on almost any countertop. The grinder itself has 40mm conical stainless steel burrs. We tested the consistency and believe this grinder would be best suited for manual brewing applications. The espresso grind will work for a pressurized system, but you will have a difficult time getting a quality shot off a traditional machine using this grinder.

Watch our full Crew Review below before heading over to our YouTube channel to see all the latest machines from OXO. Want to subscribe to our channel? Click here and never miss a video from us!


Comparison: Silvia vs Barista Express

In corner number one we have the Rancilio Silvia. An iconic single boiler machine, ready to brew up anything you throw at it.

In corner number two we have the Breville Barista Express. With it’s built in grinder and optional pressurized portafilters, brewing up great espresso has never been so simple.

Ring the bell referee, its the Silvia vs Barista Express!

Silvia vs Barista ExpressThe Rancilio Silvia is a single boiler espresso machine. The boiler is built out of brass and has a removable heating element, which makes repairs much cheaper if the heating element ever burns out. The case material on the Rancilio Silvia is stainless steel, so you know this machine is built to last! Our comparison showed that the steam pressure is better on the Silvia, which is to be expected given the design differences between these two espresso machines. At just 9.5 inches wide and 11 inches deep, the Silvia has the smaller footprint- but don’t forget about your grinder!

Silvia vs Barista ExpressThe Breville Barista Express has a stainless steel boiler with a thermocoil design. What’s a thermocoil?  A  thermocoil or thermoblock takes water from the reservoir in an espresso machine and heats it on the fly, versus heating up a full boiler of water. The benefit is a shorter wait time for the water to come to temperature, but it is not as consistent. The Barista Express has a built in burr grinder, so for someone on a budget or with limited counter space this would be an excellent option. The Breville has several programming options, something the Silvia does not have.

Be sure to check out our full Crew Review Comparison video below! Want to subscribe to our channel and never miss a video? Then click here!


Crew Review: OXO Barista Brain 12-Cup Brewer

We got to play with a new toy! That’s right folks, OXO has released a  a new coffee brewer- but it does a whole lot more than just brew coffee!

The OXO Barista Brain 12-Cup Coffee Brewer is the largest coffee brewer to be certified by SCAA. 12 cups is a lot of coffee! The OXO Barista Brain 12-Cup brewer features a design we have never seen before. The water tank doubles as a hot water kettle! Depending how you have the kettle engaged, will determine if you will be brewing coffee or bringing up water for tea (or anything really!)

What really stood out for us was the microprocessor that is the brain in the Barista Brain brewing system. It monitors time, temperature and volume of the brewing cycle, which allows this brewer to deliver the perfect cup time after time. You can even brew a single serving,  leaving the extra water in the kettle. No more measuring (it does it all for you!).

The double walled stainless steel carafe keeps your coffee hotter for longer. We were really impressed with the design for both the carafe and the water kettle. Both were easy to handle, given their size, which made for seamless serving.

Check out our full Crew Review below! And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss a video!


Comparison: Musica vs. Premium Plus

It’s time for another head to head comparison! This week, we have the Nuova Simonelli Musica vs. Premium Plus with PID from Rocket Espresso!

Two heat exchangers, both from an Italian company. So which is best for you? Let’s take a closer look at the features and find out!

Musica vs. Premium PlusFirst up, the Nuova Simonelli Musica. This espresso machine features a 2 liter brass and copper boiler. The water reservoir holds 3 liters of water, which is on the larger size for this type of machine. The Nuova Simonelli Musica takes about 25 minutes to heat up to brew temperature, not too bad for a 1200 Watt machine. We love the look of this machine, it features a lighted edge which can be turned off if you are not in the mood. The steam tip on this machine is the same steam tip that Nuova Simonelli uses on the machines it provides for the National Barista Championships.

Musica vs. Premium PlusThe Premium Plus with PID from Rocket Espresso features a 1.8 liter brass and copper boiler. So the two machines are pretty comparable in that department. The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus heats up to brew temperature in just 11 minutes. The steam wand is a no burn steam wand. That means it is insulted so that the milk won’t immediately burn on contact. However, you should still be wiping and purging the wand immediately after frothing milk. We do love the contemporary look that all of Rocket’s machines have. It truly looks great in any environment.

Watch our full comparison in the video below! Still want some more information? You can read about all the specs for the Musica here, and the Premium Plus here.


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