Category Archives: Reviews

Taste Test: Cold Brew!

As promised, our taste test of the 5 cold brew systems! In case you missed it you can check out the comparison video here.

For this blind taste test we brewed each of the cold brew systems following the manufacture’s instructions.  We had three loyal Seattle Coffee Gear employees to taste the concentrate undiluted in order to keep a level playing field. You may even recognize some faces! (Actually I’d be surprised if you don’t!)

Watch the video above to see which cold brew system was preferred by the team! Hint: It may surprise you!

Crew Review: Cold Brew Comparison

Cold BrewGuess what? Summer is almost here! Seriously.

And do you know what that means? Cold Brew! Nothing beats the summer heat like an ice cold glass of cold brew coffee. Yes, you can drink cold brew year round, but summer really just shows it off the best.

And because summer is right around the corner we thought it would be helpful to compare the cold brew systems we have. Yes systems! We have 4 different at the moment, with a 5th on the way. With so many choices it might be hard to choose just one.

In this comparison we took a closer look at the Toddy. The Toddy is the OG of cold brew. We feel like this is best if you are going to be making a large batch of cold brew and drink it throughout the week (or day if you are like that!). We also took a look at the Sowden and Hario cold brew pots. On the smaller side, these are best for the occasional cold brew drinker (or those with limited counter space). Also in our comparison was the Primila Cold Brew Glass Carafe. This one has an on the go feel.

We also took a look at the newest cold brew system we will be carrying from OXO. Much like the Toddy, the OXO is going to make you a big batch of the cold stuff.

Watch the video below to see each of these next to each other. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you won’t miss the taste test comparison which we will be posting later this week!

Crew Review: Rocket Cellini and Giotto With PID

Rocket Cellini and GiottoThe Rocket Cellini and Giotto Premium Plus with PID are some of the, dare I say, sexiest espresso machines on the market. Rocket has always been design forward (but backs that beauty up with reliable and high quality parts) making for some killer espresso machines.

The Rocket Cellini and Giotto are essentially the same machine, but they do have a feature that make each of them more suitable for different wants and needs. The Rocket Giotto has the beveled sides, I like to think this one has an art deco feel. The Rocket Cellini is for those that like things clean and organized (you know who you are), the straight sides will look great on your counter top.

These Rockets also come in another version, The Evoluzione. The Evoluzione is a plumbable model, so instead of having to fill a water tank up, you can have this model tied directly to your water supply.

The Rocket Cellini and Giotto Premium Plus both have the anti-bake wand, which makes cleaning the steam wand easy as pie! Maybe even easier to be honest.

Watch the full Crew Review below, Gail even makes some pretty cool looking latte art! And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, you can do so by clicking here! By subscribing you will never miss a moment!

 

 

Crew Review: Jura Cleaning Products

Jura Cleaning ProductsI clean. You clean. We all clean our Jura Machine! Thank you, thank you, I will show myself out now.

If you can’t tell already, I am here today to talk to you about the Jura cleaning products! Because we all know that dirty espresso machines make bad espresso, and we won’t have that! All of Jura’s machines conveniently use their cleaning products, which makes the cleaning process easy to handle.

First up on the maintenance tasks is going to be replacing the water filter. It is best to do this every couple of months or more frequently if your water is particularly hard. To find the proper replacement all you need to do is match the color of the cap, either clearyl blue or white. You can learn more about this process in the Ask Gail video found here.

You will also need to clean your milk frother regularly to insure freshly frothed milk and zero clogs! Using the Milk Frother Cleaning Liquid is easy, just dilute and soak your equipment overnight. The cleaner is designed to eat up all the milk proteins leaving you with a squeaky clean frothing system.

Descaling is also something you will need to do in order to keep your machine in tip top shape. Scale is essentially a mineral build up, much like plaque in an artery. Using the Decal Tablets will rid your machine of the build up and add life to your machine.

Watch the video below to learn more about how to use these products!

 

 

Crew Review: Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Breville Smart Grinder ProIt’s new. It’s improved. And it wants to grind. Yes I am talking about the new Breville Smart Grinder Pro. The latest addition to the Breville line up. We are really impressed with this machine. Breville has taken all the best features from the past models, added a few extra ones, and created something that both espresso and french press fanatics can love.

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has 60 settings for really dialing in your grind. We took the Breville Smart Grinder Pro to the finest setting and were very impressed. This grinder even has an adjustable upper burr that is meant to adjust your grind as you use the machine over time. Which extends the life of this grinder (something we can all get behind!).

Breville has thought about every little detail. From the removable bean hopper to the plug that goes into the wall. Yes even the electrical plug has been designed with you in mind. There is a little finger grip that allows for easy unplugging without bending the prongs. I know it’s small, but it is the little things that make the world we live in a better place. :) But in all seriousness, this is a really cool feature that you wouldn’t even think you needed until you have it! Check it out!

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

But don’t take my word for it. Watch the video below to see Gail demonstrate all the features and give her two cents. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for new videos with Gail and the team everyday!

 

 

Crew Review: Planetary Design Coffee Press

Planetary Design Coffee PressThe double wall craze continues to sweep the nation! First it began with upgrading regular ol’ coffee cups, then we saw the double wall sneak its way into travel mugs and now, here at last, a double walled vacuum insulated table top coffee press! Folks, I would like to introduce to you the Planetary Design Coffee Press.

Like I previously mentioned this french press has a double wall that insulates your brew, keeping it nice and hot for hours. The Planetary Design Coffee Press comes in three sizes, 20oz, 32oz and 48oz. The 20 oz pot is perfect for a couple sharing some delicious coffee while the 48oz can caffeinate a crowd. All three of the sizes come in either a black or chrome finish, so the choice is truly yours.

What really makes the Planetary Design Coffee Press stand out in the crowd is the patented plunger and ultra-fine stainless steel mesh. It is designed to extract maximum flavor from your grounds and keep them where they belong (in the press!). I love the french press as much as the next guy but I really don’t like having to pick grounds off my tongue, which is why I love the additional mesh screen on the pour spout that prevents even the most elusive coffee grounds from entering my cup (and subsequently my mouth!).

All in all this is a great coffee press that is designed to last. It feels sturdy and brews up a mean cup of coffee. Watch the Crew Review below to see Gail brew up a pot and see what its all about! Thanks for watching!

 

Crew Review: Breville Coffee Grinder Comparison

When I say Breville you say grinder! Breville! *crickets*Breville Coffee Grinder Comparison

Ok…that isn’t as much fun as I remember. But we all should be really excited! With the recent addition of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro to the Breville Coffee Grinder line up we decided that now is as good a time as ever to compare them all! So may I present to you the Great Breville Coffee Grinder Comparison of 2015!

To start things off we took a look at the entry level grinder, the Breville Dose Control Pro. With an entry level grinder with Pro in the title, how can you really go wrong? We liked this grinder a lot. The finest grind held its own when we compared all three. The body has a little more plastic than the other grinders in this line up, but the build still feels strong.

Next we took a look at the Smart Grinder. This grinder, as well as the Smart Grinder Pro, has a digital screen that is your control center. The display will show you everything from your grind setting to the amount of time remaining on the grind session. All three grinders have attachable portafilter holders (for 58mm, 50mm and 54mm), but the two Smart Grinder models also come with a convenient grounds catcher for those french press or pour over days.

The Smart Grinder Pro is the latest addition to the line up. It is really the next generation of the Smart Grinder. Some of the additional features includes an adjustable top burr which gives you over 60 grind settings for really fine tuning your grind. However, it should be noted that during our testing, we noticed the Smart Grinder Pro has a little trouble grinding when it’s simultaneously set at the finest burr setting and at the finest digital setting. If you adjust the top burr to the finest setting, we suggest you do not take the digital setting all the way down to the very finest grind. This shouldn’t be an issue unless you have your heart set on a very fine grind for Turkish coffee. Even with that hiccup, the grind is still very fine. Gail was impressed.

Take a look at the video below to see the full comparison.  And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for new videos 6 days a week!

 

Crew Review: Hario V60 Drip Station

Hario V60 Drip StationPour some sugar on me! Ok, maybe not sugar or on me. But you can pour some water on my freshly ground coffee! And if you want, you can use the Hario V60 Drip Station. What’s that you ask? It’s only the coolest thing sitting on my counter (granted, my 8 year old toaster is not much competition).

The Hario V60 Drip Station is designed to compliment the whole V60 pour over brewing process. The acrylic stand is easy to clean and easy to assemble. The stainless steel grate sits on top of the ABS resin drip tray, ready to catch any rouge coffee. The whole station fits perfectly on the Hario V60 Drip Scale, which makes for a no fuss brewing process. Once everything is set up, you are ready to brew just like they do at your local coffee shop.

Some may say that the stand is not an essential piece of equipment for brewing up a tasty cup of coffee. And yes that may be the case. The V60 Coffee Dripper does fit nicely on top of your standard coffee mug but if you like an organized and clean looking set up, this is for you (much like it is for me!).

Take a look at the video below to see Gail brew up a cup using the Hario V60 Dripper, station and scale! Yeah, she went all out. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well, Gail is always reviewing products or answering your questions. We’d love you to be a part of the conversation!

Crew Review: Chemex Coffee Mug

Chemex Coffee MugWe love Chemex. Everything they make is so clean and looks great sitting out on the counter. So if you are also a fan of all things Chemex, listen up! Chemex has designed a great handblown glass coffee mug that looks like a miniaturized Chemex coffee maker.  The Chemex Coffee Mug is made from the same non-porous borosilicate glass that you are familiar with and comes in a 10 ounce size.

Gail recently took this cute little cup with her on vacation and used in a way that it is not intended. Gail made her morning coffee in the cup, just like it was the full size pour over vessel. She said it worked great and had to show everyone what she did. Take a look at the video below to see Gail’s thoughts and process for brewing coffee right in the mug! We think you will find this a pretty clever idea.

Head over to our YouTube channel after watching this video to find more Crew Reviews and other fun videos!

Crew Review: MiiR Travel Tumbler

Ok, I will be honest with you. I like to drink my coffee in a mug, a nice and heavy mug. Miir Travel Tumbler

I’m going to keep on being honest with you, those big heavy mugs are more trouble than they are worth when I am on the go. Trust me when I say I’ve tried and failed. I can no longer come into work with coffee stained pants, I would never hear the end of it from my co-workers.

Although I have had to put my coffee mugs away, I have found a replacement that I am quite enjoying. Let me introduce to you the MiiR Travel Tumbler. Aside from the awesome name, these tumblers have some great features. The most important factor to me is the double wall design. One of the reasons I love my big and heavy mugs is because of there ability to keep my drink hot! And the double wall on the MiiR Travel Tumbler does the same thing (and probably better, if I am keeping honest with you). The lid on these travel tumblers are great at keeping the coffee in the cup and not on my pants. However, the lid does not have a closing function on the drink hole. So you wont be able to be doing any backflips with this in hand. Although I suppose if you were able to flip fast enough the centripetal force would hold the coffee in its place, but I digress.

The MiiR Travel Tumblers come in a variety of colors, 6 to be exact. And if you want you can even get the stainless steel tumbler with the Seattle Coffee Gear logo on it, like all the cool kids are doing.

What really makes these travel tumblers stand out is the story behind MiiR’s one4one initiative to bring clean well water to people around the world. With every tumbler sold MiiR helps someone in need get access to fresh drinking water. MiiR is a great Seattle-based company and the MiiR Travel Tumbler is an all-around staff favorite. You like Fair Trade coffee? Great! Grab a tumbler that does good too.

Watch the video below to hear what Gail thinks about these tumblers in this Crew Review. And if you want, head over to our YouTube channel and check out what else Gail has been reviewing. She has been very busy!