Category Archives: Reviews

Crew Review: OXO Cold Brew Maker

OXO Cold Brew Is that….the sun?! This is a question we are hearing a lot up here in Seattle. And it can only mean one thing, summer is right around the corner! And for us at Seattle Coffee Gear, that means cold brew.

And to celebrate the magnificent sunshine,  we are taking a look at the newest cold brew coffee maker on the market. The OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker! We all know the OXO products, you might even have their vegetable peeler in a drawer at home. But the OXO Cold Brew Maker won’t be slicing any vegetables, and that’s a good thing! This cold brew maker sticks to what is does best, brew cold brew!

The OXO Cold Brew Maker features a rainmaker design that you pour your cold water though. This design allows the grounds to be evenly saturated with water and bloom properly, resulting in a tastier finished product. The glass carafe that catches the final product is constructed out of borosilicate glass, which is extremely durable.  After steeping, all that is needed to be done in order to drink the tasty concentrate is flip the brew release switch and let gravity do the work!

The cold brew that this brewer yields is concentrated , so diluting 2 oz of the cold stuff with some ice or milk is suggested. You could of course dilute it with hot water if you prefer a hot beverage. The choice is up to you!

This brewer won our unofficial Cold Brew Taste Test. Be sure to check out that video if you haven’t already. Watch this Crew Review below before heading over to our YouTube channel and subscribing!

 

Comparison: R58 vs. Oracle

Because two boilers are better than one, that’s why! Yes we are talking about the double boiler machines, and specifically we are going to take a closer look at the Rocket R58 and the Breville Oracle.

So ring the bell referee, it’s the R58 vs. Oracle.

While these two machines have a few things in common they truly are very different, each one catering to a different type of  home barista.

The Breville Oracle sits in class almost to it’s own; somewhere R58 vs. Oraclebetween a super-automatic and a semi-automatic.  It has a grinder and a tamper built right into the machine. The internal clock allows you to have the machine auto start in the morning, which can make waking up that much easier! The auto frothing steam wand allows for easy cappuccino creation. The Breville Oracle has many menu features allowing you to tinker until you get the perfect drink. However, automation always comes at a cost. Even with all the menu features, measuring exact amounts of coffee grounds, for example, is not possible.

The Rocket R58 sits up at the top of it’s semi-automatic class. It R58 vs. Oraclefeatures a dual PID temperature control system, allowing you to program both the steam and brew boiler temperatures. The commercial grade rotary pump is quieter than most and allows for pump pressure adjustments and monitoring. The R58 is also plumbable, which means you can say goodbye to refilling the water tank by directly connecting this machine to your water supply. Of course, you can’t talk about any Rocket machine without mentioning its beautiful design. A lot of care is put into each of these handcrafted machines, you can be sure it will look great on your countertop.

Be sure to watch the full comparison video below! If you found this comparison helpful, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more by clicking here.

 

 

Crew Review: La Marzocco GS3

GS3The La Marzocco GS3. Need I say any more?

Folks, this is one of the best machines we have ever brewed up a shot of espresso on. You may recognize the machine in this video from our April Fools 2015 video, but trust us, this machine deserves all the respect it gets.

The GS3 is in the top of it’s class and for a good reason!It’s commercial grade features are built with the precision every serious espresso enthusiast looks for. Dual stainless steel boilers, powerful steaming functionality, PID temperature control, volumetric pump and variable hot water temperature regulation just to name a few.

What makes the La Marzocco GS3 so special is the blend of excellent internal parts with it’s beautiful customizable exterior. That’s right, customizable exterior. The machine Gail is demoing in this video has walnut wood side panels and a classy flat white body. We think this combination would look very stylish on your countertop, but you can choose which ever design you would like :)

Watch the video below to see Gail go through all the details of this impressive machine, and even brew up a cappuccino complete with latte art! Ok, maybe just the cappuccino (Sorry Gail!)

Like our videos? Subscribe to our channel and share the video with your friends! As always… Thanks for watching!

 

 

SCG in Portland: Silvia vs. Silvia with PID

silvia with PIDWhile we were “working” in Portland Gail wanted to show you all the insides of the Rancilio Silvia with PID. The Rancilio Silvia is a simple, reliable and powerful espresso machine. It will  produce excellent espresso and silky microfoam milk for your lattes and cappuccinos, and look pretty great doing it as well!

With it’s 67 oz Water Tank, 12 oz Brass Boiler and 15 BAR pump this little guy is ready for anything! And the Rancilio Silvia also has the option to add an optional PID. The optional PID is something that our tech team here at Seattle Coffee Gear installs and gives you precise temperature control.

Watch the video below as Gail walks you through the differences and opens up the Silvia with a PID installed!

 

 

Crew Review: Rocket R58

Rocket R58In my humble opinion the Rocket Espresso Machines are some of the most visually appealing machines out there. And the Rocket R58 is no exception.

Aside from the beautiful aesthetics, the Rocket R58 is built very well. The quality production  of each machine is something that Rocket prides itself on. Each machine is hand crafted with commercial quality parts, from the rotary pump to the portafilter.  Pulling delicious espresso with these machines is a wonderful experience.

The Rocket R58 is truly a powerhouse espresso machine. It is a dual boiler machine, giving you the excellent control for both brewing and steaming. The dual boiler along with thermo siphon system design allows for stability in the espresso boiler and increased levels of steam pressure and hot water from the service boiler. The brewing boiler holds 0.58 liters while the hot water/steam boiler holds 1.7 liters. The Rocket R58 also features a remote PID, which keeps your countertop looking clean and the temperature in your control.

The Rocket R58 is plumbable, so you can say goodbye to filling a water tank if that is something you wish to do. If you aren’t good at goodbyes, not to worry, you can also use the 2.5 liter water reservoir.

Watch the Crew Review below to get a good feel for this machine. Gail takes a close look at each part of the design before making herself a cappuccino.  And a tasty looking one at that!

 

 

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!