Category Archives: Reviews

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!

 

Crew Review: Acaia Pearl Scale

acaia pearl scaleI’m not sure about you but I use my smartphone to do just about everything. Gone are the days of simple arithmetic in my head, there is an app for that. There is also an app for controlling my wireless speakers, my lights, my thermostat, even when the cat gets fed. Can you see where this is going?!

Well now we can officially say it, gone are the days of the simple scale. Good riddance! The coolest new gadget on the block happens to be the Acaia Pearl Scale. It does everything you would want a modern scale to do, you know, like weigh beans down to a 10th of a gram. It is also super quick, giving you a read out in 20 milliseconds! That’s literally faster than a blink of an eye (by about 80ms no doubt). And of course it has a built-in timer!

But what really makes this scale special is its connectivity with the free app from Acaia. The app gives you a brewing timer, ratio calculator and a place to put all your coffee notes right at the tip of your fingertips. In addition to those features the app also contains some awesome visualization tools to analyze your brews. Nerdy? We think not!

What really makes this scale complete is the sleek design, reminiscent of a particular tech company that we have all grown to love. Am iRight?? Ok, clearly I’ve had too much coffee today. But brewing with this scale is just too much fun! Take a look at the Crew Review below. Gail and Miranda had a good time playing with all the features of the Acaia Pearl Scale as well.

Don’t forget to head over to our YouTube channel if you want to see more Crew Reviews or have a burning question to Ask Gail.

Crew Review: Rip van Wafels

Rip van WafelsIt’s coffee break time and I’m feeling a bit hungry. I could either eat yet another donut or I could open up a Rip van Wafel. What’s a Rip van Wafel you ask? Well it’s only the tastiest thing you can eat during your coffee break that will also start some chatter around the proverbial water cooler. This tasty item is both an experience and a snack.

It all starts with a piping hot cup of coffee. Before you even attempt a sip you place one of these Rip van Wafels on top of your cup, which is conveniently the perfect size and shape for your standard coffee cup. As your coffee cools down to a temperature that won’t burn your tongue the Rip van Wafel is getting all soft and gooey. Slowly you will see the middle of the Wafel sag, and that is when you know it’s ready to enjoy.

The texture is one of the better things in life. Soft and chewy. The flavor has notes of cinnamon and caramel, the perfect accompaniment for a cup of joe (as I am sure you know). Check out the video below and be sure to head over to our YouTube channel for more product reviews and general coffee goodness!

Crew Review: Coffee Grinder Comparison

Coffee Grinder ComparisonGrinders, grinders, grinders! So many coffee grinders, but which to choose? Well, we asked Gail if she would be so kind and review a few side by side. We decided the best place to start would be taking some grinders that are all in the same price range and see how they match up. In this coffee grinder comparison we took a closer look at the Rancillio Rocky, the Baratza Virtuoso, the Baratza Preciso and the latest from Breville- the Smart Grinder Pro.

We were very pleased with the quality of all 4 coffee grinders. Hands down the construction of all 4 was nothing short of excellent. They all had a nice design and produced a good quality grind. Gail took each grinder down to it’s finest setting to see which would take the cake. In results we got, it was clear that the Rocky Rancillio will give you the finest grind. So, if you are looking for a grind that feels like a fine talc powder, you will want to go with the Rocky Rancillio. The other three grinders all delivered a grind that was consistent and worthy of espresso.

We also took a closer look into the burrs of each grinder. The Baratza Virtuoso and the Baratza Preciso both have 40mm stainless steel conical burrs. The Rocky Rancillio has 50mm steel flat burrs and the Breville Smart Grinder Pro has stainless steel conical burrs. We are in the process of finding out the exact size of the burrs on the new Breville machine (yes, it is that new!).

Overall each grinder will get the job done, but some are better suited for different environments. Watch this Coffee Grinder Comparison Crew Review to see them side by side and for Gail’s take on where each will be best suited!

Crew Review: notNeutral Ciclone Tumblers

notNeutral Ciclone TumblersDouble walled items seem to be hot right now (but not to the touch!). The latest product that takes advantage of this design are the notNeutral Ciclone Tumblers. A double wall is excellent for hot or cold liquids because it helps keep the heat (or lack thereof) where it belongs.

The notNeutral Ciclone Tumblers come in three sizes: 2.5 oz, 6 oz and 10 oz. We love the 10 oz. option for iced coffees (its almost summertime!). The double wall design is great for iced coffees because it eliminates the inevitable sweating glass! Each tumbler is hand blown from borosilicate glass (which is a great conversation piece), but be aware there may be slight variations from cup to cup. Borosilicate is a laboratory grade glass that is both heat and scratch resistant, so feel free to put these babies in the dishwasher!

We are really happy with these tumblers. The design fits nicely in your hand and makes a great addition to our ever growing collection. Watch the Crew Review video below and then head over to our YouTube channel to see what else Gail has been playing around with!

 

 

Crew Review: Hario Olive Wood Coffee Press

hario olive wood coffee pressWe love new things! This time it’s a new product from Hario. Building on the classic french press, Hario has really created something special. The Hario Olive Wood Double Walled Coffee Press is a new favorite of ours. While the 14oz won’t supply enough liquid gold for a crowd, it will easily satisfy a few.

One of our favorite things about this new product is the style. It’s contemporary design is complete with a removable (for easy cleaning) olive wood handle and leather strap. We know looks aren’t everything, but it truly looks great out on the counter. The design also includes (as the name suggests) a double wall which helps keep the heat where it belongs, in your brew! Another awesome feature worth mentioning is the mesh filter at the end of the plunger. It’s finer than you would typically find on a french press, which means less coffee silt in your cup. Yes please!

We asked Gail to give us a full Crew Review of the Hario Olive Wood Coffee Press. Watch the video below to see her brew a pot and give you the full scoop!