Category Archives: Reviews

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!)

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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!

 

 

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!