Category Archives: Reviews

New! BIA Cordon Bleu Cups

Look, you spent a pretty penny on your home espresso equipment, but you’re still serving it up to your pals in a mishmash of mugs collected over the years at tourist traps and now-defunct cafes. It’s time to upgrade.

Once we got our little paws on BIA’s Cordon Bleu white porcelain Demi and vibrantly hued Espresso cups, we just had to have them. Yes, we covet these kinds of wares, and we’re pretty sure you will, too, if you pick up a set — so don’t judge.

Coming in a bright, festive mixture of colors, the Espresso cups are 6 little numbers that you will not forget easily. Paired with a rainbow of saucers, this set is fun, funky and functional (three of our favorite f’s).

For the daintier amidst us, the elegant set of 2 Demi cups and saucers are simple, refined and are sure to communicate to everyone who enjoys your exceptional espresso just how exceptional your espresso really is. We love their shape and their weight, and if we go into it any more, this blog will vary from it’s usual PG-13 rating.

Crew Review: DeLonghi ECO310BK

Look, we recognize that not everyone can (or wants to) drop a cool $2k on their home espresso machine, but pretty much everyone still wants to make a solid cup of coffee at home. DeLonghi’s petite ECO310BK is a simple single boiler, semi-automatic espresso machine designed for the budget-conscious.

Watch Gail give us the usual run down on features, pros and cons and whip us up a latte.

Airscape Freshness Testing

What’s the best way to store beans? We’re often asked this question and we are performing  few tests to see how different storage methods keep coffee tasty and fresh — and for how long.

First up, we tested beans stored in the original roaster’s bag compared with beans store in an Airscape over a month period. Watch as we pull shots from each to determine how fresh the Airscape keeps the beans.

Crema Stability Testing

Unless the roaster is using some type of preservative measure (such as the nitrogen flush used by large roaster Lavazza), coffee starts aging within its sealed bag from the moment it’s roasted. We set aside bags from March and June batches of Velton’s Bonsai Blend to compare the aged coffee against coffee roasted last week.

Check out our test and take a moment to appreciate our dedicated commitment to science — we tasted some seriously nasty shots for the team, people!

Baratza Virtuoso Preciso Available Now

We finally got our paws on the new Virtuoso Preciso, which gives you 11 micro adjustments within the standard 40 macro adjustments (allowing you to dial in your grind more precisely). It also comes standard with the Portaholder. Check out our video review on this from a couple of weeks ago to learn more about this grinder’s basic specs, or watch Gail compare it with the regular Virtuoso and the Vario.

As of this writing, we have 6 to sell until the end of October — Baratza had a very limited initial manufacturing run, so they limited retailers to just 6 this time around. If you’ve been coveting this, grab it soon or you may have to wait until later this month or early November for your chance.

Crew Review: DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM23210B Compact Superauto

In the newly inaugurated War of Petite & Powerful Superautomatic Espresso Machines (okay, it starts now, actually), DeLonghi has proffered it’s champion: The Magnifica ECAM23210B Compact. If you needed more proof, this little dude and/or dudette furthers the case that highly cute and highly functional are not mutually exclusive.

Watch Gail give us her usual rundown on the ECAM23210B, including her trademark latte — sadly, artless. :(