As we wrote about earlier this month, Handpresso has a new model available with a little filter basket that you can use with pre-ground coffee. It’s a great option because it gives you brewing flexibility — you can choose whatever coffee you love instead of having to rely only on the coffee produced in ESE pod format — but it is definitely a little messier. The results were markedly better than with a pod, however, as Gail shows us in this video.
If you’re looking for a stepless burr grinder with a small footprint and all metallic casing, Ascaso’s I-Steel is a great option. It’s simple, easy to use and allows you infinite adjustment to truly dial in your grind. Additionally, even its chute is metal — unlike the plastics often found on other machines — and some people really dig that. This comes with either flat burrs (i-Steel I-1) or conical burrs (i-Steel I-2).
Round two of our experimentation with the Breville machines covers steaming. We liked the fact that you could take off the panarello sleeve on this machine and have access to a standard steam wand that would allow you more control over steaming. So Gail tried it out both ways — with the panarello sleeve and without — to see how it performed and this video records the result for posterity.
We have dug the Handpresso for awhile now, because it’s a simple and lo-fi way to pull a single shot on the road — all you need is coffee, hot water and your own powerful strength! One thing that folks didn’t dig about it, however, was that it was ESE pod-only, which had the pro of being very mess-free (great for travel) but a con of not being as good as freshly ground coffee.
The machine was recently upgraded, however, with a new contraption called a Domepod, which will allow you to use your favorite fresh ground coffee. It’s the same price and makes an excellent single shot of espresso on the go. It is a bit messier, however, so we suppose that — like most things in life — you gotta give a little to get a little.
As we wrote about last week, the “new” Saeco Incanto Classics have hit the street and are making a name for themselves. Watch Gail as she talks to us about the features, pros and cons plus shows us how the Incanto works by making us a latte — with polar bear!
If you’re looking for a little perspective on the specialty coffee industry, head on over to Daniel’s World of Coffee.
Written by a coffee connoisseur and professional in the specialty coffee industry, Daniel Humphries, the blog discusses everything from different kinds of coffee varieties to roasting technique to a favorite cuppa to just plain caffeinated rumination.
It’s a fun read and we often glean a few tips, tricks and facts from it each time we take a gander. He’s also got some great educational videos that show cuppings, classes and his thoughts on certain coffee-related subjects. Enjoy!
Ascaso has just introduced a new version of their Uno Professional machines, this one comes standard with a PID interface. The PID gives you temperature control over the single boiler, so you can dial it in and manage it better for making excellent shots. The new version also features a side-access water tank (no reaching over the top) but lacks one of our favorite Ascaso features, the low water reservoir sensor.
Watch Gail as she walks us through the features, pulls a shot and steams up some milk on the new Ascaso Uno Professional with PID.
While relying a bit more on form than function, Breville’s series of espresso machines do offer some great features like dosage programming and on-the-fly water heating, plus quite striking design. In this video, Gail discusses the different machines available and tells us their features, pros and cons.
The final installment of our series comparing different classes of espresso machines is the second part of our reviews on single boiler espresso machines — this time, four models that also feature a three-way release valve. Watch Gail as she talks to us about the features, benefits, similarities and differences between the Rancilio Silvia, Ascaso Uno Pro, Gaggia Baby Class and Quick Mill Alexia.