Category Archives: Reviews

Crew Review: Capresso Flat Burr Grinders

Released this year, Capresso has a couple of more inexpensive burr grinder options now available on the scene. We tested them out to see how they perform — will they grind fine enough for espresso? And are they as inconsistent as their Infinity brethren?

Watch as Gail shows us the grinder’s specs, grinds at the finest/coarsest and then demonstrates using it with the Saeco Via Venezia espresso machine.

Field Trip: Hario USA – Edwin Compares Pour Overs

The pour over technique can produce an excellent, single-cup of coffee at home with relatively minimal investment. It does take a little bit of knowledge on the front end, and choosing which pour over is the right one for you can be part of this. We headed up to the US HQ of Hario USA (a Japanese company) awhile back, and talked with the US rep, Edwin Martinez, about all kinds of coffee related subjects. In this video, he explains the concept behind pour overs and compares a few different available models.

Crew Review: Saeco Talea Giro Plus

Recently, Saeco re-worked their Talea Giro superautomatic and released the ‘Plus’ version in the US. This new model includes a bi-pass doser, an upgraded grinder and some other minor functional improvements.

Watch Gail talk to us about this new version, brew some coffee and steam up some milk. Whoopee!

Crew Review: Saeco Via Venezia

With a little more sass than the Aroma — like a steam wand with more range of motion, buttons located on the front of the machine and a little drawer under the drip tray — the Via Venezia is an excellent semi-automatic that is simple and easy to use. Watch as Gail takes us through its features, brews up some coffee and froths some milk for us.

Portable Espresso Tweak(er)s

Two great options for taking your joe on the road, the Handpresso and the MyPressi TWIST, have a few different options and variations. We recently did a crew review of both the MyPressi TWIST and the Handpresso with the Domepod (the original Handpresso Wild that is pod-friendly was originally reviewed a little over a year ago) and we got a couple of suggestions from both viewers and the manufacturers on ways to get a better shot.

For the Handpresso, the manufacturer sent us the Intense filter lid, which is designed to make a shorter, more intense shot. To see how well it works, check out this video:

The MyPressi TWIST has a ton of devoted fans, and both they and the manufacturer let us know that you can get better results by going naked. No, keep your pants on, but take the bottom off the TWIST so that you’re brewing directly from the basket into your pre-warmed cups, without those pesky spouts getting in the way. Check out our experience here:

Crew Review: La Pavoni Stradivari 16

One of the first demonstration videos we did was Gail using how to pull a shot on the La Pavoni Europiccola 8 manual/lever espresso machine, which we followed up on several months later by demonstrating that same machine’s steaming functionality.

We recently decided to take the Stradivari 16 out for a stroll to see how it compared to the other version. Watch as Gail pulls shots, steams and uses the included cappuccinatore attachment with this machine.

Crew Review: Breville Barista Express

In the vein of the old Profi Estro machines that had a grinder built into the machine, Breville recently released the Barista Express, a programmable espresso machine that has a doser grinder incorporated into it. You can select the quantity and then indicate either a double or single amount to be dispensed into the portafilter, then tamp and extract. The pressurized portafilter system makes it simple to use, and it even comes with its own magnetized tamper.

Watch Gail show us the ropes of this machine, pull some shots and steam up some milk. While the shot quality on this Breville does seem to be a bit better than the others we have tried, we still think this machine is probably best suited for latte/cappuccino drinkers and espresso shot-only or Americano drinkers will find better flavor elsewhere.

The Grind: February 2010

Seattle Coffee Gear’s monthly newsletter, The Grind, landed in an email box near you today — and if it wasn’t near enough for you to actually read it, you can do so here on the site or make sure you get up close and personal next month by signing up for future editions.

This month, we talk about the different functional types of espresso machines, include a recipe for Indochine Lemon, point you to our manufacturer manual resource on Brown Bean and introduce you to a few new products we have in the store. What you won’t see, however, is The Grind Special, which is for subscriber-eyes-only. Sign up to get that little bit o’ goodness every month.

Crew Review: MyPressi TWIST

We have been using the Handpresso for awhile now for our portable espresso maker needs, but thought we’d give the MyPressi TWIST a try to see how it compares. Watch as Gail uses the MyPressi with the regular basket, pod basket and pressurized basket (for coarse or variable grind) to see how they compare, shot-wise. Great quality on the ground basket shots, but not so good on the pod basket. We think this might be because it’s designed for the double-pods you can’t easily find in the US…but we’re not sure.

Look for this as a new addition to our products at Seattle Coffee Gear within the next few weeks.