Category Archives: Tips – Tech

The Grind: November 2009

This month’s issue of Seattle Coffee Gear’s newsletter, The Grind, has hit an inbox near you! If it didn’t hit yours directly, you may want to sign up for it.

We promise we don’t rent or sell email addresses and only send our monthly missive, which includes a special recipe (this month: Sapphire Nectar), an Ask the Experts tip, a full directory of the previous month’s YouTube videos, an update on Brown Bean and some featured products.

Oh, yeah — and it also includes a Grind Special not published anywhere else! To check out this month’s edition and to sign up for future mailings, head over here.

New! Rancilio Silvia Steam Wand Retrofit

If you have a version 1 or version 2 Rancilio Silvia, it might be well worth your while to invest in upgrading the steam wand to the much more flexible and easy-to-control steam assembly available on the version 3. Doing so, however, involves popping off the lid and going at your machine with a few different wrenches — but, never fear, we’ve got a video of Henry performing the task for us.

Ask the Experts: Oops! I Poured Water into the Bean Hopper – What do I do?

We’ve all had a few rough mornings where we’re not sure where the floor and ceiling are in relationship to each other, so it’s no surprise that a few of us have had a tragedy occur: Accidentally pouring water into the bean hopper/grinder instead of the reservoir on our superautomatic espresso machine.

If this happens to you, the most important thing is DO NOT USE THE MACHINE. There is nothing that you can do to fix this because the grinder needs to be taken apart and cleaned as soon as possible to prevent it from seizing up. In this video, Gail shows us what happens when water gets into contact with the grinder and gives us advice on what to do — you know, after we’ve run around screaming in panic.

Ask the Experts: Do I Need to Backflush if I Descale?

If you have an espresso machine with a three-way brew pressure release valve, you have an additional maintenance regimen on your hand: The backflush. We are sometimes asked if backflushing is necessary if descaling is performed regularly, and so we posed your question to Gail. In this video, she’ll describe the different procedures and talk about which espresso machine systems they target.

Under Pressure

Espresso machines often list 15 – 17 BAR pumps in their technical specifications, but the general rule of thumb for most espresso extraction is for 9 BARs of pressure. In this video, Gail talks to us about this pressure differential, what you’re looking for and talks a bit about the new world of pressure profiling in commercial/professional espresso.

The Grind: September 2009

The September issue of Seattle Coffee Gear’s monthly newsletter has hit the bricks! In this month’s issue, we have a delicious Buttercream Cappuccino recipe, a directory of our most recent videos, some tips on using oily beans in your superautomatic and a few new product features. Plus, a coupon code for 10% off $99 or more during the month of September. Check it out!

Ask the Experts: Why Won’t my Superautomatic Make Espresso?

We often get calls from customers who have pushed the button for their espresso in the morning, but nothing comes out. They can hear the grinder working, they can hear it clicking and acting like it’s going to make espresso, but no go. Watch Gail as she gives some tips how to troubleshoot this issue before you call someone to repair your machine.

How to Clean the Burrs in a Baratza Grinder

Keeping the burrs of your grinder clean will extend the grinder’s life and keep it performing exceptionally well for years to come. In this video, Gail shows us how to disassemble and clean the burrs in a Baratza grinder, then shows us how to put it back together again.

A little bit leery of taking apart your grinder? You can also use the awesome burr cleaning product Grindz instead — it’s excellent and works well.

The Grind – July 2009

Seattle Coffee Gear’s monthly newsletter, The Grind, hit the ‘press’ today! July’s edition features a Tropical Mango Tea recipe, a directory of our latest YouTube offerings, info on a few featured products — such as the Espresso Gear tools and the new Nespresso machines — and a Grind Special of 10% off Espresso Gear!

Want to learn more? Check it out or sign up here.

Ask the Experts: How Can I Make My Baratza Grind Finer?

Occasionally, a customer will call us because their Baratza grinder isn’t grinding finely enough for them to pull a great shot with their espresso machine. For the Encore or Virtuoso, there is a minor adjustment that can be made inside the machine which will reset the grinder to the finest possible setting.

To assist folks in recalibrating their Baratza grinder, we filmed Gail going through the process outlined on Baratza’s website.

However, please keep in mind that the Baratza Maestro and Maestro Plus don’t grind fine enough for most espresso machines (unless you’re using a pressurized portafilter), so no matter how much you adjust it, you’re not going to be able to effectively use these grinders with your Rancilio Silvia or Rocket Cellini. These grinders are great options for folks that are interested in making superb french press or drip coffee, however, because while they don’t go fine enough for espresso, they are incredibly consistent — the particle size of your grounds will be uniform and result in improved flavor extraction.