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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure, our espresso machines give us energy, but how much are they taking from the planet? We ran a test on a few of our favorites to show examples of the electricity draw and cost involved with running these machines each year. Our cost estimates are based on a national US average of $.11/kWh — you can find more accurate data for your specific area here.
|Machine Name & Type||kWh Used||Estimated Annual Cost|
Semi-Automatic w/Single Boiler
Semi-Automatic w/Heat Exchange
Incidentally, we measured how much kWh it took to make a one-touch cappuccino on the Jura Z7 and found that it was .02kWh — at $.11/kWh, that means you’d need to make about 5 cappuccinos to rack up 1 cent in energy costs!
We have written before about the no love lost between superautomatic espresso machines and oily, dark roasted coffee beans, but when we got a machine in the repair center last week that was caked to the gills with coffee cement, we just had to film it and show you what we’re talking about.
Watch Gail take apart the grinder of a Saeco Vienna superautomatic espresso machine and show what happens over time to the internal grinders on these machines if someone is using super-dark and oily beans. We definitely recommend sticking with a lighter, drier roast for the long term health of your machine — and now you’ll see why!
Your grinder may have a few nasty habits it’s not too proud of: Namely, it’s clingy and has difficulty getting rid of things. While we appreciate the packrat sentiment, it’s important that you motivate your grinder to regularly clean up its act — and since it’s an inanimate object, you’ll have to take the lead.
Depending on how much you grind, you’ll want to remove excess grounds from the burrs on a regular basis — home grinders should do this monthly, while cafe grinders will need to do it weekly. If it’s easy for you to pop out the burrs on your grinder, do so and thoroughly brush the burrs free of any built up coffee grounds. If you can’t easily get at the burrs, you can use a product such as Grindz, which is a hard, starchy product designed to clear out the oils and lodged particles from the burrs.
We have heard that some people use raw rice or wheat to achieve the same results as Grindz, which is a wheat-based food-friendly product. However, we haven’t tried this out and don’t know how successful or safe it is for your burrs.
In addition to the maintenance on the burrs, we also recommend wiping out the hopper regularly to cut down on oily build up that could become rancid over time.
While Rocket thoroughly calibrates their espresso machines prior to shipping them out, some folks have found that, over time, they can maintain their shot quality by adjusting the temperature of the water that’s delivered to the brew group.
Gail walks us through the process of popping open the lid of the Rocket Giotto Premium Plus and adjusting the pressure to improve the temperature — and while we know people love to geek out and mod their machines themselves, following this process will void any warranties still on the machine. If yours is still under warranty, leave this to the pros.