Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hot Blog On Bog Action: Coffee Your Way

Laila-GhambariWe are all for having fun brewing coffee and tea however you like it — we love how personal/meaningful/medically necessary it is … It can be all things to all people and we don’t judge (except for my not-so-secret campaign to stop the current #pumpkinspicelatte craze but that’s a whole different story). Here’s some inside scoop on coffee, tea, and having it your way.

Interview: Laila Ghambari, Caffe Ladro Director of Education (via Food GPS)
Our coffee friends at local Seattle roastery Caffe Ladro focus on quality. We talked with Laila about how ‘coffee culture is changing and progressing so rapidly’ and how that effects everyone in the chain from growers to customers. She aims to make high quality coffee that is approachable to consumers — without  coffee elitism.

Tea Cupping Versus Tea Tasting (via T Ching)
Tea cupping is serious business. There are rules. Protocol. Necessary accoutrement. Yikes! But a tea tasting is a social get-together where you can break those rules and still have a lovely cup of tea … your way.

Tea Bags Get a Bad Rap, What’s a Solo Sipper to do? (via Drink Tea)
Be kind to yourself. If you drink tea, make it a good cup of tea. Pick loose leaf black tea, green tea, white tea, Oolong, Pue-erh or herbal blends that float your boat and have the right tools on hand for home, work or travel.

Map of Seattle’s Best Tea Houses (via Eater)
We’ve gone to Cederberg Tea House before, see other places Brenna found around Seattle to tempt your tastebuds. Or re-create the tea house experience at home with these goodies.

If you want a daily dose, we spill the beans about National Coffee Day 9/29, a coffee comic strip, cats that need coffee and other items of caffeinated interest on:

SCG | Bellevue: Grand Opening Event Tomorrow!

SCG Bellevue Store MapTomorrow, Saturday, September 14th, we’re holding our Grand Opening event at the new SCG | Bellevue location! Please join us for a fun day of coffee, tea and even ice cream tasting, plus regular raffle drawings of super fun prizes.

Schedule of Events

Raffle Drawing

Each hour, we’ll be drawing names for some fantastic prizes! If you’re not present when we chose your name, we’ll give you a call at the end of the day and save your gear for you.

Here’s what we’ll be drawing for:

Free Gifts Bags

The first 50 folks will get a gift bag chock full of free coffee gear, including:

If you’re in the Seattle area tomorrow, we really hope you can swing by some time and help us celebrate the opening of our second location!

Crew Review: Saeco Exprelia Evo Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Saeco Exprelia EvoWe know that some folks prefer the convenience of a one-touch cappuccino, while others appreciate the ability to craft latte art with their finally textured milk. When Saeco introduced the Xelsis and Exprelia machines a couple of years ago, they’d formed a bond between these two approaches to making coffee at home by offering both an auto froth function and a separate, traditional (read: No panarello!) steam wand. But the auto froth continued to suffer from the same condition as all of its predecessors: The milk just wasn’t hot enough. So whether or not you wanted the convenience of a one-touch, if you liked your cappuccino on the hotter side, you had to use the steam wand anyway. With the Exprelia Evo, however, Saeco has finally resolved this long standing issue.

In addition to improving upon the automatic milk frothing functionality, the Exprelia Evo also features a change in the button design … but, otherwise, it’s fairly similar to the original Exprelia. Watch as Gail takes us through its features and functionality, then demonstrates how well it produces a cappuccino at the touch of a button.

If you’ve always dismissed machines that offered one-touch cappuccinos because of a low temperature issue, the Exprelia Evo may be the model that changes your mind. Check it out!

Crew Review: Saeco Exprelia Evo Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Mazzer Tech Tip: How to Replace the Timer Switch

Mazzer Timer SwitchMaybe it’s because we’re geeks or maybe it’s because science says so (wait, aren’t those the same thing?!), but we think it’s a great idea to learn a new thing every day. It keeps us interested in this madcap world of coffee and it also keeps our brain in fighting shape! So you can imagine our zeal when we recently learned a couple of new things in one day: First, that if you live in an area with more lightning and thunderstorms, you run a higher risk of burning out the timer switch on  your Mazzer coffee grinder; and second, how easy it is to replace said switch yourself — without paying a tech to come out to your business to do so.

If you happen to live somewhere that is affected by electrical fluctuations, knowing how to replace the switch on your Mazzer will be an important skill. Watch as Brandon guides us through this very simple process — and while he uses a Super Jolly for the demonstration, this applies to all US Mazzer models that feature a timer switch.

SCG Tech Tip: How to Replace the Timer Switch on Mazzer Grinders

SCG | Bellevue Store Opens on September 3rd!

SCG Bellevue Store MapThe first step in our bid to take over the world? Build a second store, of course!

During her summer vacation, Gail decided to build an entire retail store from scratch — laying the floors, painting the walls, crafting machine demonstration shelves and creating an amazing event bar for us to hold coffee tastings and fun workshops. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to build a store from the ground up, here’s the how-to video for you!

Now that you’ve seen the journey, we’d love it if you came in for a visit at our new location to see how it all turned out!

Store Info

Where: 10692 NE 8th St, Bellevue WA 98004
When: Open for Business – Tuesday, September 3rd, @ 10am | Grand Opening Event – Saturday, September 14th, 10am – 8pm

Hot Blog on Blog Action: Tea Time — What?!

velton rossLast month something strange happened at Seattle Coffee Gear (well, stranger than usual): A bunch of the SCG Crew started drinking *gasp* tea! And with this new found appreciation for tea, we discovered the basic preparation fundamentals are similar to coffee prep.  It starts with fresh water, a quality product and the right gear. Check out the lovely links you may have missed about all things coffee (and tea!).

  • Here Is My Handle, Here Is My Spout via 39Steeps.blogspot.com – Don’t settle for a drippy tea kettle when you can harness the power of fluid dynamics, no lab glasses or Bunsen burners required!
  • Interview: Coffee Pro Velton Ross via FoodGPS.com – Our ace reporter Brenna tracks Velton’s success from barista to renown roaster.
  • The Controversy Over Crema via TheShot.CoffeeRatings.com – Shocking but true stories about espresso crema. Some people scoop it off! Some people have been known to mix it altogether! And some naughty people call blonding from a pressurized portafilter, crema.
  • The Art of Making Flowering Tea via LeafJoy.com – Grab a glass teacup or glass teapot and watch the magic unfold. Flowering teas are more fascinating to watch than Sea-Monkeys and more enjoyable to consume (we’re just theorizing here, though, because we’ve never consumed Sea-Monkeys).
  • Be A Coffee Pro At Home: Vertical Tastings via ChicagoCoffeeScene.com – Take the best whole beans you can find and then do a little side-by-side challenge with your favorite coffee preps. AeroPress, Chemex, French press … it’s all good!

If you want a daily dose, we spill the beans about serving espresso in brandy snifters, the Kaffeologie S-Filter upgrade and other items of caffeinated interest on:

Hot Blog on Blog Action: We’re Back!

Kerry Park SeattleWant to know what’s on our collective mind? Much like the Borg we are single-minded in the pursuit of … coffee! Here’s where we comb the interwebs and report back to you on the the weird and the wonderful coffee-related things we find.  After a three-year hiatus, our highly curated and highly subjective links to the coffee blogosphere return with a vengeance.

If you want a daily dose, we spill the beans about Bacon Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s coffee date with David Letterman and other items of caffeinated interest on:

Brewin’ with Brandi: Mocha Butterscotch Haystacks

Brandi breaks in our new kitchen studio with this lovely treat, which incorporates chocolate, butterscotch, coffee, marshmallows … and chow mein noodles!

haystacksIngredients

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee (we used Middle Fork’s Tough as Nails)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup crispy chow mein noodles

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine coffee, marshmallows and noodles together, then pour in melted chocolate mixture.
  3. Stir until everything is well-coated in the chocolate.
  4. On a non-stick surface (such as a non-stick pan, wax or parchment paper), spoon out about a tablespoon of the mixture, piled up like little haystacks.
  5. Let them set in the refrigerator for about an hour, then serve.

Compare: Glass vs. Thermal Carafe on Technivorm

Compare - Glass vs. Thermal CarafesIn addition to the wide array of coffee makers on the market that offer different functionality and technology, when selecting the model that’s right for you, you also have to consider the carafe — glass or thermal? Like most things, it’s all about you, darling.

The case for glass: You want to choose a grind-and-brew or programmable model that would come on and start brewing your coffee in the morning before you wake up. You’ll also be drinking that full pot of coffee (or whatever amount you’ve selected) within the hour. Glass is ideal in these cases as you won’t have to worry about pre-heating the carafe and you’ll be drinking the coffee before it starts to taste more tar-like than java-like.

The case for thermal: You’re going to be making the coffee yourself and you want to be able to pour out a few cups throughout the day without risking a nasty aftertaste. You’ll be around to take the time to pre-heat the carafe before the brewing starts and then to seal it up to keep the coffee up to temperature. Thermal is the best choice for this because it will stick around at the right temperature for a few hours without continuous heating. However, some folks are sensitive to the flavor that is produced using a stainless steel carafe, so if you’re in that camp yet you want a thermal, make sure you’re choosing a model with a glass lining (like the Bonavita, for example).

Here at SCG, we use glass carafes in our break room because, quite simply, as soon as a pot is brewed, it’s in our cups and the next pot is brewing away. We don’t really have to worry about stagnant coffee sitting on a hot plate for hours on end, but we wanted to find out what kind of impact allowing the coffee to sit around for an hour had on its flavor. So we brewed up a batch of coffee in two Technivorms — one using a thermal carafe, one using a glass — then let them hang out for an hour before we held a taste test. Watch to find out what we learned!