We have two heat exchange, automatic espresso machines in our store so we thought we’d do a lil of the old side-by-side comparison, if you know what we mean. Gail runs through a basic overview of the features on the Nuova Simonelli Musica and Pasquini Livia 90, then pulls shots off each to see if there is any practical difference in shot quality or flavor.
Coava Coffee recently spun off their equipment biz into the new company Able Brewing Equipment and the metal filter DISK they offer for the Aeropress now comes with super handy recommended brewing instructions. We tried them out with the DISK and with the regular paper filters to see how they compare. Either way was delicious (but Kat & Bunny prefer the DISK!).
In our regularly rotated set of roasted-to-order single origins, we’ve had a few popular superstars. Last week, we swapped out the three previously featured beans with a new set that are delicious as espresso, pour over and even drip coffee, if that’s what floats your caffeinated boat. We’re now featuring a bright Mexico Nayarita (which just received a 90/100 from Coffee Review), a chocolatey Brazil Pico Agudo Estate and pink grapefruit-imbued El Salvador Pacamara.
Velton came up for a visit and pulled these three new varieties as espresso so we could see how they compare. Delish!
Awhile ago, we stored some beans in their original roaster bags in the freezer, then we pulled shots with them. The taste of freezer burn was so distinct, however, it was hard for us to recommend folks store their coffee this way. That video raised that hackles of many a folk (which we were very surprised to hear!) and we received a lot of feedback regarding ways in which they stored their beans in the freezer to ensure they still retained good flavor. So we tried three different variations recommended, two different freezers and two different grinders to see if any of them provided good results.
Watch as Gail goes through testing these different storage methods.
Keeping your equipment sparkling clean is just as important as the freshness of your coffee and dialing in your grind & tamp — in fact, without the former, the latter will be an exercise in futility. If we have to tell you that rancid coffee oils will adversely impact the quality of your shot, we’re sorry. But if we have to be the first, then we might as well do it right, right? So we asked Louie Poore, who specializes in educating professional baristas on proper equipment care for Urnex, to give us the rundown.
First, he introduces us to Urnex’s new Full Circle, sustainably-produced cleaning products — including a toe-to-toe comparison of Cafiza and Full Circle’s coffee equipment wash.
Finally, Gail shows us the newly arrived 1, 2, Brew Kit for Espresso Machines, which features the goodies you need to keep your machine in tip-top shape (plus a bag of Velton’s Coffee of your choice!).
Sometimes you just don’t want too much extra skip in your step, but you’re not willing to give up the flavor of a great cup of coffee. We asked the crew to blind taste the four different decaf coffees we carry — Lavazza, illy, Caffe Mauro and Velton’s — to determine which ones they thought tasted like a good, solid cup of coffee.
If you’re interested in learning about the different methods used to decaffeinate coffee, you can check out this article we wrote a couple of years ago.
We’ve been offering Velton’s Single Origins coffees via our roast-to-order program for several months now, and we just recently rotated out one available option for a new one: The Ethiopian Sidamo Moredocofe was cycled out to make room for the new Peru Pichanaki. This new variety is full bodied with a very sweet and buttery-smooth flavor. It has a spicy tropical fruit and clean sugary-citrus finish — and we love it!
Since we hadn’t cupped these on camera before, we thought that the introduction of a new option deserved a tasting review. Watch as the crew (+ Velton) tastes the Guatemala Huehuetenango, Costa Rica Tarrazu and Peru Pichanaki. Tripleyum!
One of the most frequent questions that we’re asked is regarding how to best store coffee beans in order to keep them fresh. We have done several videos testing how beans hold up over time in their roast bags or a container such as the Airscape, but how about the oft-recommended freezer storage? How do beans perform after being frozen?
We put a couple of bags in the freezer back in October 2010 and then pulled them out of the vault three months later. Watch as Gail pulls shots using one bag that was completely sealed and another bag that was opened and then folded closed using the bag’s tabs.
How do freshly roasted beans hold up in the Airscape after two months? We put a batch of Velton’s Bonsai Blend to the test to see if sealing them away — and not opening them again for two months — would keep them tasty. Watch Gail pull a shot with the beans and put her taste buds to the test for science.
We give a lot of love to the espresso drinkers in the crowd, so thought we’d develop a sweet concoction for the drip coffee aficionados out there. This tastes almost as if there is a liqueur involved, but it’s non-alcoholic. Obviously, a state you are more than welcome to change.
- 40 oz. drip coffee (we used Velton’s Twilight Blend)
- 2 1/2 oz. Monin Gingerbread syrup
- 2 1/2 oz. Monin Chai Tea concentrate
- 8 oz half & half (or milk, non-dairy milk, etc. to taste)
Brew your coffee as usual. Ad syrups and half & half and mix well. Serve up to your guests in mugs and enjoy.