Category Archives: Videos

Coffee On The Brain: Gesha Coffee Varietal

Described as complex and ethereal, the Gesha coffee varietal sounds as divine as it tastes. The delicate, floral and black-tea-like profile make it a sensational brew that’s highly sought after.

The Gesha is just one of the Ethiopian Heirloom coffee varietals but by far this varietal’s taste soars above the rest.

The rareness of finding the varietal, too, makes it even more desirable. The Gesha plant is just as delicate as it tastes. The thin, frail branches make it difficult to grow and the cherries are easily knocked off the plant. It’s also vulnerable to pests and temperamental to weather, which makes this varietal more expensive to care for.

How did such an otherworldly plant come about?

An Ethiopian heirloom was transported to Central America where it mutated and created the Gesha (not to be confused with Geisha. It was named from the town of Gesha, Ethiopia). It wasn’t until the 1950s in Costa Rica that the Gesha was discovered; however, the coffee really grew in popularity after a Panama farm won a competition with their Gesha varietal. 

Join Amber as she explores the Gesha coffee varietal in the full video below. If you love our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel to get your fill of all things coffee!

Crew Review: DeLonghi EC860 Espresso Machine

The traditional artistry of semi-automatics meets the one-touch capabilities of superautomatics in this entry-level machine. The DeLonghi EC860 is a semi-automatic with programmable features and a milk carafe to froth-up a piping hot cappuccino right into your cup!

DeLonghi_EC860

We know what you’re thinking, it’s strange to see a milk carafe on a semi-automatic. The EC860 comes with the option to auto steam with the carafe or manual steam with the panarello. If you’re worried about the milk temperature with the carafe, don’t! The carafe delivers hot, frothy milk right into your cup just like a one-touch.

The programmable features also don’t fail to impress us. Customize the temperature and volume of your espresso shot and, for the speciality drinks, you can change the milk volume. That’s something you generally don’t see in an entry-level machine! 

This entry-level machine is also equipped with a pressurized portafilter with baskets for a pod, single or double shot. With a pressurized portafilter, newcomers don’t need to worry about dialing in a consistent grind, it’ll compensate for you!

Con-wise, we’re not too keen on the plastic scamper—the scoop and tamper combo (which is not as convenient as a spork). Even with the pressurized portafilter aiding your shot, you still want a nice, even tamp to reduce grinds on the brew head and, of course, deliver a delicious espresso. We recommend purchasing a sturdier tamper. Also, this machine lacks a three-way solenoid valve, which makes a soupy coffee puck.

No matter how you look at this machine (oh, by the way, super nice stainless steel body) the pros outweigh the cons. We recommend this machine for entry-level folks who want a semi-automatic with the convenience and programmable features of a superautomatic. Or, hey, this machine is great seasoned coffee-brewers, too! Check out the video with the full review below and tell us what you think!

Coffee Collaboration: A Stovetop Americano (Plus Half & Half!)

We’re calling this recipe, courtesy of Asher, a Stovetop Americano! Flavorful, stout and full-bodied, this brew makes one delicious cup we’ll be making for a while! Let’s get started on replicating this hot drink right in your home.

Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

Ingredients & Equipment:

Instructions:

  1. Fill up your kettle with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Have 25 grams of freshly ground or pre-ground coffee ready
  3. Once the water is boiling, fill up the stove top chamber with it. Leave the hot water boiling.
  4. Add 25 grams of pre-ground coffee into coffee chamber.
  5. Carefully screw on the top of the stovetop (it’ll be hot!) and place it on the stove to boil. You’ll notice it start to brew quickly, so don’t walk away! It took us about 45 seconds to percolate.
  6. Now comes the fun! When the stovetop is done, pour 95 grams of the freshly brewed stove top coffee into your mug, then clear the scale and add 135 grams of hot water in, too.
  7. Add your shot of half and half and enjoy!

We’re always taking new coffee recipes. Leave your recipe in the comments on YouTube!

Tips & Tricks:

Add some extra hot water to reduce the concentration of coffee or if you like it stout, add less.

Ask Gail: Adjusting Your Grind Based On Roast Level

On this episode of Ask Gail, we were asked if you need to adjust your grinder setting based on the roast level? The short answer is: Yes!

Watch the short and sweet video on how different variables (sounds like high school science class) affect the grind of your beans and, ultimately, the taste of your coffee.

Have some burning questions for Gail? Leave us a comment on YouTube!

Tips & Tricks

You’ve probably been advised not to put dark roasts into your superautomatic. If this is news to you, stop putting those oily, dark roasts into your superautomatic! You’ll just clog it up and get frustrated when the machine stops making caffeinated goodness.

Tune Up For What: DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 Espresso Machine Water Light Issue

We’ve heard from new owners of the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 Espresso Machine that there is an issue with the machine registering the water in the tank. We’ve tested it out and figured out the problem for you!

Turns out, most of the time it’s a little problem with the wiring in the back (don’t worry, it’s an easy fix). Grab a screwdriver and flat head and watch this quick and easy guide on how to fix the DeLonghi Magnifica!

For more videos on tuning your machines, subscribe to our YouTube channel!

If you’re experiencing problems with your machine, feel free to contact our support team:

  • Hours: Monday – Friday, 7am – 6pm | Saturday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm (pacific)
  • Phone: toll free – 866-372-4734 | 206-774-3164
  • Email: support@seattlecoffeegear.com

Coffee On The Brain: Bourbon & Caturra Coffee Varietals

Bourbon? We’ll take ours on the rocks, please.

In this episode of Coffee On The Brain, Amber explores the Bourbon and Caturra coffee varietals. Check out the full review in the video below!

CounterCulture_LosRosales

Sweet, complex and crisp, the Bourbon coffee varietal is one of the first two know varietals from the Typica plant discovered on the island of Bourbon, now called Réunion. If you’re looking for the island, you’ll find it located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. Today, the Bourbon varietal is more commonly grown in Brazil and South America.

The Bourbon’s high bean yield made it desirable (understandably so) and it quickly spawned some other varietals like the Caturra. The Caturra subspecies is favored for its “compact” growth, allowing farmers to grow more plants together and get more beans.

How do they taste?

The Bourbon is sweeter with crisp acidity and is gentle on the palette. A great blend to try is the Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso, which features the Bourbon and other coffee varietals. Try it as an espresso or cappuccino—either way, it’s delicious!

For a sweet and fruity coffee, Counter Culture’s  Los Rosales, a Caturra varietal, has a smooth, well-balanced taste with slight cherry undertones.

If you’re curious about trying one the Bourbon or Caturra coffee varietals, check out our tasting wall at the Alderwood store and ask one of our coffee specialist for a sample!

P.S. Hey, Bellevue! The Bellevue SCG Store is celebrating the grand opening of “The Wall” on Saturday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m. and we want you to join us! “The Wall” features forty speciality coffees that you can have freshly ground and brewed on the spot! (Sample the Black Cat Classic while you’re there.) RSVP for the grand opening in Bellevue here. 

Crew Comparison: Saeco Intelia Deluxe vs Incanto Deluxe

The one thing we look forward to each year (because let’s face it, we’re not all looking forward to our birthday) is that we’re sure to have a new or improved machine! Sure enough, we have the new kid from Saeco, the Intelia Deluxe, partnered with the good ole Incanto Deluxe ready to see  Saeco’s machines at work.

Intelia Deluxe

As the new kid, you got to come with some new kicks. The Intelia comes with a cappuccinatore with the option to purchase a panarello style steam wandIf you’re wondering what in the world a cappuccinatore is, it goes in place of the steam wand and froths your milk for you! Lookin’ good, new kid.

The Intelia is also outfitted with a new design—and we’re not just talking about that shiny new look. What we didn’t like about the Incanto was it’s leaky coffee spouts. When we went to remove the brew unit, the disconnection from the unit and spouts created lovely coffee dribbles on your counter…or, more likely, on your shirt. Thankfully, the Intelia’s spouts stay in place, so it’s always dripping over the tray!

We’re not saying that looks are everything, but the Intelia does look better with a brushed stainless steel front.The stainless steel tray is also more heavy-duty and doesn’t have a plastic rim like the Incanto. The digital display on the Intelia is also crisper and performs better, such as warning you when pieces of the machine are missing.

As those still celebrating aging would say, peace out, Incanto! You can still find this discontinued machine refurbished, but if you’re itching for something new and improved, then the Intelia is right for you! Check out our full review below and let us know what you think.

Crew Review: Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit

Mason jars, coffee socks and cold brew coffee. You might be thinking this all sounds like an episode straight from Portlandia. But we assure you, coffee-lovers, it’s no joke! The Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit is just that: a cold brewing mason jar kit with an organic cotton (we heard you laughing) CoffeeSock to brew your coffee grounds in.

While you might be laughing still, this summer-friendly cold brew is going to knock your socks off (pun intended) with its deliciously smooth flavor.

Check out our full video below to see how quick and easy it is to use the Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit.

Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit

What it comes with:

  • Organic cotton CoffeeSock Cold Brew Filter, created by Cuppow
  • 32-ounce mason jar

How it works:

  1. If this is your first time using the CoffeeSock, make sure to boil it before you use it.
  2. Take your CoffeeSock and put it inside the mason jar. Fold the open end of the sock over the top of the jar, so it creates a nice opening for coffee grounds.
  3. Add three ounces of coarsely ground coffee into the sock.
  4. Grab 24 ounces of cold water. Add some of your cold water to let the grounds bloom, just like you do with a pour over.
  5. Add the remaining water into the jar.
  6. Close up the CoffeeSock using the built-in tie, so it’s nice and tight to make sure no grounds end up in your coffee.
  7. Stick it in the fridge for 12 hours or up to a day to brew.
  8. When the time is up, take out the CoffeeSock, squeeze it out and pour yourself a cold cup of coffee! (This makes a concentrated cup, so if it’s too strong for your taste, add water or milk. Enjoy!)

P.S. Go ahead and drink it straight from the mason jar—we’re Seattle Coffee Gear, after all, we won’t judge.

Crew Comparison: La Marzocca Linea Mini vs Rocket Espresso R60v

When it comes to top-of-the-line machines, it just doesn’t get any better than these two high-end semi-automatics. The La Marzocco Linea Mini and Rocket Espresso R60v are two powerful machines that bring cafe-quality espresso right into your home. If you’re deciding between one or the other, check out the video below to see these two semi-automatics at work.

Linea Mini

The Linea Mini has a couple things over the R60v. For one, the professional-grade—the same ones you’ll find at a cafe—stainless steel portafilter makes tamping worry-free. The portafilter is outfitted with an angled handle for even tamping and, in addition, a breakaway spout in case you don’t know your own strength. But hey, save your nerves and counter and use the flat spot under the portafilter that fits perfectly against the edge of the counter.

Another difference is the Linea Mini’s steam wand, which has four holes (instead of the R60v’s two) releasing steam, making it one powerful milk-frothing machine. That doesn’t overshadow the R60v’s steam power, though. If you’re worried about the steam power, go to 7:50 on the video and watch Gail demonstrate both machines. What did you think? When it comes to steam power, we’re happy with the results from both machines.

Now, let’s take a look at the R60v. Sleek, streamlined and built with power, it’s a definite favorite with our staff. Besides appearance, the biggest difference you’ll see in the R60v is its digital PID and pressure profiling—something you usually see on commercial machines! What’s pressure profiling, though? Instead of the typical 20 to 30 seconds of brewing at nine bars of pressure, pressure profiling on the R60v allows you to have three profiles that allow up to five different stages of pressure applied during your brew. If you’re looking to have more pressure control, the R60v gives you that tailored espresso shot.

So, did you figure out what machine you’re taking home? When it comes to deciding between the Linea Mini and R60v, you can’t go wrong with either machine!

Crew Comparison: Rocket Macinatore Fausto vs Mazzer Mini Type A

So, you’re going to buy a Rocket? Let us tell you, you can’t go wrong with one of these high-powered, stunning machines. We love Rocket Espresso machines and the grinders are no exception. We have two grinders, the Rocket Macinatore Fausto and Mazzer Mini Type A, that are neck and neck, but in the end, only one won us over.

If you don’t remember our Crew Review on the Mazzer last year, let’s refresh your memory right now! We said it was the grinder of our dreams and we weren’t kidding. The Mazzer Mini features programmable dosing that you can adjust based on the amount of time it grinds and, thanks to the stepless grinding, you can tweak your grind and get that beautiful consistency that you want for your shot. But here’s the real kicker—and we still love you, Mazzer—the Fausto can do all that and more!

Rocket Fausto

What really put a smile on our face is the Fausto’s user-friendly features. Did you accidently start the grinder? Anytime during the grind, you can hit pause to stop the dosage and resume later. That really impressed Gail! In fact, let’s just call it a key feature on this grinder.

Speaking of adjusting your grind, the Fausto has a sleek, easy-to-turn dial off to the side. Gone are the days of overshooting your grind! The Mazzer Mini’s stiff dial around the hopper makes it hard to turn and less user-friendly. That’s why the Fausto’s new design set this machine apart.

Last, but certainly not least, on the Fausto is that the bottom burr controls your grind setting. Typically the top burr adjusts the setting and when it comes time to clean the machine, you lose the setting you were on and you’ll have to dial in again. The Fausto takes care of that problem and makes cleaning your machine a breeze and gets you back to the good stuff—making coffee.

We love our Rocket machines and the Fausto definitely takes the cake in user-friendly features on a grinder. Check out our Comparison video below for the full review with Gail and let us know what you think.