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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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’sLos 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.