What happens when you pit one show pony against another show pony? Only the strong will survive! And since you know how much we adore grudge matches between inanimate objects (primarily because it results in 100% less blood loss), we decided to take Breville’s machine + grinder combo, the Barista Express, and measure it against their new Dual Boiler (paired with their Smart Grinder).
Watch Gail take us through each model’s features, specifications, pros and cons and whip up some lattes to show how they compare in terms of performance and end product.
Next up in our series featuring local cafes is the Green Bean Coffeehouse in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. What started out as the first physical location for a local church has evolved into an essential element of the Greenwood community — a non-profit designed to bring the neighborhood together through open space, charitable support and community events.
Find out about their history, purpose and tips that they have for anyone interested in starting their own community or coffee focused business.
What does it take to open your own cafe? We hit the road with Allison in this field trip series to find out.
First up is the newly opened brainchild of Andrew Milstead, Milstead & Co., located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Featuring tons of reclaimed materials in its build design, low countertops and recessed equipment to improve engagement between baristas and customers, and a singular focus on providing uniquely brewed coffees — using everything from a La Marzocco Strada to an AeroPress — Milstead & Co.’s concept is rooted in education and producing high quality coffee for people who dig it.
Watch as Andrew talks to us about his background, concept behind the cafe, what went into opening it and tips he has for others interested in doing the same. If you’re in the Seattle area, definitely don’t skip visiting Milstead & Co. for a gorgeous, and delicious, cappuccino.
After a couple of requests for this comparison model, Gail breaks it down for us: features, pros, cons, performance, etc. While the Barista Express includes a built-in grinder and a lower price tag, the Silvia + Rocky combo is a time honored tradition.
Watch Gail go through their specs and whip up a latte on each of these machines to show you how they compare in terms of performance and end product.
Next up in our series on home coffee roasters is the Nesco, which is another air roaster, similar to the iRoast 2. One of its special features is a corkscrew in the roasting chamber, which rotates the beans to potentially achieve a more even roast. Also, Comic Sans.
Rob takes us through his initial assessment of features and functionality and we then roast up our first batch of Velton’s Bonsai Blend. While this roaster purports to have a catalytic converter in order to reduce the smell, we found it only had minimal effect.
We’d be hard pressed to choose between these two models ourselves, and we’ve had several customers ask us for a comparison between the two. The Rocket Giotto and Nuova Simonelli Musica are high end home machines with similar features and practical performance, but the Musica does have programming functionality and is NSF rated for use in a commercial application.
Watch Gail talk us through the different features and then whip up lattes on each machine so you can see how they perform.
Rob has agreed to become our master roaster! The first model up in his journey of self-improvement is the iRoast 2, a popular entry-level home roaster that basically functions as a modified popcorn popper.
Watch as he takes us through the features and roasts his first batch of Velton’s Bonsai Blend; then we meet up a few days later to see how they compare to the master!