For the separatists in the group, we offer up a new stand-alone milk frothing/steaming unit by Capresso, the FrothPro. Whipping up silky milky (hot or cold) is easy and fairly fool-proof, which we dig — plus, the milk pitcher is dishwasher safe! We’ve seen a couple of questionable Aeroccinos, so this could be the answer to those that are a little bit too busy to handwash their gadgets.
Got a spare $13k lying around that you’re just not sure what to do with? Of course you do! And the obvious expenditure is on a commercial-class superautomatic like the Rancilio Egro ONE.
We recently got our little paws on the very popular programmable One-Touch Tea Maker by Breville. Featuring presets for type of tea (black, green, oolong, herbal, etc.) and then a correlated variable steeping time that determines brew strength, the One-Touch Tea Maker also lets you customize for your preferences and program it for auto-on functionality. Yes, that means you can finally realize your dream of waking up to that fresh pot o’ tea in the morning.
The most frequent repair issue we see on Ascaso Dream machines (both the older version and the new UP) is a burned out boiler. These machines are single boilers without an automatic boiler refill, so folks often burn out the boiler because they don’t pull enough fresh water into the boiler before trying to steam or brew.
Another Rancilio-related FAQ is about the Rocky grinder. Over the last six months or so, we’ve seen an increase in customers contacting us with issues around the Rocky’s ability to effectively grind oilier dark-roasted beans. Gail talks to us about the issue and her theory about what’s going on.
A few times per week, a new Rancilio Silvia owner calls in with this question — what the heck is that 2nd tube for? The machine diagram in the user manual hasn’t been updated by Rancilio to show this tube…
We took one of our most popular coffees, Lavazza Super Crema, and brewed it using different temperatures on the La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi. While the 204F degree espresso extraction temperature is a general rule of thumb, a lot of single origin/estate beans and even some blends are particularly sensitive to heat and will perform better at a different temperature.
It’s a good idea to regularly pull out your Saeco superautomatic’s brew group and spray it down with hot water — we recommend doing this once per week and using water only, no soap. Why? Because the soap is going to break down the lubrication on the brew group and you’ll be re-applying it weekly as opposed to every once in awhile. You’ll be using more than you need to and we’re just thrifty that way.
While working on a Francis Francis in our repair center, we found out it’s awesome little secret: It comes with an internal PID! You can’t adjust it yourself, and some of the newer models like the X7 aren’t designed to be adjusted at all, but it will keep the boiler’s temp within 1 degree of the set temperature — unlike less sophisticated thermostats that have a varying range of about 20 degrees and, thus, require temperature surfing.
We sell several variations of Lavazza’s pre-ground coffee and we often get asked what the difference is, flavor-wise. So we asked Gail to put it to the cupping test to see how they compare.