A couple of years ago, Quick Mill’s first superautomatic offering hit the US market. It had a lot of great things about it — primarily that it had a heated metal brew group — but the fit and finish left a bit to be desired. They took it back to the workshop and revamped it a little, addressing several of the things we didn’t dig about the first edition, and have now released the Monza.
Gail takes us through its features and then demonstrates its shot and steaming functionality. If you’re looking for a superautomatic that will get you the closest to a traditional espresso extraction, this may be the machine for you.
One of our favorite coffee prep methods is press pot / French press and so we were very excited to try out Espro’s unique version of this. In addition to the usual filter screen, it has a microfilter that takes out the ‘silt’ often found in press pot coffee, leaving you with a delicious cuppa sans sludge.
Saeco’s newest addition to their popular Talea superautomatic line — the Touch Plus — is now available in the US. Watch Gail go through its features, differences, functionality and then whip up a latte.
We’ll get you, my pretty! Of course, by ‘my pretty’ we are referring to the array of gorgeously designed Rocket Espresso accessories and BIA Cordon Bleu cups. If you’re not sure how pretty pretty can get, check out Gail’s introduction to these lovely little numbers.
For the budget-conscious still looking to make a lovely latte at home, these lower end single boiler espresso machines from DeLonghi will give you the basic tools you need to get the job done. They’re not going to win any awards in the looks or longevity department, but if your pocketbook is leaner than your need for coffee, these will work in a pinch. Gail reviews both models in these videos, going over their features and demonstrating their functionality.
It’s no secret that we have a sweet and abiding love for the petite figure and suitable functionality of Saeco’s Via Venezia. Having had a previous life as the base design for the highly popular series of Starbucks Barista machines, we know that many of you share this love — particularly when we see these well-loved machines over a decade old coming in for a little tune up. These babies are built to last.
So when we were able to take on a batch of refurbs of the Via Venezia, we jumped on it, of course! Gail takes us through the features and functions — if you didn’t know them by now.
Lately, we’ve been posting a slew of crew reviews (!), covering all the new refurbished machines we have available. We are a certified refurbishment center, specializing in Saeco machines, eventually taking on more models down the line. Gail checked in with the lead of the refurb team, Patrick, to talk with him about how the magic happens.
With so many different model variations and filter options, we often hear from confused customers who don’t know which filter to purchase for their specific Jura machine. These can be a bit pricey, so purchasing the wrong filter can definitely make an unhappy dent in your wallet. Watch Gail go through the filters for each type of machine and check out the table below for a handy guide to choosing your filter in the future.
Update for Refurbished Models: Jura recently let us know that if they are required to replace a defective or damaged water tank during the refurbishment process, they will be replacing them with the Clearyl Blue versions of the tank (described below as having a light blue lid and white dial). In the event that they do this, they are including a note with a reference to the specific water filter model number you should purchase for your Jura. Please check your machine’s water tank color prior to purchasing, as that is the most accurate way to determine whether the White or Blue filters will fit your machine.
Breville have produced many gorgeous pieces of equipment that seem to favor form a little over function. They have some great features that we really love, but sometimes the overall performance isn’t ideal. However, as with every machine, there are pros and cons and the Smart Grinder has a lot of really great aspects to its design: We love the metal casing, the pull rings, the digital interface and how you dial in the grind. Where it didn’t measure up for us, however, was that it indicates you can use it with a traditional non-pressurized extraction and we were not able to do so successfully — it just doesn’t go fine enough right now.
We contacted Breville about this and they are working on ways to improve it so we are really hopeful that this will be a great multi-purpose grinder in the future. At present, it’s a good choice for drip / press pot and pressurized espresso extraction — but stay tuned on any future improvements coming down the line. For now, watch Gail take us through this grinder’s features and test how it performs.
Update 3/16/11: We were able to meet with Breville and they provided us with shims in order to tweak the burrs on the grinder. Watch Gail install and test here:
To clump or not to clump — that is the question! You know that we shoot from the hip very often around here at Seattle Coffee Gear HQ and the whole subject of clumping seemed to be a little bit mythical. After all, you’re pressing down the grounds with the tamper so why would any clumps beforehand matter?
We wanted to see if we could practically notice a difference between shots pulled with coffee ground directly from the Rocky doserless grinder and shots which were stirred up beforehand. Watch Gail experiment to determine whether or not clumping really is something worth considering.