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.
You know us: We’re always game to take a grinder out for a test drive. Bodum’s Bistro didn’t catch our eye at first (despite its vibrant hue!) but we decided to give it it’s day in court to see if it would make a good budget option for folks not pulling traditional espresso extractions. Watch Gail as she tests it out and we determine how well it performs. And while we won’t be offering the orange color any time soon, we will be adding the black version to our site soon.
We were recently given the opportunity to test out the Pro M grinder from Mahlkonig, a commercial-grade grinder manufacturer well-known throughout the pro coffee community, but with grinders that are generally too big, size-wise, for the average home kitchen. The Pro M, however, is petite and powerful — we really loved its design and performance and hope to carry it in the future.
We’ve been offering Velton’s Single Origins coffees via our roast-to-order program for several months now, and we just recently rotated out one available option for a new one: The Ethiopian Sidamo Moredocofe was cycled out to make room for the new Peru Pichanaki. This new variety is full bodied with a very sweet and buttery-smooth flavor. It has a spicy tropical fruit and clean sugary-citrus finish — and we love it!
Since we hadn’t cupped these on camera before, we thought that the introduction of a new option deserved a tasting review. Watch as the crew (+ Velton) tastes the Guatemala Huehuetenango, Costa Rica Tarrazu and Peru Pichanaki. Tripleyum!
While perhaps not totally at home in your kitchen, this commercial-class machine is an excellent choice for locations that will not be doing a ton of espresso drinks but still want to be able to whip up the drinks in a timely, expert manner.
The Epoca S1 comes with an internal water reservoir (no plumbing) and runs on 15 amp / 110 volts, so you don’t have to have special electric outlets installed. It’s not a super mobile machine, however, because it’s a bit unwieldy, so may not be the best choice for caterers, but if you’re staying in one spot this could be the solution for your small cafe.
Watch Gail take us through the features and show us how this little baby performs.
When we started carrying Nespresso machines, we didn’t realize they would be some of the most hotly debated machines in our store. Folks are not sure if they perform well — can they really make good espresso with a capsule? What is their brew temperature? Do their milk frothing options function well?
You know that we firmly believe that there is a market for every machine, and while these guys are definitely not going to please an ardent purist, they have a well-loved place in many homes throughout the world for a reason: They’re easy to use, no-mess and make espresso similar to what you find on a standard superautomatic espresso machine. Arguably their one drawback is their proprietary capsules, and some folks don’t dig having to purchase them only through Nespresso’s coffee club. But if you can get around that and you’re looking for a simple solution to get your morning java fix, this definitely could be the choice for you.
Since we get all kinds of questions about how the Nespresso functions, we did a few tests to show temperature, water volume and milk frothing temp so that folks would know if the basic function would meet their specs. Watch Gail run them through the gamut!
We’re still in testing mode to find the scales that we want to carry at Seattle Coffee Gear. This time, we’re comparing the Ohaus HH120 and Salter Aquatronic electronic scales to see if either of them will be a good fit for weighing out coffee beans and grounds. Watch as Gail goes through the functions and tests them out.
We are refurb crazy these days! Our techs are churning out new batches of certified refurbished machines faster than we can tell you about them, and the next up for review is the first generation Saeco Talea Giro superautomatic. It has almost all of the same features as the newer Plus version, the primary difference being that it does not have a bi-pass doser (even though it has the chamber and the lid to tease you!).
Watch Gail review and demonstrate one of the recently refurbished models.
Another session of taking our taste buds out for a stroll — this time we put three variations of Caffe Mauro blends to the test. Watch Gail, Allison and Rob taste the Classico, De Luxe and Concerto whole bean espresso blends and determine which is their fave.
Some superautomatics are more like robots than others and the Saeco Incanto De Luxe is a great example: A shiny happy robotic entity ready to rock your socks off with caffeine. We dig the programming functions, the metal casing and the easily navigable digital screen.
We recently refurbished a batch of these machines, so we asked Gail to take us through the features and demonstrate its functionality.