Does the shape of the pitcher determine whether or not you can easily steam to create luscious, creamy microfoam? Gail takes several of our pitchers out for a test drive to see how easy it is to produce microfoam quality milk with each of them.
Based on a customer recommendation (who swears by this as his go-to for making his daily Americanos with his Saeco Italia), we brought in a demo to try it out with different coffee and tea cups. We didn’t test how it performs with cup noodle, but it explicitly states in the user manual that it’s perfect for that, so we’ll take their word on that (for now).
Watch Gail go through its basic features and test it for pour over, Americano, press pot and tea.
We hear a lot about Krups coffee makers from customers who love them, so we decided to bring in three popular models for a test drive. Watch as Gail does a first pass on the features and we compare their brewed coffee. This is our initial assessment to determine whether or not we’ll be adding them to our line up — jury’s still out!
We did a video of the Espro press pot awhile back (featuring the unique anti-sludge microfilter) and now we have all their goodies in stock. Gail shows off the calibrated tamper, Toroid steaming pitcher and the press pot for your review.
While our deep love for the Rocket Cellini is endless and binding, we do appreciate that not everyone has $2k to drop on their home espresso setup and they’d still like to make a rockin’ cup of joe in the morning. The Capresso EC100 is a small semi-automatic espresso machine that features stainless steel finishes and flexible brewing options — although, we did learn that you’ll need to use smaller sized pods for these if that’s the route you want to take … 40mm vs. the standard ESE.
Watch Gail take us through the features and demo its functionality.
Keeping your equipment sparkling clean is just as important as the freshness of your coffee and dialing in your grind & tamp — in fact, without the former, the latter will be an exercise in futility. If we have to tell you that rancid coffee oils will adversely impact the quality of your shot, we’re sorry. But if we have to be the first, then we might as well do it right, right? So we asked Louie Poore, who specializes in educating professional baristas on proper equipment care for Urnex, to give us the rundown.
First, he introduces us to Urnex’s new Full Circle, sustainably-produced cleaning products — including a toe-to-toe comparison of Cafiza and Full Circle’s coffee equipment wash.
Next, he walks us through using tablets to backflush the La Marzocco GS/3.
Finally, Gail shows us the newly arrived 1, 2, Brew Kit for Espresso Machines, which features the goodies you need to keep your machine in tip-top shape (plus a bag of Velton’s Coffee of your choice!).
Look, summer is approaching. It may not feel like it in your neck of the woods (it certainly doesn’t in ours), but the calendar does not lie. And now is a great time for you to pick up your travel-friendly coffee gear and get to know it up close and personal before you’re stuck with each other in the backwoods of the Appalachia, dusty peaks of the Sierra Madre and / or the semi-rough and tender South Seas.
One of the crew’s favorite on-the-go prep methods is the ever popular AeroPress and we asked Gail to show us how she preps her java when she’s on the road. We also experimented a bit with an espresso-infused extraction we had seen last year at the US Barista Championships to see if it was good / bad / ugly. Watch and learn!
If you drop $1k more on your espresso machine, is there a discernible difference and / or improvement in the shot quality and flavor? We dialed in the Rocket Giotto Evoluzione and the Rancilio Silvia, pulled shots simultaneously and asked three of our fearless compatriots to taste them. Watch as they tell us which they prefer and why.
In response to a few customer requests, we performed the following tests related to french press / press pot coffee. First: Which of the insulated stainless steel press pots retain their heat the longest? Second: How does the coffee taste at different steeping intervals?
#1: Insulated Stainless Steel Temperature Testing
We took the 8 cup versions (roughly 35 oz.) of the Bodum, La Cafetiere and Frieling double-walled stainless steel presses and filled them with hot water. We then measured their start temp and checked in on them at regular intervals — 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours and 24 hours. Watch the excitement unfold:
Since you don’t actually want to keep your coffee in your press pot for hours on end (the ideal way to prepare and serve coffee this way is to pour it out right after the desired steep time has completed, either into serving cups or an insulated pitcher), arguably the most important interval in the test was the first one, right after 30 minutes. In that round, the winner was the La Cafetiere, which lost only 19.1F degrees, as opposed to the Frieling’s 21.4F and the Bodum’s 21.6F. But still, these were all pretty close so selecting any of the three models will still be a good choice.
#2: French Press Steep Test
Next, we wanted to find out how press pot coffee tasted when steeped at different durations — 4 minutes, 6 minutes or 8 minutes. We loaded up three 8 cup Bodum presses and then tasted them. Possibly a bit more scintillating than the video above — and this time with 100% more Allison!