Category Archives: Videos

Testing a la Francaise

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!

How To: Descaling the Saeco Vienna Plus Superautomatic

This popular superautomatic is simple and straight forward to use, but we often get questions around how to care for it. In addition to regularly removing the brew group and spraying it down, cleaning the dregs box and the drip tray, you’ll need to descale the Vienna every 1 – 3 months (depending on the mineral hardness of the water you’re using).

Remember: Descaling isn’t based on usage, but on timing. If you’re not using the machine, water is still sitting in the waterworks and scale can build up. If you use your machine very rarely, it may prompt you to descale less regularly then you might need to, so using the general 3 month rule of thumb is always a good idea.

Watch Gail take us through the process.

Playing with the La Marzocco GS/3

We’ve been having a ton of good, clean (we swear!) fun with the La Marzocco GS/3 lately. A few weeks back, Gail pulled such a phenomenal shot from this machine and we wondered if she could reproduce it again. Watch as she works through the basic variables of dialing in a shot: Grind, tamp and temperature.

And for those who just love little upgrades here and there, checkout La Marzocco’s version of the bottomless portafilter — our favorite so far!

Testing: Coffee Ground Attrition & Water Content in Frothed Milk

We had a few viewer requests lately around the weight of things, so we produced two videos covering the following questions: How much coffee is left in the grinder after grinding? How much water is injected into milk when frothing?

In this first video, we weighed out 20 grams of whole beans and then ground them in several different grinders, weighing the grounds afterward to see if any was retained in the grinder.

In the second video, we weighed out 200ml of milk (in most cases — the exception being the stand alone frothers), frothed them to the same temperature on several different machines and then weighed them afterward to see how much water was injected into the frothed milk.

Selecting a Superautomatic Espresso Machine: Saeco & Jura Capresso

So many superautomatics, so little time. Both Saeco and Jura Capresso have several iterations of these machines on the market, so we asked Gail to give us a primer on the different models currently available.

First, she goes through the Saeco machines:

And now onto the Jura Capresso models:

Cupping: Decaf Coffees

Sometimes you just don’t want too much extra skip in your step, but you’re not willing to give up the flavor of a great cup of coffee. We asked the crew to blind taste the four different decaf coffees we carry — Lavazza, illy, Caffe Mauro and Velton’s — to determine which ones they thought tasted like a good, solid cup of coffee.

If you’re interested in learning about the different methods used to decaffeinate coffee, you can check out this article we wrote a couple of years ago.