Category Archives: Videos

Crema Stability Testing

Unless the roaster is using some type of preservative measure (such as the nitrogen flush used by large roaster Lavazza), coffee starts aging within its sealed bag from the moment it’s roasted. We set aside bags from March and June batches of Velton’s Bonsai Blend to compare the aged coffee against coffee roasted last week.

Check out our test and take a moment to appreciate our dedicated commitment to science — we tasted some seriously nasty shots for the team, people!

Crew Review: DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM23210B Compact Superauto

In the newly inaugurated War of Petite & Powerful Superautomatic Espresso Machines (okay, it starts now, actually), DeLonghi has proffered it’s champion: The Magnifica ECAM23210B Compact. If you needed more proof, this little dude and/or dudette furthers the case that highly cute and highly functional are not mutually exclusive.

Watch Gail give us her usual rundown on the ECAM23210B, including her trademark latte — sadly, artless. :(

Crew Review: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso Burr Grinder

Hitting the streets this coming October is Baratza’s newest offering, which is a variation on a theme: The Virtuoso Preciso takes it’s basic functionality from the popular Virtuoso grinder, but it’s tweaked a bit with some of the dialing-in features available on the more expensive Vario model.

Watch Gail take us through this grinder’s features and functions.

How To: Baratza Vario Burr Adjustment

The Vario gives you a little more control over your grind than you find on a traditional stepped grinder (like its counterpart, the Virtuoso, or the Rancilio Rocky) because it allows you to tweak the fineness within each step of the burrs. If you find that your Vario doesn’t seem to be going fine enough for espresso, or that you have very little room to move on the fineness side of the spectrum once you get to your espresso setting, you may want to adjust the burrs so they are closer together.

Gail walks us through how to do this and demonstrates it on a grinder. Watch and learn!

Compare: Francis Francis X1 vs. Ascaso Dream UP

For the antique/retro lovers in the crowd, the X1 by Francis Francis and the Dream UP by Ascaso have an old school look without the old school technology. Gail takes us through the similarities and differences of these two single boiler espresso machines.

Crew Review: Francis Francis X1

We are not ashamed to admit that we have been diggin’ hard on the Francis Francis machines lately. We really love their auto-fill boiler and their sophisticated temperature control — with only around a 2 degree variance instead of the 15-ish degree variance we sometimes see on single boiler espresso machines in this similar price class.

Watch Gail take us through the features of the X1 — a stainless steel counterpart to the X7:

Now watch her compare the functional and feature differences between the X1 and the X7:

Gail the Great vs. the Frothing Thermometer!

In the history of great competitions, never has there been a match so perfectly paired than that of Gail versus a steaming thermometer. Will her sense of touch correlate to an accurate steaming temperature? Is she stopping when it’s too cool or scalding her milk? Will she ever be able to do latte art? We asked these big questions and put her to the test to find out the answers.