Morning Maintenance: Programming a PID

Time and temperature. If you break down the essentials of a good cup of coffee/shot of espresso you will arrive at two variables: time and temperature.Silvia PID

It doesn’t matter how fresh your coffee is or how expertly roasted it was. If your brewing time and temperature are not correct, you end up with something you don’t want to drink. So what’s the best way to control those two variables? With a PID of course.

Especially on a single boiler machine, where the boiler temperature will fluctuate between brew temp and steam temp, a PID will help you dial in a delicious shot of espresso, every time.

In the Morning Maintenance video below Gail will show you how to program your PID on the Rancilio Silvia. The PID’s we install on the Silvia will allow you to control the brew temperature, pre-infusuion time, pre-infusion wait time, and brew time.

Once you know how to program your machine, it’s fun to experiment with different temperatures and times for the same coffee. Each variable will bring out different flavors in your cup! Yum!

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Crew Review: La Marzocco Linea Mini

It’s new. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. It must be from La Marzocco.Linea Mini

Yes! That is right. We are here today with a Crew Review of the new La Marzocco Linea Mini. And while the word mini is in the name, it really is anything but mini!

The Linea Mini has a huge 3.5 liter  water reservoir which is sure to last you several brewing cycles before requiring a refill. (And that means more coffee! We all can get behind that!)

We were really impressed with the details that were put into this machine. The drip tray features a new magnetic connection. Which makes for easy removal and re-attachment, it literally snaps back into place. The Linea Mini also has their lion logo etched into the brew head screen. Sure it doesn’t change the way your espresso will taste, but it certainly looks awesome!

The steaming function on this machine is truly a show stopper. It features a 4 hole steam tip, which makes for some fast steaming. During the filming of our Crew Review, Gail was able froth up a 12 ounce pitcher in no time flat!

Gail seems to enjoy the stainless steel model, but the Linea Mini also comes in black, red and white. Something for everyone!

Be sure to watch the full Crew Review below to learn about all the details of the awesome machine!

Comparison: Entry Level Superautomatic Machines

We are back with another comparison for you all! This time we set our sights on a few entry level superautomatic espresso machines! To be a little more specific: the Saeco Xsmall, the Jura Micro 1 and the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300.

Each of these models has a little something for everyone. So we are certain you will be able to find the right one for you ;) So lets get to it!

First up the Saeco Xsmall. As the name suggests, it has the smallest foot print. Which is a great feature if you are short on counter space (aren’t we all!). It also has the smallest water tank, coming in at 33 oz. We don’t consider this a con however, since fresh water is best! Filling up the tank every few uses is a good habit to have anyway!

Next you have the Jura Micro 1. This one is strictly for coffee and espresso as it does not have a steam arm. So unless you have stand alone milk frother, no lattes. The Micro 1 features a bypass doser which allows you to brew pre-ground coffee, leaving the beans in the hopper where they are. Nighttime decaf anyone?

The Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 also has a bypass doser and a lot more functionality. This is also the only double boiler machine in this line up. But with that benefit comes a larger footprint. So if you are short on space, be sure to take measurements to see if it will fit!

Those are the basics of these espresso machines. Be sure to watch the full comparison video below so see them side by side! And if you find the video helpful, be sure to subscribe to our channel for more!

 

Morning Maintenance: Rancilio Silvia General Maintenance

So you have been brewing up some delicious espresso shots with your Rancilio Silvia for a few months now. Your liking the taste and want this investment to last!Silvia General Maintenance

That’s good news! (You came to the right spot). We are here to share with you some tips for Rancilio Silvia General Maintenance. It’s easy to do if you keep up on it!

When it comes to Rancilio SIlvia General Maintenance, you want to hit the big three. What are the big three? We will share.

First, make sure you blow steam out and wipe down your steam wand after frothing milk. This is something you absolutely must do every time, and immediately. Check out this video to see what can happen if you don’t!

Next, you want to backflush your machine. When you backflush, you are forcing a cleaning solution up into the brew screen and back down the solenoid valve.  Coffee is oily stuff! Using a product like Cafiza will help break down those oils, which can cause clogs if left uncleaned.

Finally, give your machine a wipe down. When espresso shots are being pulled, or milk is being frothed, things can get a bit messy! Keeping the exterior clean is just the right thing to do ;)

Watch the video below to see step by step instructions for all these easy general maintenance tips! And be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss and episode!

How To Ice Brew Coffee

Ice BrewIt’s summer. Which means iced coffee of course!

But we think iced coffee should be more than just hot coffee poured over ice. If you have been following our YouTube channel you know that we have been experimenting with different ways to get that coffee we know and love, ice cold.

We have experimented with cold brew, which is amazingly smooth, but takes up to 24 hours to brew! Luckily we found out about this Japanese Cold Brew method, or sometimes referred to as ice brew!

We made some great coffee using this ice brew method. It’s as easy as making a cup of pour over except you substitute half of your brewing water with ice. As a result, you brew concentrated coffee directly onto ice, which instantly cools your coffee–locking in all the flavor. Trust us when we say, you need to try this!

Watch the video below to see Gail demonstrate how to brew using the ice brew method! And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking here. We publish a new video every day of the week, so we are confident there will be something for you ;)

 

 

 

 

Morning Maintenance: Rocket Machine Care

Rocket EspressoToday on Morning Maintenance, Gail takes a look at the Rocket Espresso lineup. Each of the machines by Rocket Espresso should be cared for in the same manner. So whether you have an R58 or a Premium Plus model, it is best to follow the following general maintenance tips!

As you can see, a lot of the maintenance is easy to do. All it takes is a little up keep day by day in order to avoid many issues. And remember, its never too late to start good machine care!

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? You can do so by clicking here. By subscribing you will continue to get all of these informative videos!

Crew Review: Saeco Intuita Espresso Machine

IntuitaThe Saeco Intuita with its unique satin finish and simple push button interface, it brings brewing back to the basics. The Intuita is one of the entry level superautomatic espresso machines by Saeco.

It features essential programming functions, allowing you to set your desired coffee volume for both the espresso and long coffee buttons. While this machine won’t allow you to program multiple users, programming the volume is easy enough to do on the fly!

Keeping the Intuita clean is easy to do. It automatically rinses the brewing circuit after use and after waking it up, allowing for optimal brewing. The brew group easily snaps in and out, which makes rinsing it in the sink quick and painless.

The steam wand on this machine is a panarello design. The panarello makes frothing milk for lattes a no brainer. But don’t expect a micro foam suited for latte art. With the convenience of the panarello, you miss out on the control a conventional steam wand gives you.

Check out the full Crew Review of the Saeco Intuita super automatic espresso machine below before heading over to our YouTube channel to subscribe!

 

Brewin’ With Brandi: Hearty Vegetarian Coffee Chili

Brandi is back with a brand new recipe! And a super tasty one at that!

We all get busy during the week, and this is a great dinner recipe that is easy to put together and all ready for you when you get home from a long day at work! Plus, there is coffee in it. What more can you ask for!

Watch this Brewin’ With Brandi below to see how to make your very own Hearty Vegetarian Coffee Chili! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz. can pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Toppings:

  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Spring Onions
  • Cheddar Cheese

Directions: 

First, pour boiling water over the bulgar and allow it to soak for 15 minutes before straining.

While the bulgar is soaking, prep your vegetables. How finely you dice your vegetables depends on how chunky you like your chili. Feel free to experiment!

Drain and rinse your beans before adding all the ingredients to your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Season with salt and pepper again before serving.

Top with your choice of toppings! And enjoy!

 

Ask Gail: Bitter and Sour Espresso Shots!

Sour EspressoBitter and sour espresso shots, oh my! Getting that perfect espresso shot takes time and practice. But knowing what to taste for and what adjustments to make goes a long way to pulling that perfect shot.

Espresso shots can have two extremes, either an overly bitter shot or a very sour shot. Both of which are very easy to recognize. But how do you go about fixing the off flavors? We asked Gail to give us the run down.

So if you espresso shot tastes sour check out the video below to find out the cure!

 

Does your espresso shot taste overly bitter? Watch the following video for some helpful tips!

 

Did you find these videos helpful? Then you might want to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos just like these!

 

Crew Review: Saeco Aroma

Do you smell that? That aroma? Well? :)Saeco Aroma

That’s right! We are talking about the Saeco Aroma semi-automatic espresso machine. Perfect for those with limited space but still want the control for great espresso. The Saeco Aroma is a pressurized portafilter system which will improve the extraction from almost any fineness of ground beans. The pressurized environment promotes the perfect brewing conditions without need of an expensive grinder.

The Saeco Aroma has a huge water tank. Or should we say swimming pool. At 88oz, you will rarely need to refill this machine. The panarello steam wand makes frothing milk a breeze. You won’t have all the control you would get with a traditional wand, but it will get you very close! The steam wand does have limited motion, which can be make frothing larger pitchers more difficult.

The Saeco Aroma is smaller than the Saeco Via Venezia, therefore it’s great for those with limited space. Watch the full Crew Review below!