Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder

Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E GrinderEureka! That’s right, we’ve found the prefect high-capacity grinder — the Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder. While this grinder is indeed a great discovery, the name comes from the brand Eureka, which was bought by Nuova Simonelli many years ago. This grinder is basically the same as the Nuova Simonelli MDX and still has as a 65mm burr set and identical internal features. The only difference in the Eureka Zenith 65E is that it has an electronic front on it. Nuova Simonelli created this machine because they really wanted to get into electronic grinders, and it is their answer to others on the market like the Mazzer Type A grinders or the Rancilio KRYO 65 OD.

As such, the big feature on this grinder is the new electronic doser, which is really easy to use. You have two programmable dosing options available to you, enabling you to decide whether you want your coffee to be dispensed by volume or by time, which can be adjusted at the push of a button. If you know an adventurous barista, you can lock these adjustment settings, so they won’t play around and make changes to your grind. Another unique feature on the Nuova Simmonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder is the resettable digital dose counter, which we actually haven’t seen on any of the on demands yet. In fact, people frequently ask how they can reset the counter on a Mazzer and there is no way of doing that.

In addition to these upgrades, Nuova Simonelli has carried over two of the most popular features from the MDX. One is the stepless micro adjustment dial, which allows you to adjust your grind finer or coarser by simply turning a knob with your finger instead of having to struggle to change the setting with a big lever as on other grinders. The second feature is the ability to open up your grinder and clean the burrs without having to recalibrate your grind. Not only does this make cleaning and maintaining your grinder a breeze, but it also makes the process quicker – you can probably the job done in-between shifts at your café.

To learn more about the features on the Eureka Zenith 65E, watch as Brandon explains what makes it different from other grinders on the market in this video. Just don’t blame us if find yourself shouting “eureka!” too by the end.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Eureka Zenith 65E Grinder

Interview with Breville’s Phil McKnight

BrevilleAn influencer in the espresso and drip coffee industry for the past 15 years, Breville has long been one of our favorite brands. Not only do they create beautiful die cast espresso machines, coffee makers, grinders, blenders and even ice cream makers, but they also put a lot of work and research into developing their products. For instance, when Breville makes an espresso machine there is nothing left behind; all the gadgets you need to create a drink (portafilter, different sized portafilter baskets, frothing pitcher, cleaning tools, etc.) are included an there is even a place to store them. As a result, you can expect to receive machines with great functionality like the new Oracle BES980XL, which enables you to easily pull a shot and froth your milk for latte while still giving you control over the parameters involving the extraction of your shot. This approach also permits Breville to improve products that have become old standbys, like their dual boilers, by gathering customer feedback to create something even better, such as the Dual Boiler BES920XL.

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to have Breville pay us a visit all the way from Australia to do some training. While they were here, we got a chance to chat with Breville’s Global Business Manager for Beverage Products, Phil McKnight. Since he started at Breville Phil has been known as the “coffee guru” as he has over 10 years of industry experience in coffee, including judging the Australia Barista championships and running his own café in Sydney. We were eager to hear his thoughts on coffee makers and espresso machines, and asked him to if he’d be willing to do an interview with us so we could learn more about one of our favorite brands. Phil happily obliged and shared some of his insights about the brand’s history, manufacturing techniques and what products we can look forward to seeing in the future.

Interview with Breville’s Phil McKnight

Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V3 & Giotto Premium Plus V3

Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V3Rocket Espresso has outdone themselves once again! The brand has updated their Giotto and Cellini V2 models to create the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V3 and the Giotto Premium Plus V3. These machines still have all the high-end features that were found in the previous models, but they now also include an integrated PID (proportional integral derivative) for a more precise brewing temperature. The folks at Rocket didn’t want to change the sleek, clean lines of the machines (which are handcrafted in Italy) so they have artfully hidden the PID inside each machine’s drip tray.

What are the benefits of having a PID as part of the machine? The PID makes controlling the brewing temperature more efficient, since it considers a variety of factors when calculating the temperature instead of just the pressure, which is what V2 models with just a heat exchanger did, allowing you to get a consistent temperature over and over again. In addition, the PID enables the machine to keep the temperature within one degree of the temperature you have programed in, where as with a typical heat exchanger there is a little bit more variation.

Some of our favorite features on the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V3 and Giotto Premium Plus V3 that have continued on from the V2 models are the copper insulated heat exchanger boiler, huge water tank and the ever-popular E61 brew group and its thermo syphon system that efficiently heats the brew head. Another nice feature is the anti-burn steam arm, which will prevent your milk from burning and hardening onto the steam arm if you forget to wipe it off right away. However, it is important to remember that this doesn’t mean the steam arm won’t be hot; it will be, so be careful not directly touch the wand after each use.

To learn more about the new functionally on the Giotto and Cellini Premium Plus V3 machines and see how to program their PIDs, allow Gail and Brendan to walk you through the steps in this video.

 

Crew Review: Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V3 & Giotto Premium Plus V3

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Crème Brulee

Coffee Creme BruleeCrème brulee is a dessert prep that has withstood the test of time (it has been around since 1691), and for good reason – it is so delicious! We recently found that if we were going to be historical about it we should have served this dessert last week, since in Catalan cuisine crème brulee is served on March 19th for Saint Joseph’s Day.

However, if you ask us, it’s always a good time to consume this scrumptious treat so we went ahead and made it anyway. After all, there’s nothing quite like the satisfying crunch of cracking through the crisp, glossy brunt sugar crust on a crème brulee. Although, diving into the smooth and creamy custard underneath is a close second. Our version of this old standby does have a slight twist to it though – coffee! As you might have guessed, we love espresso so much that we add it to a recipe whenever we have the opportunity. We must admit it does taste pretty darn good.

Watch as Brandi and Kaylie play with fire (we promise no buildings were harmed or burned down during this film) and create some mighty fine coffee crème brulee.

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Creme Brûlée

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of light cream
  • 2 teaspoons of finely ground espresso
  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brandy

Directions

  • Start by heating your stove to medium, and combining the cream, finely ground espresso and half the sugar in a medium sized pan.
  • Stir the ingredients until all of the sugar is dissolved and the coffee is mixed in well.
  • Meanwhile, put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and beat in the flour to make a smooth paste.
  •  Then, gradually stir the warm coffee mixture into the egg paste you just created until everything is combined well.
  • Return this mix to the pan and heat gently, stirring the mixture for 5-10 minutes until it forms a thick custard.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brandy.
  • Pour the custard into 4 small ramekins. Let them cool, then cover and chill the custard in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to serve the crème brulees, sprinkle each one with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar. Next, caramelize the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch. If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch, you can achieve the same effect by the placing the sugar covered custard under your oven’s broiler for about 5 minutes until the sugar caramelizes.

Quick Review: La Cafetiere Lexi Cafetiere – 8 Cups

La Cafetiere LexiIf you love French press coffee as much as we do, why not ex-press this love of yours by using the La Cafetiere Lexi to brew up some tasty java? Not only will this porcelain cafetiere, don’t let the name confuse you – cafetiere is synonymous with French press in Europe, look elegant on your dining room table but it also will keep your coffee warmer longer than glass models since it helps retain heat. However, you will have to pre-warm that carafe in order to get it up to temperature. Another advantage of this French press is that the silicone gasket inside the pot makes for easy brewing, as it provides an excellent seal.

Making coffee on a French press may sound fancy (and hey, why not exploit the term a little to impress your guests) but it is actual pretty simple to make. First, heat your water to about boiling, we used a Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Kettle in our example, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Then measure coarsely ground coffee into the cafetiere and pour a small amount of water over them. Let the grounds “bloom” for about 20-30 seconds before pouring in the rest of the water. Next, allow the grounds steep in the water for about five minutes, you can brew your coffee for a shorter (four minutes) or longer (six minutes) length of time depending on how strong you like it to be. You can also give the grounds a stir halfway through the steep time if you would like to allow them to mix. After the coffee has steeped, slowing press the plunger down, so finer grounds don’t escape through the sieve. And you’re done, you’ve have successfully made French press coffee!

To see the process in action, watch Miranda as she makes a cup of coffee on the La Cafetiere Lexi. If you want even more tips on brewing with a press pot, check out our snazzy infographic on how to make excellent French press coffee.

Quick Review: La Cafetiere Lexi – 8 Cups

Tech Tips: SCG’s Tune-Up Kit for the Oscar and Musica

Tune-up kit for the Oscar and MusicaNuova Simonelli how much do we love you? Let us count the ways. With their beautiful design and professional functionality it is really hard not to love these machines. However, if you want to ensure your machine has a good long life, you’ll need to give it a little tender loving care. Part of that TLC (no, we don’t mean T-Boz, Left Eye or Chilli) is replacing some of the parts of the machine that see a bit more wear and tear, like the brew head gasket and screen. Since Nuova Simonelli machines are some of the more popular espresso makers we have around, we decided to help you out and create a tune-up kit for the Oscar and Musica. This kit includes a brew head gasket, shower screen and show screw. These parts will work for both the Oscar and the Musica; the installation is just slightly different.

Replacing your brew head gasket and screen may sound difficult, but it is actually pretty easy. When it comes down to it, your main tasks are just removing a screw and puling out a gasket. If you have an Oscar, we recommend laying down some soft towels and flipping the machine over to have better access to the brew head. Unfortunately, you can’t do this if you have a Musica due to the way the boiler is set up. Your next steps are to remove the old, worn out brew gasket and screen, clean the brew head and install the new parts from the kit. Easy peasy! How do you know when to tune-up your machine? Some customers said they have noticed they need to replace these parts at about every third or fourth descale, but if you use your machine less frequently you may find you only need to replace them once a year. You can also watch for coffee and water leaking around the top edge of your portafilter or for lots of coffee grounds building up around your screen.

Inspired to give your machine a tune-up but want to see the process in action before attempting it yourself? Check out Brendan’s video on how to use the tune-up kit for the Oscar and Musica and pick up a few tips and tricks.

 

Tech Tips: SCG’s Tune-Up Kit for the Oscar and Musica