Video Crew Review: Saeco Espresso Italiano

We wrote about the new Saeco Espresso Italiano earlier this month, but now that we’ve had some more time to play around with it, we’d thought we’d have Gail walk us through this great little budget superautomatic. Watch as she discusses the Espresso Italiano’s functionality, pros and cons.

PSA: Starbucks Recalls 530,000 Barista Blade Grinders

We just ran across an announcement from Starbucks, indicating the recall of 530,000 Starbucks Barista and Seattle’s Best Coffee blade grinders. There have been several incidents of laceration when the grinders turned on unexpectedly while being cleaned.

If you or someone you know purchased one of the models listed in the announcement, contact Starbucks immediately for a replacement model. Or, maybe it’s time to upgrade? We’ve never heard of a burr grinder lacerating anyone. :)

Crew Review: Monin Natural Fruit Purees

In the halcyon days of our much-storied youth, we spent a cool 8 months slinging fresh juice from behind the mighty wheatgrass wall of a juice joint. Strawberry lemonades, mango-banana smoothies and peach coolers were all on the menu — three drinks you can now very easily create at home using Monin’s Natural Fruit Purees.

These luscious little numbers are very concentrated and highly potent; the strawberry almost seems like a smoothed jam and the banana reminds us of slipping a fresh one off of a Costa Rican tree. We’ve tossed these into smoothies and mocha shakes and look forward to experimenting with them in desserts and cooking.

Monin says these are shelf-stable, but we’re always a little bit terrified of products that claim that, so we’ve been keeping our open bottles in the fridge. It definitely impacts their consistency, making them a bit thicker to pour, which can be good or bad depending on your application. We’re imagining combining the strawberry with our Meyer lemon-infused vodka for a delicious summer cocktail treat! Care to join us?

5 Giro D’Italia Giottos Auctioned to Benefit Coffee Kids

You know we’re big fans of Rocket Espresso and think that the Giotto Premium+ and Cellini Premium+ are some of the best home espresso machines on the market. When Rocket contacted us about a limited edition model of the Giotto that they designed in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Giro D’Italia cycling race, we thought we’d make buying this collector’s item a little bit more special.

And what better way to do that then to auction them off and donate all the proceeds to the non-profit organization Coffee Kids? We love their mission and we love Rocket, so for us they go hand in hand.

Beginning on 6/19/09 and continuing through 7/24/09, we’ll be auctioning off one Giro D’Italia Giotto each week, 5 of the 100 total espresso machines available in this limited edition run. If you or someone you love digs cycling, owning this little piece of history will give you something to brag about — not only because these machines are so unique, but you’ll be giving to a really great cause, too!