It’s a lean, mean, espresso producing machine! That’s right, we are talking about the Saeco Xsmall. The Saeco Xsmall is an entry level superautomatic espresso machine with all the features you need at an affordable price! Can it get much better than that? We didn’t think so.
The Saeco Xsmall has the smallest footprint out of all the superautomatics offered by Saeco. Weighing in at just 17 pounds, this machine can almost be considered portable…(ok, just kidding)! But seriously, the Xsmall is just 11.5 inches wide, 16.5 inches deep and 13 inches tall–which means it will fit on almost any counter with ease.
The panarello steam wand will help you achieve the perfect milk foam with little technique required, excellent for those of us who literally can’t function until coffee has entered our system! The panarello steam wand also doubles as a hot water dispenser, americanos anyone?
Of course, with any superautomatic, we don’t recommend using oily beans. Oily coffee beans will leave a residue in the built-in grinder, which over time will damage your espresso machine. Which is no fun, obviously. Sticking with a medium roast will keep your machine happy and you caffeinated
Something about doing it yourself makes everything taste that much better. Enter hand coffee grinders. Portable, affordable and always up for the challenge, hand grinders can be great for both the novice as well as the espresso aficionado.
Today we are taking a look at the Rhinowares hand coffee grinder. The latest edition to our hand coffee grinder collection. The Rhinowares grinder is beautiful to look at. With a sturdy stainless steel housing, this grinder will last a long time if taken care of.
The burrs on this grinder are ceramic conical burrs. So no need to worry about rusting (Woohoo!) In our testing, we were impressed with how easy it was to adjust the burr settings. This grinder can grind everything from very course to fine. While it can do espresso, we don’t think this would work with every machine. But if you have a pressurized portafilter, this grinder would work very well!
Standing at just 6.75 inches tall and 2.25 inches wide, this grinder is great for travel. It even comes with a handy carrying case for when you are on the go (and still needing coffee!).
Superautomatics! Espresso beverages at a touch of a button. What is not to love?
While we all love superautomatics, there are certianly a lot of choices to choose from! So we thought we would help you out by selecting the mid range models from the Saeco, DeLonghi and Jura line and comparing them side by side. So without further ado, here is our comparison of mid range superautomatics!
First up is the Saeco Exprelia Evo! This machine features both an automatic milk frothing system as well as a traditional steam wand. Why do you need both? Well it really comes down to personal preference, but we think the flexibility this gives you is priceless. You can craft the perfect milk if you have the time and desire, or simply press a button when you are on the go!
The Jura Impressa J9 is our next machine we took a look at. Hands down the most beautiful display. Jura never ceases to impress us with their touch screen designs. The J9 features a thermoblock boiler design and an auto froth milk system. While this machine has the largest footprint out of this line up, it will still fit nicely in most kitchens.
The DeLonghi PrimaDonna S De Luxe also features both an automatic milk system as well as a panarello steam wand. The DeLonghi allows you to program drinks for each user, helpful in a busy household. The water reservoir on this machine holds 68 ounces of water, plenty for your morning lattes!
Watch the full Crew Review Comparison below! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more by clicking here!
The Technivorm coffee brewer. It’s one of the best home coffee brewing machines out there. But finding the right one for you can be a little difficult. With so many models which one do you choose?
The Technivorm coffee lineup can be demystified with a little knowledge (and a helpful chart!) The first thing you want to do is decide which style of carafe you want. The Technivorm models come in either a glass carafe or a thermal carafe. Are you someone who finishes a pot of coffee before it is even done brewing? If so, you may want to go for the glass carafe (we use a glass carafe in our breakroom!) Or maybe you are one who likes to leisurely sip your cup o’ joe, in which case the thermal carafe will keep that pot of coffee hot till the last sip.
The next decision that must be made is if you want an auto stop machine or a manual stop machine. The auto stop is great if you always brew full pots. The manual stop machine give you the ability to brew a half pot, but you will need to remember to flip the switch open or closed, otherwise the brew basket can overflow causing a mess. Trust us, we’ve made that mess several times before.
Once you have those decisions made, the right Technivorm for you will be clear. Check out the full Ask Gail video below to see the helpful chart!
The superautomatic. Espresso at the touch of a button. But what is doing all the work? How does this machine keep spitting out delicious espresso?! The brew unit of course! Each brand has it’s own design, but they all do the same thing (make you coffee!).
The Saeco Brew Unit is easy to care for if you know what to do. So in this Morning Maintenance video, we asked Gail to show us how to properly clean the Saeco Brew Unit off of a Exprelia Evo. But these tips are good for any Saeco Superautomatic espresso machine!
As with any espresso machine, the best form of maintenance is preventative. By cleaning and tuning up your machine as needed you will find your machine will work better, longer! Which of course means more coffee and who can say no to that?!
Watch the Morning Maintenance video below to see the best tips and tricks in caring for your Saeco Brew Unit. Have any questions? Leave them in the comment section on YouTube!
What happens when you cross a science experiment with a coffee maker? You get the Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker of course! Vacuum Coffee Maker you ask? No we are not mad scientists, this style of coffee maker has been around for quite some time.
The Bodum Pebo Vacuum Coffee Maker works on the principle of expanding and contacting gases. As the bottom compartment is heated up on the stove, some of the water inside is turned into vapor. As the water vapor expands it forces the liquid water up the spout and into the chamber above, saturating the ground coffee. Once the water has filled the upper chamber the vacuum pot is removed from the heat. The water vapor cools and no longer exerts enough pressure on upper chamber to hold the water up, and so gravity pulls the coffee back down into the lower chamber.
The result is a really clean cup of coffee. Gail was especially impressed with the quality of the taste. It was very smooth and drinkable.
Be sure to check out the full Crew Review of this awesome vacuum coffee maker!
We had a request from one of our viewers to do a taste test comparing a full immersion cold brew and a slow drip cold brew. And you know we can’t say no to a cup of coffee! So we brewed up the same coffee with the two different methods to see what the result was!
What is full immersion cold brew you ask? This is probably the method of cold brew extraction you are most familiar with. It can be as crude as filling up a bucket with coffee and water and letting it sit or you can use something like the Toddy or OXO! (We were really impressed with the OXO, check out our taste test if you haven’t already!) So just as the name implies, the coffee and water sit together for a period of time before filtering and then drinking.
So then what is drip cold brew? Using a slow drip cold brew system is a little more involved, both in the equipment necessary as well as technique involved. Essentially you have your water slowly drip over your coffee grounds. And when we say slowly, we mean it! We are talking about a drip per second. The water slowly saturates the ground coffee, which then drips down through a filter and into your collection container.
We were curious about how the two methods would change the taste of the coffee. Here is a little spoiler, the taste difference was much more pronounced than we could have imagined! Check out the video below to see the result!
Pure (adjective) purer, purest
free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind;
free from extraneous matter
The definition stands up to the name. The Saeco Pure is an elegantly simple superautomatic espresso machine. You won’t find all the bells and whistles on this model, but it does have everything you need to make a nice latte or straight espresso (depending on how you feel of course!).
The Saeco Pure features 2 programmable buttons, a panarello steam wand and a hot water feature. The pump inside this machine brews at an impressive 15 bars of pressure. The espresso spouts are adjustable so you can brew into almost any size cup!
The Saeco Pure is almost like the fraternal twin to the Saeco Minuto Focus; similar appearance, but with a few key differences. The Saeco Pure does not offer the Minuto’s coffee/espresso lever. Instead, the Pure offers a simple espresso or lungo (long espresso) button. So while the Minuto will produce coffee similar in taste to a drip, the Pure is strictly for espresso (but hey, sometimes an americano hits the spot!)
Ahh, the great outdoors. There truly isn’t anything better than that first breath of fresh air before embarking on an outdoor adventure. Or is there? The answer of course is yes, yes there is something better (and it involves coffee!)
That’s right, we are talking about travel mugs today! And more specifically, the CamelBak Forge travel mugs. We are quite fond of this mug. Sure it works great for commuting to work in the morning. But we think it is even more fitting when “forging” a trail, hot coffee in hand. And speaking of hot coffee, the CamelBak Forge travel mug does an excellent job at keeping your coffee hot! The double wall, stainless steel body keeps your hot coffee hot (or your cold, cold brew…well, cold).
Be sure to watch our Crew Review below to see the results of our temperature test! (Spoiler alert: it does an superb job!)
One of the best features on this travel mug is the self sealing lid. Say goodbye to accidental spills! The lid also comes apart for easy cleaning in all the nooks and crannies. The CamelBak Forge Travel mug comes in two color schemes. Solid black or stainless steel and blue!
Check out our Crew Review video below for the full scoop!
It’s portable. It’s affordable. And some might even call it adorable! Yes, we are talking about the AeroPress by Aerobie.
The AeroPress is a clever alternative way to brew up your cup of coffee. It functions in a similar fashion to a French Press, but with a twist! When you plunge the AeroPress, the coffee is forced through a paper (or stainless steel) filter. Leaving you with a very clean cup of coffee.
It’s great for traveling since it is lightweight. All that you need is some coffee and hot water to complete your set up. The AeroPress is built in the U.S.A and is B.P.A. free. Win win? We think so.
The AeroPress makes a stout cup of coffee that some say resembles “espresso”, without the crema of course. Not traditional espresso, but a very strong cup. But the real beauty in this coffee maker is how much control you have when brewing. If you like to brew up a strong concentrate and dilute it like an americano, you can. If you prefer to make a medium strong cup of coffee and mix with half and half, the choice is yours.