Back in the wild-n-wooly late ’90s, when we were cutting our teeth in the broadband services industry, we swung by our local Caffe Ladro to pick up our first Americano of the day. Especially during the cool winter days, that delicious brew was an essential element of our early morning bus commute — a treasured companion that helped keep the damp at bay. It’s the kind of nostalgic association that imbues us with a deep and abiding love for this chain of locally-owned Seattle cafes … so you can imagine how thrilled we were when they started roasting their own coffee and gave us the opportunity to help share their coffee with the rest of the US.
There’s no better way to learn about Ladro than from their Director of Coffee, Jared Linzmeier, who spent an afternoon with us talking about Ladro and handcrafting
who gave us some background on the company and held a handcrafted tasting of each of Ladro’s current blends. In this first installment, we learn about Ladro’s history, what is involved with a direct sourcing trip to Central America and what Jared loves most about being in the specialty coffee industry.
We’re longing for hot summer days right now, so Brandi has decided to channel them with a cool and fruity iced tea. Watch her craft this super simple recipe!
- 3/4 oz. Monin Blackberry syrup
- 7 oz. brewed iced tea (we used Dammann’s Darjeeling)
- Slice of lemon (for garnish)
Brew your iced tea however you prefer (in the sun? Hot and then chilled in the refrigerator?), then pour 7 oz. of it over ice in your serving glass. Add blackberry syrup and garnish with a slice of lemon. Enjoy!
There are people in this world that you will meet and you will realize that they have a somewhat disturbing affinity for robots. They vacuum their floors, they refill their dog’s water bowl, they wash their windows, they navigate their car long distances. In fact, their devotion to robots could be deemed somewhat dangerous, even a harbinger of an era soon to come in which our robot overlords rule us because we have lost all of our ability to vacuum the floors, refill the dog’s water bowl, wash our windows or navigate our cars long distances.
Add to that list of crucial skills that may soon become extinct, ‘making a latte’ … that is, if our crew’s favorite superautomatic and one-touch espresso machines have their way!
|Superautomatic Espresso Machines||One-Touch Espresso Machines|
Whether you’re a pour over aficionado or an espresso maestro, selecting the right grinder for the job is one of the most important decisions you can make.
We asked the crew to share their opinions of which grinders they prefer in both the stepped and stepless grinder classes. Watch and learn what they dig and why!
|Stepped Coffee Grinders||Stepless Coffee Grinders|
Next in our series of the crew’s favorite picks covers the world of traditional espresso machines. Find out which single, heat exchange and double boiler machines the team digs.
Single Boiler Espresso Machines
Heat Exchange Espresso Machines
Dual Boiler Espresso Machines
You know that we play with a lot of different types of coffee equipment here at SCG and the crew definitely has their faves! We asked for volunteers to share which gear they dig in different product categories. Watch as Brendan, Kaylie, Shiami, Sam, Gail, Bunny, Dori, Teri and Miranda talk to us about their favorite kettles, pour overs, immersion / press pots and drip coffee brewers.
We’re not really sure of the provenance of this drink and, truth be told, we were quite skeptical of it when we heard its ingredients. Surprisingly, however, it is refreshing and somehow works together! Watch as Brandi walks us through it on the Jura Giga 5.
- Carbonated lemonade
- 1.5 oz of espresso
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add carbonated lemonade until it’s 2/3 full. Pull shot directly over lemonade and ice … enjoy!
Pick a Wednesday, any Wednesday. How much coffee do you need at work today to get over the hump? How many meetings do you have? Presentations to give? Deals to close? Sure, you can drink whatever office coffee sludge is sitting on the warming element as you pass from your desk to the conference room, but you deserve better, work friend. And so do your work compatriots!
Let’s cut to the chase, business people. Let’s get down to brass tacks and find the win-win and the net-net and the synergy for you all within one superautomatic espresso machine.
Two words: Saeco Intelia. This superautomatic espresso machine will boost employee morale and caffeination levels to previously unimagined heights. With one well-timed capital expenditure, the Saeco Intelia Focus will beat forking over $967 average annual expense for a latte-per-day habit. Take my word for it, or make your own Excel spreadsheet. With a 10”x17” countertop footprint, it is smaller than a paper cutter and much safer to have around the office.
Here’s what to expect: Push the small button for an espresso shot (ours is set to 1.5 ounces) made just for you and poured into your favorite Dilbert coffee mug in 30 seconds. Milk frothing took an additional 60 seconds with the panarello. There you have it, synchronization optimization with steaming and brewing for a latte in under a minute and a half. Don’t dig lattes? Push the big button for a programmable Cafe Lungo (ours is set to a hefty 8 ounces) in your cup or get hot water from the panarello for an Americano coffee in the same time or less.
Here’s a real world case study: I have a meeting regarding commercial equipment (yes we sell coffee and espresso machines for home, office and café!) and I will need a latte. I can pick any espresso machine. Semi-automatics take longer to prepare and one-touch coffee centers don’t get the milk hot enough for my taste. The Saeco Intelia, on the other hand, offers push-button espresso convenience combined with the control of a panarello to get the milk as hot and foamy as I want it. I leave my desk, whip up a piping hot latte and Bam! I’m in the conference room faster than you can recite the “Glengarry Glen Ross” speech.
We’ve got a winner here, send the requisite requisition forms to the purchasing department. Any way you slice it, the Saeco Intelia leverages price and performance to hit the sweet spot for office coffee. It is easy to clean, easy to maintain and so easy anyone can intuitively use it without a PowerPoint presentation. Sometimes the easy choice is the right choice.
The Via Venezia has been around for awhile, with a couple of different names and a few different styles. But its internals have remained pretty much the same and it’s still one of the most reliable, small single boiler espresso machines on the market.
We asked Gail to refresh her review of this popular machine because it had been a few years since it had received the attention it deserves! Learn all about its features, specs and functionality, then watch as she crafts a latte.
Saeco’s smaller single boiler espresso machines feature quality components and easy-to-use functionality for a great price. Check out how the Poemia, Aroma and Via Venezia measure up against each other in this side by side comparison.