Ask Gail: Superautomatic Espresso Machine Care

Superautomatic espresso machine careWe all love our superautomatic espresso machines. And why wouldn’t we? They make us our espresso drinks with just a push of a button and for that we are grateful. Superautomatics are so good at what they do that we sometimes forget that they too need a little love and attention every so often.

So we asked Gail to give us a run down on what we should be doing to keep the espresso flowing morning after morning.

Watch this new installment of Ask Gail to find out the steps to proper superautomatic espresso machine care.

 

 

 

Commercial Tips: Where Do I Go From Here?

“Help….I don’t know where to go!”question mark

We hear this plea for help from many clients that call into Seattle Coffee Gear. It’s very normal to feel overwhelmed when starting a new business, with the search for the appropriate equipment adding to this stress. That’s actually why Seattle Coffee Gear Commercial exists –  simply to help you understand your options and pick the right equipment for your goals!

And what’s our goal, you may ask? Well, that is to provide a VIP consultative approach to all your coffee and espresso equipment needs. Whether you’re a donut shop looking to add fresh brewed coffee or an office that would like to caffeinate its employees with an espresso machine, we’re here for you! So, let us talk you down a bit: “Take a breath. Pick up the phone and dial 866-372-4734. Ask for SCG Commercial.” *whew* That was easy, right?

Now, we know you might be a little nervous about making the call. We all feel this way sometimes (even us, and we deal with coffee all the time!), so we’re going to take the mystery out of the process. In doing so, we hope you’ll feel confident in jumping on a call with us!

What Should I Expect?

TelephoneOnce you’ve contacted us, you’ll receive one-on-one consultation from a Commercial Equipment Specialist (this means they’re experts on coffee and espresso equipment for businesses) that will listen to your business concept and needs. Based on what you tell us, we’ll create a list of equipment that will work for your business. We’ll thoroughly discuss it with you, tweak areas based on your feedback and create a customized quote.

This consultation and follow-up is typically done over the phone. However, if you live in the Seattle area, in-person consultations are certainly available to you.

What Do I Need to Know Before the Call?

We really only need you to know one thing: That you want to serve coffee in your business. We’re willing to bet you’ve already decided on this, eh? From there, we’ll help work through the multitude of options that exist, finding the right equipment for your business needs that fits inside your budget.

What Are Some Things to Consider?

As we said before, you really only need to know that you’d like to serve coffee or espresso in your business. However, here are some additional things that could be helpful to think about, both for your business in general and for the call.

  • Where is your business located (city/state)?Coffee Menu
  • What is the coffee culture like in your area?
  • What are the ways that you can stand out from similar businesses (differentiators)?
  • What are the hours of day you will be operating and how many days per week?
  • If you’re open throughout the day, do you have plans to change your offerings?
    • For example: Espresso/coffee with pastries in the morning and blended/iced espresso with sandwiches in the afternoon.

These considerations can help us hone in on the types of equipment you will need along with their proper configurations.

What Happens If I Order?

You will be provided pre-installation requirements, such as electrical and plumbing needs, for the major pieces. At this point, Seattle Coffee Gear will ship the equipment to a selected service provider, or your business location, for installation preparation. Your Commercial Equipment Specialist will introduce you to the service provider and then assist with coordinating the installation.


Do you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders? Let SCG take some of that load off! There really is no obligation to working with us, so give us a call. We promise to listen, recommend and allow you the freedom to choose what best fits your needs. We like to call it a ‘super easy, no pressure, consultative service.’ That’s a long name, though, so you can just call it the SCG Promise.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts, you either love them or you hate them. Well at least that’s how it used to be back in the day. We here at Seattle Coffee Gear have gone through extensive testing (and tasting!) and are proud to announce that these Espresso Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts will change anyone’s mind when it comes to brussel sprouts. Seriously, these little things are delicious.

The secret to their deliciousness is a result of the cooking process and the flavorful glaze. The Philips AirFryer uses its Rapid Air Technology to crisp up foods without the use of excess oil. The result is a texture that is absolutely amazing. Add that to the deep flavors of the balsamic and espresso glaze and you are in for a real treat.

Enjoy these espresso balsamic glazed brussel sprouts by themselves or pair them with some grilled chicken to make a meal that will surely become a weeknight staple. Watch the video below to see how easily Brandi and Kaylie put this recipe together.

  Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fresh brussel sprouts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 shots espresso
  • 1/4 tsp oregano

Preparation:

Espresso Balsamic Glaze

In a 2-quart saucepan combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, espresso, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat to boiling on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened and slightly syrupy. Set aside and let cool.

Brussel Sprouts

Remove any tough or bruised outer leaves. Trim the stems. Cut in half vertically. Rinse and shake dry. In a bowl, toss with olive oil and pat dry. Toss with balsamic glaze, pat dry again. Save some glaze for drizzling after the brussel sprouts are cooked.

For AirFrying with Philips Airfryer

Preheat Philips Airfryer to 390 degrees. Add prepared brussel sprouts to basket and set timer for 12-15 minutes. While cooking, occasionally remove and shake basket or stir. The brussel sprouts are done when the centers are tender and the outsides are caramelized and slightly crispy.

Drizzle with left over reduction and enjoy!

Crew Review: Spressa Mezzo Manual Lever Kit for AeroPress

*whew* Long name, awesome purpose! The Spressa Mezzo is an ingenious creation, dreamed up by some folks right spressa-2here in Seattle, that brings an ease to Aeropress coffee preparation. How so?

Well, it all starts with a flat box being shipped to you, ready for Ikea-style assembly (don’t worry, the Spressa Mezzo is quite easy to put together, unlike that 75 piece dresser you bought last year). This little buddy, which is built with sustainable wood products, comes together to provide you with much needed plunger leverage.

So what are you waiting for? Watch Gail’s video review, save your precious arms from a workout and pretty up your Aeropress setup!

Crew Review: Saeco Energica Superautomatic Espresso Machine

Espressos, cappuccinos and lattes – oh my! The Saeco Energica is quite the energetic saeco-energicasuperautomatic. Why are we so thrilled about this energizing machine? We’re glad you asked…

The latest Certified Refurbished machine to release from Saeco, we like to think we’re reuniting the Energica with its long lost Exprelia family – you see the resemblance too, right? Featuring large, programmable one-touch buttons, a convenient auto milk frothing container and removable hot water spout, we dare you to find something this machine can’t do! Did we also mention the Energica has a bypass doser for your favorite pre-ground blend?

If all of these features leave you curious for more – and we know it does, don’t miss Gail’s latest review of this super-de-duper automatic machine!

Ask Gail: Does the Brew Basket with Manual Drip Stop Work on the Technivorm Grand?

This is a very valid question, indeed!

Before answering the question, however, let’s talk about why you might wish to use the Technivorm Brew Basket with Manual Drip-Stop. There are really two potential reasons you may wish to use a different basket with the Technivorm Grand:

  1. You want to brew less than a full pot of coffee
  2. You want to use normal #4 filters rather than purchasing the Technivorm Grand flat bottom filters

Do either of these scenarios fit you? Then you’re in luck, because you can indeed switch out the baskets! You will need a few other products (spray arm, brew basket lid and, of course, the brew basket with manual drip-stop), so keep this in mind. Alright, let’s watch that video!

Crew Review: Technivorm Grand Coffee Brewer

A Technivorm that is large enough for the office? Why, yes, we do have one of those! It also works for technivorm-grandhouseholds with several coffee drinkers and extremely large mugs. You know, like ‘larger than your head, it won’t fit in any cup holder’ large. We all have one, so no use denying it…

Now, back to the subject matter at hand: The Technivorm Moccamaster Grand Coffee Brewer! This bad boy brews right around 54 ounces of coffee, features a hot plate to keep your brew super drinkable and has a drop-stop switch so you can grab that first cup mid-brew without a massive mess. Now that’s what we call forward thinking!

While we’re talking about forward thinking and all, now would be the time to share an inside tip with you: You’ll need to pick up some special large filters to use with the Grand.

Those are some of our favorite features, but we all know that a new product would be incomplete without a Crew Review from Gail, so check out the one below!

Ask Gail: Can I Use Oily Beans in a Superautomatic Espresso Machine?

If we had a nickel for every time we heard this question, or a dime for every time a superautomatic was decommissioned due to this, we’d be rich (okay, maybe not rich, but we’d easily have a couple of dollars). However, we’d much rather save some machines then have the extra change jingling around!

The short answer is, unfortunately, that you cannot use oily beans in a superautomatic. Very dark and oily roasts clog up grinders and brew units over time, eventually leading to one very unhappy coffee robot. In superautomatic espresso machines, this is quite problematic, as you cannot take apart the grinders to give them a good, old fashioned cleaning. Eeeks!

If you’re looking for more info, and we know you are, Gail and Miranda have the lowdown for you. Take it away, ladies!

Crew Review: Breville Dose Control Pro Burr Grinder

While trying to grind and brew our mandatory caffeine fix on many an early morning, we want nothing more than breville-dose-control-prothe simplest way to quash our cravings and stop those annoying deprivation twitches – you get them too, right? So imagine our pure joy when Gail introduced us to the Breville Dose Control Pro Burr Grinder!

Designed to make even the most novice of home baristas feel like a pro, this helpful grinder features a labeled grind adjustment collar with easy to read grind ranges, a simple timer that can be set for up to 50 seconds of automatic grinding and a grind button for continuous, manual grinding. Throw in removable conical burrs, not to mention Breville’s graciously added goodies, and we’re grinding like no other!

To learn more about those goodies and other great features the Dose Control Pro has to offer, check out Gail’s latest review!

Ask Gail: Soupy Pucks

Nine out of ten home baristas agree, soupy pucks are a coffeehouse sin. Well, maybe not a sin, but in our experience it’s pretty close! What causes a soupy puck and why exactly is it so bad? When it comes to the hard questions, we like to ask Gail!

Gail and our excellent customer service team are always reiterating how important it is to dial in your grind – and this Ask Gail session is no exception! Having your grind too fine can cause soupy pucks, as a super fine grind will hinder proper water flow. The water is then “trapped” on top of the puck and released into the dredge box with the under-saturated puck, causing a sour or bitter espresso shot and the undesirable soupy puck.

If you think there could be more to your soup-tastic pucks, check out our first edition of Ask Gail!

Make Coffee You Love!