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!

Spressa + Aeropress Giveaway!

We’re celebrating the launch of SCG Rewards with a lot of caffeine and a giveaway! What kind of giveaway, you may ask? Well, the kind that includes all spressa-2the loot listed below:

Want to win it all? Head on over to Facebook and tell us how winning this giveaway, and the sweet products contained within said giveaway, will make you a better person (Will it give you x-ray vision? Will it help you stay awake during class, allowing you to earn a passing grade?)!

We’ll announce the winner on Friday, so stay tuned!

SCG Rewards!

We have a very exciting announcement this morning: The launch of SCG Rewards!

Sure, shopping for caffeine-inducing coffee products is fun in and of itself, but wouldn’t it be better if doing so earned you a discount on future orders? That’s where SCG Rewards come in. We think our customers (that’s you!) are pretty much the bees knees and we want to give you a big ol’ hug. Given our inability to do so, we’ve decided to thank you with every purchase!

How Do You Earn Rewards?

If you’re signed up for SCG Rewards (get the deets below), then you simply shop as you normally would!

Here are the basics: Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend, with 50 points equaling $1 to be used on a future purchase. Each product, and your cart, tell you what you’ll earn with the purchase.

product-rewards

Each product shows what you can earn on the purchase!

Your cart let's you know how many points you'll earn and how to redeem them!

Your cart let’s you know how many points you’ll earn and how to redeem them!

Note: Commercial products and customers are excluded from earning reward points – sorry! 

For more details on how the program works, check out this page that’s completely dedicated to the nitty-gritty details!

How Do You Sign Up?

We don’t want anyone to miss out on an opportunity to earn reward points, so customers that created an account prior to today are automatically enrolled in SCG Rewards!

If you’re new to shopping at Seattle Coffee Gear, you can sign up while you’re creating an account. Just leave the “I’d like to start earning rewards – sign me up!” box checked and you’ll be up and running!

Sign me up, please!

Just leave the box checked to become a part of SCG Rewards!

How Do You Redeem Rewards?

You’ll need a minimum of $5 to redeem on an order, at which point you’ll be able to apply them as a payment during checkout. If you’re logged in, your cart will let you know how many points you currently have and will remind you how to apply them if you’ve reached the minimum.

If you're logged in, your cart keeps you in-the-loop on your reward points!

If you’re logged in, your cart keeps you in-the-loop on your reward points!

You can also check your balance, see a full history of earning/redeeming reward points and change your notification subscriptions at any time by logging into your account!

How Excited Are We?

We’re going to be really honest here: We squeal a little bit every time SCG Rewards get brought up around the office. We’ve wanted to implement something like this for awhile and we’ve put a lot of thought into the earning and redemption process. Our sincerest hope is that you like the program and that it provides value to you. After all, this is our ‘thank you hug’ substitute!

To get started today, just start shopping! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email – we’re here for you!

In-Depth Look: Philips Airfryer

You may have noticed recently that our website has been sporting a new addition that doesn’t quite fit in with our normal caffeine-centric product lineup: The Philips Airfryer!

How did this little marvel of cooking technology make its way to SCG? The answer lies in our Philips Airfryerawesome refurbishing department! We’ve worked with Saeco for years as their main refurbishing partner, decreasing the amount of sweet caffeine-producing machines that make their way to landfills – we love the environment! – and passing on slashed prices to the masses.

As such, Philips, owner of Saeco, approached us recently to do the same thing for their new Airfryer. Once we tried it, we knew we couldn’t resist adding these fellas to our refurbishing line. I mean, the fries that come out of this thing are insane(ly good)!

So, how does it work? Simply place your food in the basket, set the temperature and timer, then wait. Depending on what you’re cooking up, you may need to shake the basket about halfway through to ensure evenness, but it’s pretty darn foolproof! Also, if you’re using frozen fries, oil actually drips off of them during the cooking process, so…you’re kind of making them healthier for you. (And yes, this is how we justify using it several times per week.)

You can even make grilled cheese, fish and cakes in record time. We’re talking 10-15 minutes for a cake! We haven’t made every dish on it yet, but the recipe book is pretty mouth watering, and we’ll be posting some coffee cake videos just as soon as we can find the flour and sugar.

We know you’re at least a little, if not a lot, interested at this point. So what are you waiting for? Go check the Philips Airfryer out!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Twilight Dark Chocolate Truffles

Around these parts, we can’t just settle for truffles. They need to be dark Velton Twilight Coffeechocolate truffles. But are those good enough? Nope. They also need coffee. Not any kind of coffee, though. It needs to be Velton’s Twilight coffee. Wow, we’re picky!

The result of all this pickiness, however, are some amazingly delicious food items. So, without further ado, we present to you Twilight Dark Chocolate Truffles!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp ground Velton’s Twilight coffee
  • 4 oz baker’s chocolate
  • 2 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and heat over medium until all ingredients are melted (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.
  • When all ingredients are melted and the mixture is smooth, pour into a glass bowl and refrigerate for one hour or until it is a firm consistency.
  • Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and scoop the mixture onto wax paper or into treat cups by the tablespoon. Hint: A cookie scoop is great for this!
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Commercial Customer Spotlight: The Seed

Did you know that we have a department dedicated to helping coffee shops, and other commercial caffeine-serving institutions, get the perfect setup? Just as we’re super passionate about helping people make a great cup of coffee at home, we also want to help baristas make a great cup of coffee for you while you’re out and about!

The SeedOver the years, we’ve worked with a variety of commercial customers, from cafes to banks and restaurants to schools. Each one of them has two things in common: They have a vision of their dream setup and they have very distinct needs (be it throughput, available space or even the color of the machine that will pull the whole space together). So, we’re super excited to begin a series of spotlights on some of these businesses that we hope will help you feel more confident when making your purchasing decisions and maybe even provide some inspiration!

The Seed, a coffee and juice bar, was gracious enough to be our first participant (thank you, Rachel!). So, without further ado, we present their Commercial Customer Spotlight!

Tell us a bit about your operation.

The Seed is a third wave coffee and juice bar in Boca Raton, Florida. We provide an artisan experience with an in-house roaster, pour over bar, espresso service, and small batch juices.

What equipment did you choose and why?

The Seed La MarzoccoWe built our shop around the La Marzocco GB/5. We knew this machine would be the centerpiece of the shop with a custom matte black powder coat. From there, we moved on to find the best grinders for our espresso and selected two Mahlkonig K30 Airs. For our slow bar, we went with the triple threat of Chemex, Hario V60 and Aeropress. These methods are ground to specific parameters on Baratza Forte grinders and the water comes from a Curtis tank. For our classic batch brew, we pair a Curtis grinder with a Bunn brewer.

A huge factor in our selection was the knowledge of the SCG team. Jason was quick to give us all the good and bad which allowed us to make the very best educated decisions for our shop.

What was your experience when you purchased from Seattle Coffee Gear?The Seed - Mugs

Several internet searches pointed us to SCG. The customer service and endless conversations from the SCG sales team, specifically our point person, Jason, were more than we could have hoped for. We would highly recommend the team at SCG and intend to have a long standing relationship for all our coffee gear needs.

What’s in store for the future of your company?
We’re hoping to open several similar operations in the next 2-5 years.

Any tips or tricks you’d like to share with those that are new to the coffee-serving community?

Trust that the common factor must be great coffee and great people. In order to yield the very best coffees, your equipment must be on point. Do not settle for subpar equipment. Your espresso machine and your grinders are EVERYTHING!


We’re really excited to see what the future holds for The Seed, which is already off to an awesome start! You should also totally check out their Facebook page because they seem like a pretty happenin’ place!

Interested in downloading a PDF of their spotlight? Get it here!

Giveaway: Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale

Have you seen this beauty of a scale? If Apple made a coffee scale, we’re pretty sure it would look just like the Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale. Clean lines, easy to use and bluetooth connectivity for sending data to and from the accompanying app.

Acaia Coffee ScaleThe Acaia scale features an LED display, which displays the weight and times your brew cycle. It also has touch-sensitive buttons, so as not to detract from the scale’s sleek design, and a whole slew of settings.

So, imagine how excited we are that wheniwork.com reached out to us to host a giveaway of the Acaia scale! An employee scheduling software, When I Work has been partnering with coffee shops on their scheduling needs and heard about Seattle Coffee Gear through the grapevine…which leads us to this Acaia giveaway ($129 value)! Simply visit our Seattle Coffee Gear Facebook page and enter by commenting on the giveaway post with how you would use the scale. Easy peasy!

We’ll announce winners tomorrow (Friday, January 9th) morning, so hurry on over and make your entry!

(Not So Scientific) Experiment: Brewing Tea in a Pressurized Portafilter

You may remember that not so long ago we posted a blog about brewing tea on your espresso machine. Wha?! Yep, true story. At the time, we had a lot of fun with it and found that we could pressurized_teasuccessfully pull a whole cup of tea through a pressurized portafilter. There was even a layer of tea crema. So crazy and so cool.

Around SCG, we’re always looking for different ways to use the equipment we already have. So this was pretty exciting to us, especially given that there are cafes specifically dedicated to this type of tea experience…and now we could do it ourselves!

If you’re more into videos than text-based articles, we’ve created one specifically to walk you through the process of “dialing in” your cup of espresso machine-prepped tea. Now we’re off to daydream about the possibilities of tea lattes. Let’s say it together now: Yummmm!