Ask Gail: Coffee Cans vs. Coffee Bags

The question was asked, why are some coffees bagged in cans while other coffees are bagged in, well, bags? A great example of this can be found in Lavazza’s product line. The Qualita Oro Espresso comes in a can while the Top Class Espresso comes in a bag, and this goes on and on. So what is the real reason for the different packaging, coffee cans and coffee bags?coffee can

Naturally, we had to Ask Gail. She looked into this for us and came up with her own hypothesis. And it really came down to two things:

Cost and availability of equipment.

For a local roaster, packaging his or her roasted coffee in a can just isn’t  feasible. The equipment and space to store said equipment would simply cost too much. So why then do we see cans of coffee on the shelves? It turns out the raw cost of a can is cheaper than the raw cost of bag. So for a roaster at a large enough scale it would make business sense to package some coffees in a can.

Be sure to watch the full video below! Do you have a question for Gail? Ask her in the comment section on Youtube! And while you are there, subscribe to our channel :)

 

SCG In Portland: Rocket Machines

Continuing our trip to Portland, Gail took a moment to look at all the Rocket Machines. Rocket has some of the best looking machines on the market, clean and traditional are a couple of words that come to mind.

The top of the line is the double boiler machine, the R58. It is Rocket Machinesplumbable or you can run it off the water tank that comes with, the choice is truly yours! And boy can this machine steam milk! The service boiler (as it is called in Italy) is very powerful and something to get used to when you first open up your machine.

Next up in the Rocket Machine line up is the Evoluzione model. This model is available to both the Cellini look or the Giotto look (straight or beveled sides). The Evoluzione is a single boiler machine but also has the ability to be plumbed if you are looking to get rid of your water tank.

AnRocket Machined finally you have the Rocket Premium Plus with PID. The Premium Plus with PID also comes in both the Cellini or Giotto look, but is not able to be plumbed in. But, like the name suggests, it comes with a PID. The PID allows you to set the water temperature so you can really dial in your espresso shots.

Watch the video to see each of these machines side by side… by side! And if you haven’t already, subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here!

 

 

A Look Inside A Breville Oracle

Breville OracleIn case you haven’t noticed, we like to take things apart here at Seattle Coffee Gear. So anytime we are offered a Breville Oracle that is cut in half, we obviously take it.

And now we get to share it with you!

The Breville Oracle is a cross between a super-automatic and a semi-automactic espresso machine. Which means we knew there would be parts inside we had never seen before! Gail was particularly interested in looking at the auto tamping machinery. And of course it was just as cool as we imagined.

Take a look at the video below to see what the insides of the Breville Oracle looks like! You will not be disappointed.

 

 

Crew Review: Sowden Tea Maker

Gail has the tea, you should bring some muffins! Seriously, she is waiting.sowden tea maker

Gail took the Sowden Tea Maker for a spin. You may recognize this clean and modern look from our Cold Brew Comparison video, but there is a key feature that separates the two products! As Gail demonstrates in this video, the screen that filters the tea or coffee out of the water is designed differently. And rightfully so, coffee grounds are much finer than teas. The removable stainless steel filter is large enough to allow the tea to breath as it steeps, so you get a perfect pot everytime.

The Sowden Oskar SoftBrew Tea Maker is easy to clean, a simple rinse after each use and you will keep it looking like the day you got it. Be careful when handling the pot after you steep the tea, it can get a little hot.

Watch the Crew Review below! Thanks for watching :)

 

 

 

 

Ask Gail: Technivorm Internals

This week Gail answers a question from the comment section! One of our loyal watchers wanted to know what the “white flappy thing” on the Technivorm was. technivorm

To be honest, we weren’t sure! So naturally we took one apart to find out! Watch as Gail and Miranda figure out what that “white flappy thing” is before admiring the beautiful internals of the Technivorm Moccamaster.

Do you have a question you want Gail to answer? Leave it in the comment section below the video on YouTube!

 

Crew Review: OXO Cold Brew Maker

OXO Cold Brew Is that….the sun?! This is a question we are hearing a lot up here in Seattle. And it can only mean one thing, summer is right around the corner! And for us at Seattle Coffee Gear, that means cold brew.

And to celebrate the magnificent sunshine,  we are taking a look at the newest cold brew coffee maker on the market. The OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker! We all know the OXO products, you might even have their vegetable peeler in a drawer at home. But the OXO Cold Brew Maker won’t be slicing any vegetables, and that’s a good thing! This cold brew maker sticks to what is does best, brew cold brew!

The OXO Cold Brew Maker features a rainmaker design that you pour your cold water though. This design allows the grounds to be evenly saturated with water and bloom properly, resulting in a tastier finished product. The glass carafe that catches the final product is constructed out of borosilicate glass, which is extremely durable.  After steeping, all that is needed to be done in order to drink the tasty concentrate is flip the brew release switch and let gravity do the work!

The cold brew that this brewer yields is concentrated , so diluting 2 oz of the cold stuff with some ice or milk is suggested. You could of course dilute it with hot water if you prefer a hot beverage. The choice is up to you!

This brewer won our unofficial Cold Brew Taste Test. Be sure to check out that video if you haven’t already. Watch this Crew Review below before heading over to our YouTube channel and subscribing!

 

Comparison: R58 vs. Oracle

Because two boilers are better than one, that’s why! Yes we are talking about the double boiler machines, and specifically we are going to take a closer look at the Rocket R58 and the Breville Oracle.

So ring the bell referee, it’s the R58 vs. Oracle.

While these two machines have a few things in common they truly are very different, each one catering to a different type of  home barista.

The Breville Oracle sits in class almost to it’s own; somewhere R58 vs. Oraclebetween a super-automatic and a semi-automatic.  It has a grinder and a tamper built right into the machine. The internal clock allows you to have the machine auto start in the morning, which can make waking up that much easier! The auto frothing steam wand allows for easy cappuccino creation. The Breville Oracle has many menu features allowing you to tinker until you get the perfect drink. However, automation always comes at a cost. Even with all the menu features, measuring exact amounts of coffee grounds, for example, is not possible.

The Rocket R58 sits up at the top of it’s semi-automatic class. It R58 vs. Oraclefeatures a dual PID temperature control system, allowing you to program both the steam and brew boiler temperatures. The commercial grade rotary pump is quieter than most and allows for pump pressure adjustments and monitoring. The R58 is also plumbable, which means you can say goodbye to refilling the water tank by directly connecting this machine to your water supply. Of course, you can’t talk about any Rocket machine without mentioning its beautiful design. A lot of care is put into each of these handcrafted machines, you can be sure it will look great on your countertop.

Be sure to watch the full comparison video below! If you found this comparison helpful, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more by clicking here.

 

 

Crew Review: La Marzocco GS3

GS3The La Marzocco GS3. Need I say any more?

Folks, this is one of the best machines we have ever brewed up a shot of espresso on. You may recognize the machine in this video from our April Fools 2015 video, but trust us, this machine deserves all the respect it gets.

The GS3 is in the top of it’s class and for a good reason!It’s commercial grade features are built with the precision every serious espresso enthusiast looks for. Dual stainless steel boilers, powerful steaming functionality, PID temperature control, volumetric pump and variable hot water temperature regulation just to name a few.

What makes the La Marzocco GS3 so special is the blend of excellent internal parts with it’s beautiful customizable exterior. That’s right, customizable exterior. The machine Gail is demoing in this video has walnut wood side panels and a classy flat white body. We think this combination would look very stylish on your countertop, but you can choose which ever design you would like :)

Watch the video below to see Gail go through all the details of this impressive machine, and even brew up a cappuccino complete with latte art! Ok, maybe just the cappuccino (Sorry Gail!)

Like our videos? Subscribe to our channel and share the video with your friends! As always… Thanks for watching!

 

 

SCG in Portland: Silvia vs. Silvia with PID

silvia with PIDWhile we were “working” in Portland Gail wanted to show you all the insides of the Rancilio Silvia with PID. The Rancilio Silvia is a simple, reliable and powerful espresso machine. It will  produce excellent espresso and silky microfoam milk for your lattes and cappuccinos, and look pretty great doing it as well!

With it’s 67 oz Water Tank, 12 oz Brass Boiler and 15 BAR pump this little guy is ready for anything! And the Rancilio Silvia also has the option to add an optional PID. The optional PID is something that our tech team here at Seattle Coffee Gear installs and gives you precise temperature control.

Watch the video below as Gail walks you through the differences and opens up the Silvia with a PID installed!

 

 

Commercial Customer Spotlight: Microsoft Data Platform Group

Continuing our commercial customer spotlight series, we thought we would give a little insight into a business that out paces some coffee shops when it comes down to cups to day! That’s right, surprisingly when you give coffee away for free, people drink more of it! And by “more of it”, we are talking to the tune of 600 cups a day!

The Microsoft Data Platform Group’s building was recently remodeled and as a part of that remodel they decided that they wanted to offer free, self-service espresso for their employees. Naturally we wanted to help that dream become a reality, because we know first hand the power of a cup of coffee.Microsoft

TELL US ABOUT YOUR SETUP

Due to the high demand at our location (~600 cups per day), we chose the Rancilio Egro One Touch with attached multi-fridge option so we can serve both skim milk and 2%. Additionally, we added a large milk refrigerator and cabinet with beans right next to the machines so our employees can refill consumables themselves.

Microsoft

ANY ADVICE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

We had to buy a second machine to keep up with the demand. We decided to set them up right next to each other rather than distributing them throughout the building because they act as our proverbial water coolers and are a destination in the building where the team members congregate and connect.

MicrosoftOur main advice would be to install the machines over a compost bin so that the grounds can fall into a large receptacle rather than into the little drawer within the machine, which fills up quickly. Also, additional labeling was applied to inform people whom to contact if there is an issue with the machine and to push the milk cartons all the way back in the milk refrigerator to register their presence.


We  are so happy that the folks over at Microsoft are getting great use of their new machines! Cheers!

Are you interested in downloading a PDF of their spotlight? Get it here!