Update: SCG Rewards!

The response to SCG Rewards has been awesomely overwhelming! Which is exactly what we were hoping for, so we owe you one big, collective ‘thank you!’ Here, we should say that louder: Thank you – our customers rock!

Now that we’re nearly a month in, we’ve had some time to learn what is and is not working within the program. Namely, the refund process can get confusing in cases where customers have already spent the rewards but are now returning the items that earned those rewards in the first place. Questions have included:

  • Do I get to keep the items I spent my SCG Rewards on?
  • Do I now have a negative SCG Rewards balance?
  • Does the value of the SCG Rewards I used get deducted from my refund amount?

The answer was actually a ‘yes’ to the last question on the list. But that can be a bit confusing and, also, might leave customers feeling like they didn’t have all the details they needed to make a decision. We don’t want that at all!

So, effective today, we’re instituting a new policy in our SCG Rewards program, which is a 35 day delay between earning rewards and being able to redeem rewards. How does this solve the confusion? Seattle Coffee Gear’s return policy is 30 days. By delaying the redemption of earned rewards past the return period, we can be (reasonably) sure that you are happy with your equipment, have found the right fit and will be giving it a permanent spot in your home. You can then spend your SCG Rewards, removing concerns over what will happen with spent rewards from impacting your return decision.

Just to be clear, there is nothing you need to do on your end. The website will automatically release your SCG Rewards to you after 35 days and then you can use them as normal during the checkout process. You will also still be able to track your earnings and redemptions, you will just see a new addition to your account that lets you know when those earned points will be available to use.

This new policy may not be popular with everyone, and we understand that, but we do feel it is the best way to be transparent with customers about what is happening with their rewards. As always, please feel free to contact us with any concerns or suggestions regarding SCG Rewards. And, once again, thank you for being the coolest customers on planet Earth!

* SCG Rewards Terms and Conditions have been updated to reflect this change.

Ask Gail: Troubleshooting a Panarello

Troubleshooting PanarelloOne morning you are frothing up perfect milk with your panarello and the next all you get is warm milk. What is going on?! Troubleshooting panarello issues can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

A panarello is designed to simultaneously infuse a small amount of air with the steam so you don’t have to do a thing in order to get that foam we all crave. Some of them do it better than others, and you end up with everything from super spongy meringue-like foam to nearly microfoam quality, depending on how the manufacturer designed the adapter. But what to do when things stop working?

Well, we Asked Gail to walk us through the potential issues that the panarello adapters could encounter. Watch the video below to find out what you might be able to do to get everything up and running again. Hint: you may need to grab a safety pin!

After you watch the video be sure to head over to our Youtube Channel and see what else Gail is chatting about.

Crew Review: Bonavita Coffee Maker

Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker

There really isn’t anything like waking up on a beautiful Sunday morning and setting a pot of coffee to brew while you check Twitter. We like to start our Sundays (OK lets be honest, basically everyday) with a full pot from the Bonavita Coffee Maker. This is the latest update from Bonavita that adds some really excellent features.

Some of the awesome updates include:

  • A larger shower head designed for optimal saturation of every last coffee ground. 
  • Pre-infusion mode to allow the grounds to bloom before being brewed.
  • A flat bottom filter basket for a fuller and more robust flavor.

Of course the Bonavita Coffee Maker still comes with the thermal carafe that will keep your coffee nice and hot for about an hour (if the pot even lasts that long!).

Watch this Crew Review video below and then head over to our YouTube channel for more videos featuring Gail and the rest of the Seattle Coffee Gear team!

 

 

Ask Gail: Latte Art Using Milk Frothers?

Latte ArtEvery once in awhile we like to let our inner Picasso out to play. It’s fine, we all do it and there is nothing to be ashamed of! But the question remains, is it possible to create beautiful latte art using milk frothers?

Well, unfortunately the short answer is no. While milk frothers like the Jura are excellent at providing you with no-fuss perfectly frothed milk for your espresso beverages, they just don’t have the finesse needed for latte art foam.

We asked Gail to give us a little explanation as to why these stand alone milk frothers won’t give us the best results and she delivered! Watch the video below to see Gail attempt some latte art using a milk frother.

Crew Review: Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle

Bonavita Variable Temperature KettleIf you are at all like us, you may have at one point found yourself lying awake at night in preparation for your morning pour over. Reliving past cups of coffee, looking for moments in your technique that you could improve so that the next one, would be the perfect one. As you might be able to tell, we don’t always get much sleep.

Well, we have good news for you! Bonavita has cured all our sleepless nights. The Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle is the must have for all pour over enthusiasts and insomniacs alike. It has a sleek design, the control that goosenecks are known for and the ability to set your water to any temperature you would like.

Oh, and did we mention it also has a timer built right in? Don’t just take our word for it, but you should listen to Gail. Watch the video below as she walks you through the features of this amazing machine in this brand new Crew Review.

And remember, a solid nights sleep is just a pour over away.

 

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!