Tag Archives: automatic espresso machine

Compare: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Rancilio Silvia

In another of our not-so-infamous grudge matches, we pit Breville’s new Dual Boiler against the tried and true single boiler Rancilio Silvia, featuring a PID retrofit. Other than having an additional boiler on its side, how does this new machine measure up against the Silvia?

Watch as Gail takes us through the usual specs, features and functionality and then whips up lattes on each to show how they practically compare.

Compare: Breville Dual Boiler vs. Barista Express

What happens when you pit one show pony against another show pony? Only the strong will survive! And since you know how much we adore grudge matches between inanimate objects (primarily because it results in 100% less blood loss), we decided to take Breville’s machine + grinder combo, the Barista Express, and measure it against their new Dual Boiler (paired with their Smart Grinder).

Watch Gail take us through each model’s features, specifications, pros and cons and whip up some lattes to show how they compare in terms of performance and end product.

Compare: Breville Barista Express vs. Rancilio Silvia

After a couple of requests for this comparison model, Gail breaks it down for us: features, pros, cons, performance, etc. While the Barista Express includes a built-in grinder and a lower price tag, the Silvia + Rocky combo is a time honored tradition.

Watch Gail go through their specs and whip up a latte on each of these machines to show you how they compare in terms of performance and end product.

Compare: Rocket Giotto vs. Nuova Simonelli Musica

We’d be hard pressed to choose between these two models ourselves, and we’ve had several customers ask us for a comparison between the two. The Rocket Giotto and Nuova Simonelli Musica are high end home machines with similar features and practical performance, but the Musica does have programming functionality and is NSF rated for use in a commercial application.

Watch Gail talk us through the different features and then whip up lattes on each machine so you can see how they perform.

Experimenting with Ristrettos

You know that since we are part of the goblin class, we love short things, right? It took us awhile to strong arm Gail into doing a ristretto comparison on several different machines, but we finally wore her down and here is the proof of our labors!

Watch as Gail pulls double ristretto shots (1.5 oz total) on the La Marzocco GS/3, Rocket Giotto Evoluzione, Nuova Simonelli Musica, Rancilio Silvia andĀ  Saeco Via Venezia.

Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Musica Lux

We’re generally loyalists at heart, and for a few years now, said heart has belonged to the Rocket Espresso Cellini. Ever sinceĀ  Nuova Simonelli’s Musica came on the scene, however, this deeply held love has wavered and — the horror! — we have even begun to question it.

During our visit to Nuova Simonelli’s showroom, we were able to get our little paws on the Lux version, which is functionally identical to the stock version save for the flashing lights. Our adoration has further deepened — yes, we love shiny things!

Experimenting with Lungos

If making espresso was a children’s fairy tale, this experimentation is all about good ol’ Papa Bear. According to Kenneth Davids, an espresso lungo is 2 oz of espresso, or 2/3 of a demitasse, pulled using the coffee dosage for a single espresso.

We have had several folks ask us if some machines are more suited to this than others, but we really think it’s probably going to be more defined by the coffee you’re using. However, we still tried it out on a few different machines to see if any of them produced a better long shot than the others. Watch Gail pull long shots from the Rocket Giotto, Nuova Simonelli Oscar, Saeco Via Venezia and Crossland CC1.

How To: Dialing in a Pressurized Portafilter

So you’ve got an espresso machine with a pressurized portafilter — like a Saeco Aroma, Via Venezia or Sirena — and you’re looking to improve your shots. Dialing it in doesn’t require the same level of precision as when you’re using a non-pressurized portafilter, and since the pressurization system impacts the pace of the shot, you can’t dial it in by timing the shots. So, what’s left? Tasting, of course!

Watch as Gail tries different grind and prep techniques and how that impacts shot flavor on the Via Venezia.

How To: Installing the Saeco Panarello

Whether you’re looking to upgrade the stock plastic panarello on your Saeco Via Venezia or Aroma with the stainless steel version or you just need to replace a well-loved panarello on your Sirena, the most important thing to keep in mind is: Do not lose those compression fittings! These aren’t sold separately, so if you lose one, you’ve gotta pick up a whole new assembly.

Watch Gail as she walks us through how to install a panarello on the Via Venezia.

Blind Taste Test: Rocket Giotto vs. Nuova Simonelli Musica

It’s time for another round of taste testing! Gail pulled shots from the Rocket Espresso Giotto Evoluzione and the Nuova Simonelli Musica espresso machines, then offered them to our fearless crew members for a side by side taste test. Find out which shots the crew preferred.