Monthly Archives: November 2011
We laughed, we cried, we lost a few brain cells -- but we did gain valuable insight into home roasting! As a recap to our series on the four home roasters we currently carry (the iRoast 2, Nesco, Behmor and Hottop), Rob shares with us what he learned about the different models, how they compare and tips he learned along the way.
In the left corner, we have the new Breville Dual Boiler; in the right, the Crossland CC1. Both machines were released this year, and other than having a difference in boiler design, have some similar functionality in terms of steaming and temperature control.
Watch Gail break 'em down for us -- features and specs -- and make lattes on each to show how their performance and practical results.
Now it's time for the Cadillac! Next up in our roasting series with Rob is the Hottop, a high-end home roaster that looks like a traditional commercial roaster was just shrunk down by 85%.
Watch as Rob takes us through features and specs of the KN-8828B model, we roast our first batch and then taste it a few days later.
Here in the US, it's about to get real around dinner tables from coast to coast -- a cornucopia of harvest victuals surrounding a lovingly roasted turkey. Personally, we take this opportunity every year to exact a little bit of cosmic revenge on the crew of wild turkeys that fervently chased us through the jungles of Costa Rica 15 years ago; some might say we hold a grudge, we believe we're simply trying to exorcise our demons.
If you're celebrating like we are today (with or without sweet revenge), we hope you have a fabulous holiday and take time to revel in all you have to be thankful for!
If you haven't decided on your goodie bags for this holiday season, might we recommend you incorporate these ridiculously delicious chocolate and coffee bean confections?
Watch Brandi whip up a batch -- the recipe is super easy and located below.
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
- 3/4 cup whole coffee beans (we used Velton's Bonsai Blend)
- 1/4 cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
- Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper
- Combine the chocolate chips and the butter/margarine in a microwave-safe bowl. Using 30-second intervals, heat the chocolate chips and stir in between each interval until melted.
- Mix in the whole coffee beans and white chocolate; stir to combine.
- Spread mixture over wax paper and place in the freezer until set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
What is a pressurized portafilter? How about a non-pressurized portafilter? Is one better than the other? What about those bottomless portafilters -- are they necessary or just a random geek accessory?
Gail breaks down the intricacies of one of the most essential elements of an espresso machine -- explaining how they work, why you would want one type over another and what purpose, if any, bottomless portafilters have.
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.
Is third time the charm? Will Rob finally prevail over Velton's expert roasting? Watch as he walks us through the features, specs and initial assessments on the very popular Behmor roaster, which is akin to a modified toaster oven (only with a shark cage inside!). We do a couple of test roasts and then we test a more successful roast a few days later.
Sometimes, the most charming (and perhaps disturbing) elements of reality can be encountered by simply entering two rather innocuous words into Google's image search. For example: Orange caramel.
Before today, we had no idea about the phenomenon these two words represented; and we're not quite sure whether we are better or worse for it now ... perhaps it's something we can only understand in 20/20 hindsight.
Mix the sauce and syrup together well, add the shots and stir to combine. Fill with steamed milk and enjoy!