Monthly Archives: August 2013
Yes, we've been hitting the Technivorm's hard lately, but that's just because we wanted to refresh all of our reviews and give you the latest and the greatest SCG crew perspective on these popular coffee makers. So please don't be annoyed that today's post covers yet another Technivorm review -- this time, it's one of the first model styles that we carried, the KBT741.
The KBT741 features a large (40 oz) thermal carafe and the tried-and-true manual lever that allows you to slow down the brew for smaller yields, if necessary. Other than that, it has the same, awesome build quality and copper heating element, so produces exceptional coffee for you and everyone you love.
Watch Gail take us through how it works and then show us its brew process by making a pot of coffee!
The shakerato is one of the tastiest summer drinks, we think, so when we saw that it was one of the options built into the guided recipe interface of the Jura GIGA 5, we were intrigued.
If you've been keeping an eye on our series of videos covering the recipes included with this machine, you know that they often have a rather unique approach ... and the shakerato is no exception. Watch as Brandi takes it on.
Born from the campfires in the forests of Washington state, our love for press pot coffee is synonymous with our love for the outdoors. We know that nearly everyone you meet will have a different camp-friendly coffee gear preference, but ours will always be the coffee press.
Of course, cleaning it in the forest is no small chore and doing so at home is even more of a nuisance, so we were sufficiently jazzed when we caught sight of Bodum's newest innovation: The Chambord with Coffee Catcher. This model is equipped with a little tray that appears to make short work of grounds removal, therefore simplifying the cleaning process.
Watch as Gail shows us this newest iteration of a well-loved classic, then brews up a batch o' joe that would taste better only if you were sipping it in a pine filled forest, watching the sunrise.
We often have customers contacting us with some concern about the leftover moisture in their portafilter post-brew. Depending on the type of machine you have, this will be more or less present -- but is it something that you should be worried about? Is it indicative of an issue with the machine?
To allay your fears, we asked Gail to break soupy pucks down for us. Watch as she explains to us what they are, which machines might have soupier pucks than other machines and what, if anything, excess moisture on your coffee puck might mean.
Since the Macap M4 coffee grinder resembles its Mazzer counterparts, you may be tempted to lump it into the same category in terms of performance and functionality. We encourage you not to do so, however! One of the coolest mechanical elements of the M4 is its worm drive adjustment, which makes dialing in the burr super easy and smooth. But it also means that getting into the grinder to perform a thorough cleaning requires a bit more elbow grease.
Even if you're running Grindz through your grinder every month or so, taking it apart a few times a year to get into the nooks and crannies with a fine-toothed brush will extend the grinder's life, improve grind consistency and positively affect your shot flavor. To help you with this process, we asked Gail to walk us through taking it apart to access the burrs, provide us with best practice and tips on cleaning them and then putting the whole, squeaky clean contraption back together again. For helpful guidance on this process, watch this step-by-step how-to video.
The next Technivorm model up for a refreshed Crew Review is the more petite lil' guy that they have available, the KBTS. While their other models offer 10 cups (at 4 oz. apiece), the KBTS brews up 8 cups (also at 4 oz. apiece) so is a great choice for those that want a thermal carafe and a smaller yield. Other than that, however, it's technically similar to its larger brethren -- copper elements and excellent build quality -- and the coffee it produces is similarly tasty.
Watch Gail guide us through its features and then demonstrates how easily it crafts a delicious pot o' java.
A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy ... no, we're not talking about Brandi (this time!), we're talking about today's recipe. We love how the sweet and spicy flavor of Monin's chai tea concentrate blends with the creaminess of soy milk, so this iced beverage is certainly one of our summertime favorites. Watch her shake it up.
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake it like your life depends on it! Okay, maybe not that fiercely -- but definitely make sure everything is well combined and on the frothy side. Pour over ice in a pint glass and serve!
My job at Seattle Coffee Gear allows me to try all of the demonstration models, just like a customer. I try to do it before the store opens when no one is watching because I generally make a mess. Today Gail found me trying to figure out the steam wand on the Jura Impressa C5 Superautomatic Coffee Center. 'You have to twist the knob AND push the button on this model,' she explained. Easy for her to say! I had hot water squirting out of the wand for Americano coffee or tea instead of steam for my frothing pitcher. I'm used to the Jura ENA 4 which is very straightforward.
With additional programmability comes a little more head-scratching the first time facing the espresso machine control panel. Lots of folks consider Jura espresso machines are the Cadillac (or insert any fancy auto brand here, maybe a Tesla!) of superautomatics. The quality and temperature of espresso shots produced is consistently delicious from the most basic to the most programmable model.
Because there are so many different models, let's talk about what makes the C5 different from my simple standby, the ENA 4. The C5 takes the standard choices of coffee or espresso, volume, plus it offers additional manual control so you get your drink just how you want it. From my personal pre-dawn experimentation, it has better milk frothing capabilities as well. The water tank is much larger on the C5 (64 oz compared to 37 oz), so is the bean hopper and the dregs box, but it is only 2.5 inches wider. The C5's sleek case and controls, larger capacity and better froth is hard to beat.
Which Jura wins? If you've got multiple users who care for cappuccinos, the C5 is a crowd pleaser. Don't need the fine foam, the fancy case or capacity? Go ENA4 for a tried and true superauto -- or the smaller, coffee-only Micro 1 for a bit more space saving. No matter which route you choose, the espresso from the Jura 15BAR stainless steel thermoblock is delicious in any 'case.'
Last week, we delved into the inner workings of the Mazzer Mini grinders to show you how to take them apart and care for them. Today, we take on one of our favorite home grinders, the K3 Touch by Compak.
Why do we like this guy so much? Well, primarily, it's because it's so simple to use. You can set a dosage amount using the little screw on the bottom of the grinder and then, at a tap or two of the trigger lever located below the grind chute, it will automatically grind out either a single or double quantity of what you've previously selected. Or you can just kick it on and grind up a whole batch at once if you're feeling a little wild. It's also stepless, so you can really dial it in for your espresso prep, and doesn't cost a fortune.
Taking care of it regularly is essential, however, to its ongoing consistency and performance. We suggest running Grindz through it each month and then diving into a more thorough cleaning process like Gail outlines in the video below. Watch as she guides us through taking it apart, cleaning it, checking the burrs to determine if they need replacement and then -- possibly the most important step -- putting it back together again properly.
If you own a K3 Touch and have never performed a cleaning to this level, today, friend, is that special day. Learn how easy it is in this step-by-step how-to video!
Even though it's smack dab in the middle of our name, coffee isn't the only thing that we love around this joint. Tea holds a very special place in our hearts, and, as luck would have it, so does Breville. Combine two loves together and what do you get? A refreshed review of one of our more popular tea accoutrement, the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker.
We love this guy because of how easy it is to use -- the automation and programming available make crafting a delicious pot of tea something even Bunny's trill can do! Watch as she takes us through all of its features and specs, then demonstrates how it works by brewing up a batch of Rishi Blueberry Rooibos tea. Delish!