Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • Video Roundup—6/29/2018

    Happy Friday!

    It's time again to take a look at the videos we put out this week!

    First, Gail reviewed the Breville Glass Precision Brewer!

    Next, John gave us a review of the Eureka Club E Espresso Grinder:

    Finally, John took a look at the Eureka Club Doser Espresso Grinder:

    Let us know what you think! And have a great weekend!

  • Roast of the Month: Toby's Estate—Colombia Aidé Garro

    This month we're featuring an exciting, complex, and surprising single origin from Toby's Estate: Colombia Aidé Garro.

    Fruity Delight

    This delicious roast comes by way of it's namesake, producer Aidé Garro. The beans were grown in San Carlos, Urrao, Antioquia at an elevation of 200 meters. These beans are of the Caturra Chiroso variety and were wet-processed.

    One of the joys of this roast is how much of the original bean comes through. It's fruitiness is a clear remnant of the cherry surrounding the bean on the plant, but without the fermented taste of a natural. Specific notes of watermelon, cherry, and lime, as noted by Toby's, are present. These combine to create a delicious overall flavor with a buttery smooth mouthfeel.

    Easy Drinking Complexity

    Because this roast doesn't have the strong flavor of a natural, it means that it's easy to drink. We find this roast as an excellent way to get into more complex coffees because of this. This roast is best enjoyed as a pourover to pull the most delicate notes from the coffee. While you can brew it in a drip brewer, we do recommend against a press, as this coffee was specifically designed for drip methods.

    Get your own bag of Toby's Estate—Colombia Aidé Garro here today!

     

  • Milk Steaming With John!

    Check out the equipment used in this video:

    Rocket Espresso Macinatore Fausto Grinder

    Rocket Espresso Mozzafiato Evoluzione R Espresso Machine

    Thanks for watching!

  • What's Brewing at SCG 6/26

    Hey SCG friends!

    We have some cool stuff coming up in July, read on to get a sneak peak!

    New product launch!

    We're very excited to launch a full line of new Mignon grinders from Eureka! We'll be adding the new Perfetto, Specialita, and Silenzio to our fantastic Eureka selection. Expect lots of blog and video coverage of this exciting set of grinders!

    Blog content!

    We have a great month of blog content planned as well. First, we'll kick of July with a detailed look at what makes grinders tick. From burrs, to motors, to odds and ends, we'll help you get started on the path to grinding a perfect shot of espresso or cup of coffee.

    We'll also take a look at the role of coffee in the American Revolution! After (literally) dumping tea, American revolutionaries needed something to burn the midnight oil with!

    Finally, we'll take a beginner look at what separates espresso from other coffee, and dive into the very basics of pulling shots. All of this plus our regular Gear and Roast of the Month, Product Spotlights, and Video Roundups!

    Videos!

    In addition to a host of crew reviews and sneak peaks of the new Eureka grinders, we're cooking up some fun videos for July. For example, look forward to a great explanation and review of water additives for coffee brewing! These additives (like Third Wave Water) claim to provide the perfect mineral content for coffee extraction, but do they live up to the hype?

    Also, don't forget to email us at questions@seattlecoffeegear.com for our monthly community Q&A. The best question will receive a $10 Seattle Coffee Gear gift card!

    Thanks for joining us, and remember to make coffee you love!

  • Cold Brew Crazy!–Part 2

    Last week we discussed the differences between cold brew and iced coffee. This week we're going to talk about the most important part: How to make your own!

    Selecting a coffee roast

    The first part of any coffee brewing process is selecting the right roast. Cold brew is no different! Selecting a roast for cold brew is a little different than drip or press brewing. Cold brewing results in lower acidity in the coffee at the cost of also losing more complex flavors. This means that very delicate light roasts can end up tasting muddy. By the same token, a roast that may seem too acidic as a press or drip brew may taste great as a cold brew!

    Some coffees, such as Kickapoo's Icebreaker or Dogwood's Zamboni are specifically roasted for cold brew. You can also try brewing coffee as a pourover, another brew method that results in lower acidity, to see if you'll enjoy a roast as a cold brew.

    Brew methods!

    There a number of ways to actually brew your cold brew. We love to use custom made cold brewers like the Toddy Cold Brew System or the Osaka Mount Fuji Cold Brew Dripper. Both of these systems make cold brewing an easy process.

    If you want to take a more DIY approach, you can make cold brew using presses and pitchers as well. No matter what you're using, the first step is the grind. You'll want to use a 1:8 ratio of coffee to water for cold brewing, so keep this in mind as you grind your beans. You'll also want to use a coarser grind setting, like you would for a pourover.

    Time to brew

    Depending on your choice of brew method, your next steps will be different. When using a press or pitcher, you'll combine your grounds with water in the container and stir. This is similar to using a Toddy system, except that there are some additional steps for setting up and they recommend that you don't stir (check out the link above for more in the Toddy Cold Brew System). In an Osaka or other drip brew system, you'll typically put grounds in the filter, just like any other drip brewer.

    Once you've added your coffee and your water, you'll want to let your brewer do it's thing! In the case of immersion brewers and presses you'll let the mixture sit on the counter for 8-16 hours, depending on method. You can also place the brew in the refrigerator, though it will take longer due to the lower temperature.

    After letting the coffee sit overnight, it'll be time to strain. It's generally OK if you go a little long on brew time, as this won't affect taste. To strain the coffee, you'll either use a filter to strain out the grounds (immersion), or plunge your press (when using a French or other press). In the case of a specialized cold brewer like a Toddy, follow the instructions provided (the Toddy and the Osaka both drip strain as they brew).

    Once you've strained the coffee it'll be ready to drink! depending on brew method and coffee:water ratio, you may need to dilute your brew. You can do this to taste with water.

    Thanks for joining us for some tips on ways to make (cold brew) coffee you'll love!

  • Video Roundup 6/22/2018

    Happy Friday!

    We had a lot of fun in the studio this week with Gail and John. Check out our newest videos!

    First, John gave us a review of the exceptional KRE grinder from Eureka!

    Next, we got some insight on the life of an espresso shot with Gail:

    Finally, John gave us his thoughts on the Eureka Drogheria with a little help from a surprise guest!

    Thanks for joining us for another week of great videos! Check back next week for more, and remember to make coffee you love!

     

     

  • New Product Spotlight: Jura J6

    The Jura J6 offers great shots and milk frothing without the learning curve of a more complicated semi-automatic espresso machine. With that in mind, it's easy to get excited about this machine. With 12 drink options, easy setup (and cleaning), and a simple interface, the Jura J6 might be just the thing your kitchen needs!

    Setup and maintenance

    Anyone familiar with superautomatic machines knows that setup and cleaning can sometimes be the price paid for ease of use. Not so with the J6. The manual is clear and easy to read, and will help you get your J6 up and running in 20-30 minutes. You will want to do some extra dialing in to make sure you get the best shots (something we covered in a video here!). Otherwise, setup is a total breeze.

    Cleaning and maintaining the J6 is easy as well. Simple guides help you to replace the CLEARYL Smart Filter,clean the milk system, and descale the machine. These tasks usually don't require much more than a container of cleaning solution and pressing a button.

    Great taste and easy to use

    One of the reasons some folks prefer semi-automatic machines to superautos is taste. With a semi-automatic machine you have full control over the flavor of your espresso. This is less true with superautos, usually offering few settings to control the taste. Luckily, the J6 pulls great shots out of the box. Even more impressive is that these shots are achieved with a push of a button.

    Even more impressive than the shots are how well the J6 nails milk texture. Superautos usually get close to chain café quality, but pale in comparison to a seasoned barista manually frothing milk. Then there's the J6. While nothing truly beats the range of texture possibilities on a manual steam wand, the J6 definitely edges out the drive through café experience. On top of that, it does it all with a button press.

    Footprint, head room

    While not noticeably smaller than other superautos (it is, in fact, a little on the tall side), we had no trouble fitting the J6 on a crowded countertop. The bean hopper, water tank, and accessory storage are all easy to access as well. Furthermore, the bean hopper and water tank are quite large. This means you'll have to refill less, making maintenance on the machine even easier.

    We're excited to offer the J6, if you're ready to see this great machine in action, check it out here!

  • Recipe Spotlight: Ice Cream Coffee

    Iced coffee and cold brew are delicious, chilled ways to get some caffeine, but can go even colder! For a frozen treat on a hot Summer day, check out this great collection of ice cream and coffee recipes!

    Vanilla Ice Cream Mocha

    • 1/2 cup iced coffee or cold brew
    • 1/2 cup ice cubes
    • 1/2 cup milke
    • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
    • 2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
    • Whipped Cream

    Directions

    Combine coffee, ice cubes, milk, ice cream, and chocolate syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into large glasses and garnish with whipped cream. Makes 2 servings.

    Affogato al caffé

    • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
    • 2 shots hot espresso

    Directions

    A few hours in advance of serving, place scoops of ice cream on a freezer proof tray and place tray in freezer. When serving, place ice cream in bowls or glasses, pour hot shots over them. Serve immediately. Makes two servings.

    Coffee Float

    • 3/4 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
    • 1/2 cup ice cream (we recommend vanilla or coffee flavored, but try it with your favorite!)

    Directions

    Simply top fresh, hot cup of coffee with ice cream. Add ice cream carefully to avoid splashing hot coffee!

    We love these creamy Summer treats, what have you been enjoying to beat the heat?

     

  • Cold Brew Crazy!—Part 1

    Hey coffee lovers!

    This week we're excited to kick off a two part series on a great Summer treat: Cold brew!

    Whether out on the boat for a weekend or just grabbing lunch on a sweltering work day, cold brew is a cool and delicious way to get your coffee fix. But what's the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? Why go through the extra hassle? Turns out, there's a lot of reasons!

    What makes cold brew different?

    The main thing that separates cold brew from iced coffee is concentration. This difference in concentration occurs because of how the two types of cold coffee are brewed. Typically, an iced coffee is simply coffee brewed hot poured over ice. This leads to a pretty standard cup of joe, but cold, instead of hot. This also can lead to the same degree of bitterness, which can be more noticeable in drip brewed coffee after it is cooled.

    Cold brew tends to be much more involved. While there are many cold brewing methods, typically they all involve using, you guessed it, cold water. Because of the way coffee brewing works chemically, it takes much longer to do with colder water. The solution then, is to use either extra pressure, or immersion (or both)! We'll cover some specific brewing methods in our next feature, but tools like presses make the cold brewing process easier. You can also use immersion process like simply letting coffee grounds sit in water overnight (though this requires somewhat frequent stirring and can be harder to get right).

    Concentration equals customizability!

    Because cold brew is produced over a long time (or with a lot of pressure), it also is far more concentrated than normal drip coffee. The nice part about this is that you can always add water to get just the amount of caffeine and flavor you're looking for! This also means that a pitcher of cold brew can go much further than a carafe of coffee, and it'll keep for days so long as it's refrigerated. What's more, despite higher caffeine amounts and a stronger flavor, cold brew lacks that bitterness mentioned above. This makes it smooth and easy to drink, even for those who don't typically favor coffee in the first place!

    Hopefully we've sold you on some of the benefits of cold brew coffee. Join us next week when we dive in to actually brewing it!

    Thanks for reading!

  • Video Roundup 6/15/2018

    Happy Friday!

    It's time for another video round up! This week features a great how-to and a review from everyone's favorite coffee expert, Gail!

    First, Gail gave us some great tips and tutorials on brewing cold brew coffee a variety of ways!

    Then, we took a look at the Technovorm Cup One Coffee Maker in a Crew Review!

    Check out these videos today, and remember to make coffee you love!

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