Make Coffee You Love!
The Round Up
If you’re looking for a top-notch grinder, then look no further! We’ve picked out our top three grinders for espresso machines the Rancilio Rocky, Baratza Vario and Rocket Macinatore Fausto. When we’re looking for a grinder to go with our espresso machine, we’re looking it to be super fast and incredibly accurate for the best tasting espresso shot.
The Underdog: Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder
Tall, dark and built with pure muscle—no we’re not talking about that Rocky, but we might as well be. The Rocky by Rancilio is a powerful machine much like a certain boxer. Built with commercial-grade 50mm steel burrs, this is a professional machine that’s made for home brewing. This is a true underdog story folks.
This is the only grinder we’ve picked that isn’t stepless and we’re totally OK with that. The Rocky gives you 55 levels of control to grind your coffee beans thanks to ultra-fine threading that lets you go from espresso to French press without any fuss.
Brew Methods: Baratza Vario
For coffee lovers looking to brew for espresso and drip coffee, the Baratza Vario has the tools to get the job done! A combination of macro and micro grinder adjustments achieve 230 unique settings that home brewer can easily change with a couple clicks—seriously it's so easy with the two lever adjusters. Paired with the powerful 54mm ceramic flat burrs, this grinder munches beans with fast accuracy.
In fact, the Vario grinds consistently for espresso machines with non-pressurized portafilter—not every multi-purpose grinder can brag about that! And it comes with a portafilter holder for easy grinding. Vice versa, the Vario's a solid companion for your everyday drip coffee maker (we frequently use it with our Technivorm). For more ways to brew, check out the Vario!
Show Stopper: Rocket Macinatore Fausto Grinder
We thought the Rocket Mazzer Mini was impressive but man, when it comes to grinders the Rocket Fausto steals the show! The 65mm stainless steel flat burrs quickly and accurately create perfect, consistent grounds. It’s the only stepless grinder on our list, so you have total control over the adjustments.
Now this is love—if you’re like us and make a lot of coffee, then you’ll love that the Fausto’s bean hopper holds a pound of beans. A. whole. pound. And, if you don't go through the whole pound, there's a stopper that’ll keep the beans inside so you can remove the whole bean hopper and change them out. Could you image trying to turn this guy upside down to shake out the extra beans?
We make a lot of coffee here at Seattle Coffee Gear and we love all our grinders for different coffee brewing methods. When it comes to getting the best grinder for your espresso machine, though, these three grinders fit the bill.
Crew Comparison: DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino vs ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart
How Does It Compare?
On this week’s Crew Comparison, we’re bringing you a DeLonghi showdown: The DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino versus the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart! In one corner we have the Eletta packed with programmability; auto-on, espresso and milk volume, LatteCrema system and—for all your drip drinkers—pulse-brewed coffee! In the opposite corner the Smart puts up a fair fight with seamless operation, LatteCrema system and affordability. But it’s hurting on programmability. We’re rooting for the Eletta! It feels like a shoo-in, but the match isn’t over until we’ve seen what these two superautomatics can do!
The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart’s simplified menu rises to the challenge to wake you up and get you out the door. Its select dial swiftly scrolls through your two espresso and three milk drink options. There’s no need to worry about choosing the wrong drink either! When you’ve chosen your drink, all you do is hit brew to start the Smart. The catch-22 for the Smart is the lack of programmability that we've seen on the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino, which might be worth the extra investment for some coffee lovers.
The Smart plays a fair game, but the Eletta’s customization hits its mark every time. Customize the espresso and milk volume for all your favorite drinks—that includes the milk menu drinks! The Eletta requires a little one-on-one time to find your ideal drink settings, but your hard work pays off with one-touch cappuccinos brewed to your liking. But the real knock-out is it’s pulsed-brewed coffee—not espresso! The Eletta’s strategy is to deliver slow and steady pressure to achieve drip coffee consistency. And you know what? It truly is like a cup of drip.
Both superautomatics introduce the LatteCrema system to the new lineup. The system features a three-setting milk foam dial that makes a creamy froth, medium foam or a thick, fluffy foam with the ability to froth in between. The first dial steams instead of frothing the milk for a texture perfect for hot chocolate or lattes. The last option is our go-to for traditional cappuccinos!
While both machines impress us with frothing, we’d put on money on the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino for it’s winning combo—the LatteCrema system and programmable milk volume. You’ll whip up creamy lattes with just the right proportions of espresso, milk and foam. Bonus: With the Eletta, you can program each drink’s espresso and milk volume.
Where the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart excels, again, is the LatteCrema system; however, the factory settings leave us yearning for more action. That said, if you’re satisfied with the convenience and consistency of your cup, you won’t blink an eye without it! With the Smart, one-touch cappuccinos are brewed without a second thought on your part, coffee lovers.
Standing at nearly 15-inches tall, the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino seems to dwarf the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. However, when you compare the numbers, the Smart isn’t that much smaller! The Smart saves half an inch in depth and barely a full inch in height thanks to its tall bean hopper. Both DeLonghi’s sport sleek profiles with clean edges to easily cozy up to your other appliances under the cabinet. In fact, with the front-access to the water tank and grounds bin, both the Eletta and Smart are well-designed for modern homes.
Where the Eletta visibly squashes its opponent is its display. Not only does it open up features like automatic on and off options, but it also flaunts an easy-reading digital display and touch-sensitive buttons. Program the Eletta to turn on in the morning and shut off when you’re heading out the door—this sort of customization saves time and energy. We appreciate the angle of the display, which offers a clear view for taller coffee lovers. That said, the Smart isn’t an underdog—it brews delicious coffee and cappuccinos without extra finessing. The Smart will also make delicious coffee without breaking the bank.
We had a close match between the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino and the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. Both machines feature the LatteCrema system that whip up foamy drinks, but the Eletta offered us customized coffee that we couldn’t find on the Smart. That said, if you’re on a budget and willing to sacrifice customization, the Smart might be for you! What do you think of the latest DeLonghi superautomatics? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
How Does It Compare?
You might just become an early bird when you have the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino making coffee for you! Wake up to a pre-heated machine ready to brew one-touch cappuccinos or creamy lattes. If you’ve been following our recent reviews on DeLonghi, you know that they’ve added the LatteCrema system to their machines—and the Magnifica S Cap is no exception! The carafe features one milk frothing option that steams up some fluffy cappuccino foam. Another new kid on the block, the (similarly named) DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart, has three milk frothing options—that truly texture the milk differently—but its limited programmability leaves more to be desired. That’s why we’re falling for the Magnifica S Cap. It programs everything from the espresso to milk volume—yeah, it saves the milk amount too! Now that’s a perfect morning.
Rise and shine! With the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino, programming your favorite drinks the night before makes grabbing a cup morning-proof. Easily customize the temperature, coffee strength and even the espresso and coffee ratio—the Magnifica S Cap will remember the proportions! It also features five different strength settings that help you find the sweet spot for new beans. Like a lot of superautomatics, temperature settings are within a given range. If you love your coffee piping hot, the Magnifica S Cap impressed us with a consistently hot shot!
Beneath the 10-ounce bean hopper, the incredibly silent stainless steel burrs grind beans into espresso. One of the hidden gems of the Magnifica S Cap, though, is the 13 grinder settings! In comparison, the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart only has seven settings. Coffee lovers gain more control over the coarseness of their grind and ultimately, the flavor! And for coffee drinkers who pre-grind their coffee at the store, the Magnifica S Cap has a bypass doser.
The LatteCrema system continues to impress us with foamy milk of our choice! The dial determines the frothiness of the milk, offering casual coffee drinkers anything from a latte to cappuccino foam that you’d expect at a cafe. As an added bonus, the carafe features a clean option on the dial that keeps the inner system sparkling clean. The clean cycle won’t flush into the carafe either, so you can remove it and store in the fridge for later.
The LatteCrema system works best when paired with the milk drink of your choice. For instance, more foam and less milk for cappuccinos. We mentioned earlier that programming your coffee was a cinch—so is programming the milk! To set up your proportions, press and hold the button to program and wait for the screen to show it’s programming milk. Once it has reached the ideal amount, press the button again to save the milk portion and it’ll repeat for your espresso.
The DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino’s narrow, elongated profile is designed to cozy up underneath cabinets. Equipped with a 67-ounce water reservoir, you can make drink after drink for the whole family without refilling! Even better, the tank slides out from the side that further benefits its slim profile. You’ll need height space to add beans or adjust the grind, but the front-access tank is a huge advantage compared to other models that require a foot plus!
Along with the convenience of one-touch brewing, the Magnifica S Cap features an intuitive digital display that’s easy on the eyes. Its tactile operation works with the buttons and dial to select items within the menus. The menu features classic functions such as descale or the auto-on and off—a fantastic feature for early mornings. Set the time and then program the auto-on to warm up the machine before you want coffee.
Waking up just got a whole lot easier with the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino. It's designed with one-touch brewing and an intuitive interface that makes programming our favorite drinks a snap! We’re ecstatic that we can program the espresso to milk ratio for our lattes or cappuccinos. And, of course, the LatteCrema system whips up delicious frothiness for those said drinks. Have you checked out any of the new DeLonghi’s exclusive to Seattle Coffee Gear? Check them out and tell us what you think in the comments below.
How Does It Compare?
Coffee to-go takes a whole new meaning with today’s two travel coffee makers, the Aerobie AeroPress and the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine. As you probably guessed, the Minipresso is a lightweight, compact espresso-making fiend—it makes a perfect camping companion for espresso lovers. Most of you don’t need an introduction to the AeroPress, a crowd favorite for home brewing and exploring! Like the Minipresso it’s incredibly light and stores easily. It makes a smooth, rich cup of coffee that we’ve heard some people compare to espresso. The AeroPress definitely brews a stout cup, but the Minipresso makes a strong shot that even has crema! Keep reading to find out the different mechanics of these two travel brewers.
The Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine has everything you need to make espresso anytime, anywhere. Brew basket? Check. Water tank? Check. Pressure? Check! The Minipresso uses a semi-automatic piston that extracts with 8 BARs of pressure just like your typical espresso machine! Pop open the piston in the middle of the machine and squeeze it about one pump per second—and presto! A delicious single shot in seconds! The brew basket holds 8 grams of coffee for a proper dose.
By comparison, the Aerobie AeroPress has defined a new way to brew. It’s still an immersion-style coffee maker (French press anyone?) but the results are a cleaner, more concentrated cup of coffee. Instead of a metal filter, the AeroPress uses micro-filtered paper that picks up oils and grit that create a smoother sip. Some have described it as espresso; however, it creates less pressure and is made with 1:10 coffee to water. Whether you brew traditionally or with the inverted method, the beauty of the AeroPress’ design allows you to stop extraction whenever you like! It makes 1 to 4 cups of bold, rich coffee.
Streamlined for traveling, the Wacaco Minipresso weighs 12.8 ounces and is 7 inches at its longest. Every inch counts when you start to factor in carrying the water and coffee to brew! The ergonomic design slips in backpacks or purses for a caffeinated companion while you’re hiking or traveling. The only downside for people on the road is the Minipresso requires basic maintenance to clean out the old coffee and has several small pieces such as the brew chamber—something that’s easily misplaced on the road. If you include a few extra moments to give the Minipresso some TLC, this portable espresso machine will make coffee you love everywhere!
The AeroPress is renowned for it’s innovative, lightweight and user-friendly design—coffee aficionados just can’t get enough of it! And rest assured, the AeroPress is now BPA-free and dishwasher safe Outdoor enthusiasts or travelers will appreciate that it has fewer pieces for assembly and makes a larger cup of coffee. The only beef we’ve heard with the AeroPress is it can really engage the biceps—if you know what we mean. The plunger and pressure help develop the fuller body of coffee, but that said, it’ll be different for everyone.
If you’re looking for the perfect traveling coffee maker, check out the Wacaco Minipresso and AeroPress. Whether you’re on-the-go or just hanging at home, the AeroPress will fit into many lifestyles. With the immersion brewing, the AeroPress makes a strong, smooth cup some have compared to espresso. Of course, if you crave the real deal, the Minipresso is our top pick for portable espresso! Ready to travel in style with one of these portable coffee makers? Tell us which one is your favorite in the comments below.
Your Coffee. Your Schedule.
Gone are the days of stale beans, empty cups and last minute coffee runs. Say hello to the new way to make coffee you love at home—SCG Subscriptions!
We launched SCG Subscriptions to bring you specialty roasted coffee delivered straight to your door. Choose from some of our favorite roasters and set your mailing frequency to fit your coffee consumption. With guaranteed freshness on your schedule and 5% savings on every order, the hardest decision you'll make is picking your coffee.
What Coffees Are Subscribable?
Most of our coffees offered year-round and some seasonal selections are available for SCG's coffee subscriptions. Every eligible coffee will offer a red subscription button before checkout. Generally, coffees like single origins that are roasted for a short time will not be available for subscription—unless you sign up for Join The Club! Select the single origin option and the SCG Crew will pick three single origins to receive our latest favorites!
Bonus: We offer subscriptions on teas, syrups and cleaning supplies too!
How Fresh Are The Beans?
We adhere to the roaster’s freshness policy for our beans. Each roaster sets their freshness date and your order will adhere to their guidelines. If you ever have a concern with your order, we’re happy to help!
What's The Delivery Schedule?
The frequency we offer is weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or bi-monthly. You can set your first order to take place anytime from checkout or in the future. You can expect to receive your order from then on—with the exception of delays made by the courier, weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
How To Sign Up
Step 1. Get Started Here
Start at the seattlecoffeegear.com/subscriptions page to discover what coffee subscription is right for you!
What's The Difference Between One Or Two Bags?
When you subscribe to two bags of coffee, we offer free shipping and the option to mix or match coffees!
What Is Join the Club?
Glad you asked! SCG will pick three coffees for each of the three clubs offered. The clubs are Espresso, Coffee and Single Origin. We've curated this ever-changing selection for different brew methods and will choose coffees we think will shine the brightest in each brew! Joining one of the clubs is perfect for anyone looking to expand their coffee palate.
Step 2. Shop By Taste, SCG Picks or Clubs
Click on Get Started and you’ll be directed to our coffee. You can browse through coffees based on their flavor profiles, specialities, staff picks or choose to Join the Club.
Step 3. Choose Your Coffee
Found some coffee you like? Awesome! On coffees that are available for SCG's coffee subscription, under the “Add to Cart” button is the “Subscribe” button. Click on “Subscribe” and the website will prompt you to log in to your SCG Account.
Step 4. Schedule Your Coffee
Log in or create your Seattle Coffee Gear account and fill out the subscription information. In your account, you will be able to:
- Adjust frequency between every week, two weeks, a month or two months for delivery
- Set the start date for your first order
- Address who’s receiving the delivery
- Change your address when you move
- Add, change or cancel your order at any time!
Make Coffee You Love
That’s all there is to it! Put the pep back in your morning routine and brew yourself another pot of coffee. With SCG's coffee subscriptions, you can have coffee, tea, syrups and cleaning supplies mailed to your door on your schedule. Sign up for SCG Subscriptions to receive freshly roasted coffee from our curated selection of roasters.
The Round Up
Are you ready to enjoy espresso brewed at the touch of a button? We gathered our top three most popular superautomatic espresso machines; the Saeco Intelia Deluxe, Jura Impressa A9 One-Touch and Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti, that each has features for every coffee drinker. The joys of superautomatics are you don’t need to have any technicals skills to make coffee you love—that and coffee is on demand! The Intelia Deluxe is a fantastic entry-level machine with its simple interface and programmable espresso. While it's not a one-touch machine like the other two on this list, it features two milk frothing accessories that will work for the whole family. Our other two, the Jura Impressa A9 and Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti are one-touch wonders packed full of customizable drink options—just like ordering from your favorite cafe! Check out the ins and outs of our top three superautomatic espresso machines!
Staff Pick: Saeco Intelia Deluxe
The Intelia Deluxe has a lot going for it—two programmable espresso buttons, adjustable coffee dosages per shot and flexible steaming options—and that’s one of the features we dig the most! You have the freedom to interchange the cappuccinatore, an auto-frother, with a panarello-style steam wand. The benefit of a panarello is that you can add as much foam or heat as you desire.
The ease of use made it our top machine as an entry-level superautomatic espresso machine. It has a digital display operated and programmed by well-marked buttons that the whole family can use! If your kids love hot chocolate, the Milk Froth button whips up the milk without the coffee. While our other two machines feature one-touch drinks, there’s a lot to love about the intuitive Intelia Deluxe.
Best Shots: Jura Impressa A9 One-Touch
Jura’s famed for their quality build and espresso—two features the A9 has! The A9 doses more grams per shot making a stronger cup of coffee than its competitors. That’s just the cherry on top of this machine. The A9 features a beautiful touchscreen display that offers fast customization and easy access to menus. This superautomatic makes classic favorites like lattes and cappuccinos and has over 12 coffee drink optins—something for everyone!
The A9 uses a milk siphon system to froth delicious cappuccinos right into your cup! The one-touch design allows you to draw milk right from the carton. If you like having a removable carafe, Jura offers a stainless steel option or you can go bigger with one of Jura’s attachable milk fridges—great for small studios or hosting!
Features Galore: Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti
The last superautomatic espresso machine on our list is the Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti. It’s filled to the brim with features like pulse drip coffee, profile programming, one-touch drinks and a removable milk carafe. If you aren’t already frothing over this machine, the Avanti has a smartphone app that programs your espresso and milk down to the milliliter. Use the app to save your favorite drinks or select from traditional drinks like lattes and flat whites.
The Avanti’s clean cut design and stainless steel casing complement home barista’s kitchens. While it has a slim profile, it’s a deep machine that might stick out from cabinets (seriously, it’s 19.3 inches long including the cord). That said, if you have space and desire the features, this is the perfect superautomatic espresso machine for you!
Casual coffee drinks and connoisseurs alike will find something they love with these top three superautomatic espresso machines. The Saeco Intelia Deluxe offers entry-level features and programming for every coffee lover while the Jura Impressa A9 packs in more coffee per shot and features a sleek touchscreen display. Last, but not least, the Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti knocked our socks off with great coffee and tons of customizable options to make coffee we loved. Find our more specs and details about each superautomatic espresso machine by visiting their product page!
How Does It Compare?
For a single boiler machine, the Crossland Coffee CC1 packs a punch with advanced features. Built with a dedicated thermoblock for steaming—a feature most single boilers lack—it whips up frothy milk in minutes! Not to mention it helps reduce the heating time. The digital display’s seamless design allows users to easily program the built-in PID or save up to three espresso profiles. In comparison, the Rancilio Silvia M, another single boiler favorite, features a simple switch interface and factory settings; however, we offer the option to add on a PID. That said, without the PID the Silvia M’s interface operates with simple controls. If you crave control over your coffee, the CC1 offers easily adjusted settings to make coffee you love at home.
The programmable PID displayed on the Crossland Coffee CC1 lets users set their ideal brew temperature and maintains consistency to perfect your shot. While you’re programming the brew temperature, customize the pre-infusion, brew and wait time for your three profiles—oh, and the pod profile is your third profile since the CC1 does not work with pods. That’s a lot of customizable options this machine!
Coffee connoisseurs yearning to hone in their barista skills will love the CC1’s 58mm portafilter—trending to be the industry’s standard—and the option to purchase the CC1 bottomless portafilter. If you’re getting serious with your coffee, the bottomless portafilter opens a window into extracting espresso. While there are different indicators of good espresso, one of our favorites to observe is tiger striping—when espresso cascades with blond and brown stripes to show even extraction.
As with any single boiler machine, we recommend baristas first froth milk and then pull shots. With the added thermoblock, though the Crossland Coffee CC1 reaches steam temperature in no time! But before you start frothing, purge the condensation—a good practice—and give the thermoblock some time to heat up to avoid sputtering. When it’s ready to go, the CC1 produces steady power that is perfect for entry-level baristas. It allows you time to work the milk, hone your technique for frothing.
With the CC1’s articulating steam wand, finding a comfortable angle to work the milk is incredibly easy. The wand’s L-shape design and extra long tip clear the underside of the machine to allow you room to pivot your pitcher. The CC1’s traditional wand is mounted on the underside, which means we can’t adjust the steam wand higher; however, all things considered, the wand is incredibly accessible. If you’re ready to improve your latte art, the CC1 is one of the machines we’ve enjoyed practicing on!
The Crossland Coffee CC1 sensible, clean-cut style works in your favor, coffee lovers. The CC1 focuses on features and capabilities while maintaining an affordable price. We often hear people say they’re attracted to the CC1’s industrial stainless steel case. Paired with the boxy construction—reminiscent of traditional espresso machines—the CC1 is pretty identical to the Rancilio Silvia M. The most noticeable differences is the CC1’s digital display that adds a modern touch.
The CC1 recently underwent an upgrade and we got to say, we give it two thumbs up! The three-way solenoid valve uses to block the water tank, but now it’s situated inside the machine. The water tank is a touchy subject for some of us—it can be difficult to remove. The portafilter and wand tend to get in the way as well as the water tubes located inside the tank. With the right maneuvering and patience, we can get the CC1 up and brewing!
The Crossland Coffee CC1 packs in fantastic features for a single boiler machine. The programmable PID and three profiles let baristas customize their espresso to their perfect drink. While we may not be able to brew and steam at the same time, the dedicated thermoblock for steaming adds enough extra boost to froth beautifully. If you’re ready to hone your barista skills, check out the CC1! Share your thoughts on the CC1 in the comments below.
How Does It Compare?
The grind is one of the most important steps to making coffee you love at home. This week, we compared two magnificent, high-end grinders: the Rocket Espresso Macinatore Fausto and Baratza Forté AP. Both machines fall into the same price range but are equipped with radically different features. The Fausto’s burly burrs and infinite stepless grinder adjustments dose consistent grounds perfect for espresso—but the Fausto’s really just for espresso. Once you’ve homed in your ideal setting, you’ll only tweak it slightly or you risk losing your place.
Then we have Baratza’s only commercial-designed machine, the Forté AP. The Forté AP (All Purpose) fine-tuned and marked grinder settings make it effortless for baristas and home brewers alike to find their sweet spot. We should add that the Forté AP has a wicked quick motor that grinds beans in a matter of seconds! But don’t let stepped or stepless grinding dissuade you—we think both grinders would look good seated on your kitchen counter! Find out which grinder has the right features and style for you.
Sure, these high-end grinders are designed to be used in a commercial environment, but that doesn’t mean small offices or homes shouldn’t reap the benefits! The Rocket Espresso Fausto is a meaty machine topped with a 1.4-pound bean hopper to caffeinate a crowd. All those beans are no match for the 65mm flat steel burrs and a beefy motor that runs 1650 RPMs (rotations per minute). All that’s left is dialing in the Fausto. Some fear stepless grinders because of the limitless adjustments. While the dial turns easily, you should be aware that each turn makes a huge difference in the grind—you can be nearly there and then way out of the ballpark instantly! Although, once you find the right spot, you won’t be adjusting the Fausto much.
In comparison, the Baratza Forté AP adjust quickly and effortlessly thanks to 10 macro and 26 micro stepped settings—that’s 260 options! In a few clicks, it can grind from espresso to French press! With that in mind, the stepped adjustments are well-suited for the Forté AP—an abbreviation of all purpose. And it really is all-purpose! Even at the coarsest setting, the 54mm ceramic flat burrs efficiently grind consistent grounds. While it’s burrs are a bit smaller than the Fausto’s, the motor runs at steady 1950 RPMs—or an average of 3.5 to 3.7 grams per second for French press.
The Rocket Espresso Fausto’s doserless chute and stainless steel portafilter holder are designed for espresso. The Fausto’s consistently fine grounds works with non-pressurized portafilters on a semi-automatic espresso machine. With limitless adjustments, we’d recommend pairing the Fausto with the Rocket Espresso R60V, which features pressure profiling. Together, these machines offer coffee connoisseurs countless opportunities to tweak their espresso. And with two programmable time-based buttons, you can save your ideal dosage for a single or double shot.
The Baratza Forté AP’s has a trick up its sleeve. When you’re in a hurry, use one of your three programmable profiles and dose your grind with the touch of a button—oh yeah, did we mention it has a touchscreen display? The Forté AP doses grinds by weight, time or manually (perfect for topping off). Bonus: You can use the profiles to save both weight and time doses! However, weight-based dosage only works with the grounds bin—a great companion for a drip brewer. The Forté AP also comes with a portafilter holder, so you can grind directly for espresso!
The Baratza Forté AP’s modern style and user-friendly interface make it one of our favorite high-end grinders. The combination of the touchscreen and tactile grinder settings allow us to make quick adjustments that satisfy home brewers and baristas need. Baristas working the peak morning shift will rejoice with the programmable doses—and their customers will appreciate a quick cup! Coffee lovers who enjoy French press and espresso will find it a snap to brew both.
While the Forté AP is built for commercial settings, it’s actually closer to the size of home machines. Now can you see this high-end grinder in your home? We can! On the other hand, the Rocket Espresso Fausto is considerably bigger—nearly three inches taller. It might not sound like much, but the Fausto is nearly 18 inches tall and 11 inches deep. However, most of the Fausto’s height is from the one-pound bean hopper. In comparison, the Forté AP has 10-ounces hopper, so you’ll have to decide what features is important for you. The Forté AP’s small footprint would fit perfectly in a coffee cart or studio office while the Fausto would support a local café.
While both grinders fall in the same price point and are marked for commercial use, the Rocket Espresso Fausto and Baratza Forté AP are completely different machines. The Forté AP features an intuitive touchscreen that saves your three favorite settings—perfect for cafés or home brewers—and 260 grinder adjustments. The Rocket Espresso Fausto is designed for espresso and showcases its capable 65mm burrs with its stepless adjustments.
Thanks for checking out this week’s Crew Comparison. If you’re looking for a high-end grinder, naturally you’ll want a high-end espresso machine to complement it! Check out Gear Guide: Top Three High-End Espresso Machines.
The Round Up
Coffee connoisseurs, prepare to be awestruck by today’s Gear Guide picks for high-end espresso machines: the Nuova Simonelli Musica, Rocket Espresso R60V and La Marzocco GS/3. Crafted with advanced technology and finished in contemporary style, these semi-automatics are top of their class for good reasons!
The Musica features a heat exchange boiler and electric flair—literally! You can order the Musica with light-up side panels. Next, the R60V draws its fame from a double boiler design and a programmable PID that features pressure profiling, an adjustable feature not found on many machines. Last to round out our list is the GS/3, built with commercial grade components that delivers precision shots—and it’s easy on the eyes! If you’re ready to invest in a top of the line espresso machine, then look no further than today’s top three. Go ahead—take the plunge!
Beauty, brains and brawn—the Musica has it all! Nuova Simonelli is the official espresso machine provider for the World Barista Championship and famed for their impressive steam power. The Musica’s blessed with power and a four-hole tip steam wand to whips frothy milk in seconds. This is the only heat exchanger in the lineup, but rest assured the espresso comes out consistent and hot for the best shot. Plus, it’s equipped with programmable espresso buttons that coffee connoisseurs can enjoy setting and saving for their perfect brew.
Lets not forget about the Musica’s electrifying looks! You can choose between the luxe lighting or stick with black accents. Both versions feature stainless steel casing and matching drip tray that exude 50s jukebox style—but just the style. This modern machine is built with electronic controls and user-friendly interface. Overall, a fantastic pick for high-end espresso machines!
Rocket Espresso has piloted home brewing into the modern age with advanced programmability, features and even a smartphone app. The R60V includes a programmable PID featuring—wait for it—pressure profiling! If you’re new to pressure profiling, this feature allows baristas to modulate pump pressure and duration. For example, you can set a pre-infusion pressure of two bars and then jump the brew pressure to a classic nine bars. Use the smartphone app or attached PID controller to program up to five pressure settings for three separate profiles—you can tinker and play without losing your best profiles! Dual stainless steel boilers work independently, so you call the shots for your espresso. You even have the option to plumb-in this machine to keep the espresso flowing—need we say more?
Yes, we do! Hand-built by expert craftsman in Italy, each machine is a little unique in just the right way. There’s no denying that the R60V is a beautifully crafted machine featuring contemporary influence. It’s built with high-quality materials, an E-61 brew head, rotary pump and a heavy-duty 58mm portafilter. This is just another one of our high-end espresso machines that will make you feel like a barista in a cafe.
Last on our list of high-end espresso machines is a machine built with dual stainless steel boilers, a customizable PID display and commercially-approved and NSF-rated components suited for light cafes and serious home setups alike. The La Marzocco GS/3 will have coffee connoisseurs head over heels. The enormous 3.5-liter steam boiler and 1.5-liter brew boiler will pull shot after shot and won’t run out thanks to a 3.5-liter water reservoir. Or, you can plumb-in this machine like both of our other picks for unlimited water! And with the PID, you can adjust each boiler to your desired temperature.
Alongside the GS/3’s generous boilers are features like a quiet rotary pump that maintains a set volume and a saturated brew head that evenly extract grounds to produce consistent shots. And let’s not forget cappuccino or latte lovers! The traditional steam wand blasts powerful steam thanks to that big ol’ boiler and is a breeze to clean with a no-burn wand—just remember that it’ll still be hot!
There you have it—our top three picks for high-end espresso machines! We started off with the vibrant Nuova Simonelli Musica featuring lit side panels, a heat exchanger and Barista Championship-famous steam power. For baristas who love tweaking coffee parameters, the Rocket Espresso R60V comes equipped with a PID featuring pressure profiling for the ultimate customization. Lastly, La Marzocco knocked the socks off of coffee aficionados with the GS/3 that features two burly boilers and some impressive brewing components that help you pull more consistent shots. If you’re ready to up your espresso game, drop a hint by sharing this story on Facebook or Twitter!
How Does It Compare?
Did somebody say, “One-touch cappuccino?” That’s just one (of many) sweet features included in the newest addition to our DeLonghi lineup, the DeLonghi ECAM 44660B Eletta Plus Superautomatic Espresso Machine. Plus, the Eletta is exclusive to us, so naturally we’ve tested this machine inside and out! The LatteCrema system introduces customizable froth for perfect latte or cappuccino foam with remarkable results! You’ll be able to adjust from a creamy microfoam up to a thick, heavy cappuccino foam consistency at the turn of a dial. Originally exclusive to DeLonghi’s high-end Primadonna line, LatteCrema is now included in most of Delonghi’s new lineup—like the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. The Eletta packs in a few more brewing options than its smaller counterpart with features like pulse brewing for excellent coffee—yes, coffee! Don’t be fooled by the “coffee” options labeled elsewhere on the machine...they actually mean espresso, but we will sort that out in a minute. When you start moving up the line, the Eletta comes with more features to make you and your family the perfect cup at home.
Alright, back to the use of coffee and espresso. These words are interchanged often on espresso machines and frequently confuse people. The DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino ‘coffee’ options really mean espresso. Just like the Magnifica S Smart, a single shot is just that, a 1-ounce shot, while a double increases the dose and shot time to a classic Doppio serving. You can choose lengths from ‘short’ to ‘extra long’—which correspond to ristretto through lungo shot lengths. The Eletta gives you a bit more control by letting you adjust your ‘My Coffee’ shot length through an intuitive press-and-hold programming. Even better, the Eletta will remember your programming and automatically pull to twice that length when you select the ‘Double My Coffee’ option.
And, the Eletta has another trick up its sleeve with the dedicated ‘’long coffee’’ icon located to the left of the screen. A magical pulse brewing option extracts coffee at lower pressure versus how espresso is extracted at quick, high pressures. The result is a brew that’s very similar to a classic cup of drip! We were able to detect lighter, more floral notes in our cup.
The LatteCrema system is one of our favorite features on the DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino. The carafe features three intuitive icons that let you customize the texture of your foam. Paired with the milk options menu and one-touch cappuccino button, it's like having your own barista! Inside the menu you have classic drinks like the latte macchiato and the popular flat white that both use microfoam. But if you’re craving a cappuccino, twist the foam dial to the highest setting and use the dedicated cappuccino button for six-ounces of rich, foamy goodness.
When you’re done with milk, the carafe has an automatic cleaning cycle that’s truly a game changer! It rinses the aerator and spout with piping-hot water, so you can store the carafe in the fridge without worrying about dried milk. The Eletta also comes with a hot water spout that takes the place of the carafe. If you’re a tea drinker, there’s a dedicated tea button that delivers out steaming-hot water—or use it to make hot chocolate for the family!
Styled with sleek, sharp edges, the DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino slides right next to most kitchen appliances with ease. Its narrow and lengthy body is the ideal shape for utilizing space underneath a cabinet. It’s a bit bigger than other models like the DeLonghi Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart, but that just means more room for goodies like a 10-ounce bean hopper and a huge two liter water tank! If you ask us, the delicious drip-style coffee and customizable milk frother is worth the extra counter space.
But the Eletta’s not done yet, extra features like automatic on and off times are well worth it! It takes a hot second for the Eletta to heat up and having the auto-on function shortens the wait between waking up and your first sip of fresh java. Watch out, though—that first sip might be hot! The Eletta heats coffee and milk to an extremely hot, (and in our opinion perfect) temperature. If you need to adjust it though, under the menu you can select between four temperature preferences, alongside options like automatic descaling and rinsing functions to keep your machine fresh and clean.
With the LatteCrema system and one-touch technology, we’re out the door in minutes with a cappuccino in hand! And the Eletta’s other features, like pulse-brewed coffee and dedicated hot water, ensure there is a drink for everyone. Not to mention, it’s easy on the eyes with its polished black finish. As a Seattle Coffee Gear exclusive, we’re the only place you can pick up the DeLonghi Eletta Plus Cappuccino. Check it out and share your thoughts about the Eletta in the comments below!