When we talk about water at SCG, we’re usually dishing about mineral content, filtration or how to remove pesky scale build-up. Although water makes up 98% of the coffee that’s our daily lifeblood, we often take it for granted. Did you know that almost one billion people across the world live without access to clean drinking water? Imagine three times the total US population struggling to find a safe water source -- it’s a staggering statistic.
Inspired by his time in Liberia, Bryan Papé founded MiiR in 2009 with a simple idea: How to provide clean drinking water for one person for one year. Now this Seattle-based company uses their product design prowess to positively impact communities worldwide through their water bottle and travel tumbler sales. Using their one4one program, MiiR partner’s with One Day’s Wages to fund clean water projects around the world. One dollar from each water bottle and tumbler sale provides clean drinking water to someone in need for an entire year. One bottle, one dollar, one person for one year. It’s a simple and powerful commitment to clean water and community empowerment.
We are thrilled to partner with MiiR to bring you their newest product, a coffee cup designed to change the world. The MiiR Travel Tumbler is an insulated double-walled stainless steel tumbler, built to keep your piping hot pour over or chilled cold brew at an ideal temperature. For every tumbler sold, one dollar is donated to clean water projects around the world. One of our favorite features is that each tumbler comes with an impact bracelet that lets you track how your purchase affects local communities worldwide. Simply enter your unique code online, and MiiR will follow-up with you within 6-18 months with GPS coordinates and photos of the clean water projects to which your tumbler is linked. Transparency and tracking are one aspect that sets these products apart from other one-for-one business models out there, and we’re excited to see how our tumblers can make a difference.
Social enterprise, sustainability and streamlined design -- we dig you MiiR!
If espresso machines had a kryptonite, it would be scale build-up. This silent killer will degrade your machine's performance over time -- inhibiting steam performance, disabling valve functionality so that leaking begins and, eventually, contributing to boiler burn out. Your options in battling it are to use a filtration system, softener or a combination thereof ... or to just plan on regularly descaling the machine.
One descaling solution on the market is the liquid formula produced by Durgol. Available in two different formats -- one for coffee makers and one for espresso machines -- these are very effective and easy to use solutions. Watch as Gail talks to us about their formulation and then demonstrates how to use it on the Saeco Aroma.
Given that she had to coerce us into cleaning our bedroom by rather surreptitiously hiding small change in the corners (and encouraging us to 'find what the fairies left!'), our mother would be quite relieved to know of our passion for cleanliness in adulthood! And while you won't find nickels and dimes in the brew head or the water tank -- at least, you shouldn't -- Breville's maintenance supplies make it easy and almost as fun to keep your espresso machine clean.
She then discusses their charcoal/resin filters, shows how to install them and explains why they're necessary -- especially with the Dual Boiler.
You know how deeply we love great design, so it's no surprise that Cafelat's series of accessories would woo us! In fact, while we've carried these for nearly two years now, they have been so popular it's been almost impossible for us to film a review of the entire product line because they've been picked up so quickly by other ardent fans.
If you haven't checked them out before, watch Gail walk us through their tampers, knock boxes, tamping mats and more. Who wouldn't want this beautiful gear as a part of their home espresso setup? No one we want to know. (Okay, we'll still know you even if you don't dig 'em.)
Small things are wonderful. In fact, some of our favorite things in the world are tiny in scale and small in stature. Of course, we could be promoting this perspective because we're goblin sized, but we also have another proof of concept -- the tiny but wonderfully useful ADE pocket scale.
Watch as Gail demonstrates the features and functionality of this scale, perfect for measuring out small amounts of coffee for your portafilter basket.
It's not just about how sexy it looks on your countertop, baby. Well, okay, that's definitely part of it, but you also need to make sure you're choosing the tamper that will best fit your portafilter. In addition to basic diameter considerations, there are some models that feature filter baskets with shapes conducive to different styles of tampers.
Watch as Gail shows us portafilters for several different models and provides her recommendations on which tampers fit best.
There's a lot we love in the world; we're just Pollyanna like that. But if we had to pick something we love a bit more than other things (and we're working on a well developed sliding scale and/or bell curve here), upgrading something lo-fi into something a bit more hi-fi is definitely one of them. Maybe it's the McGyver-esque shape and feel of it, we don't know. Whatever it is, the Saeco Poemia was an excellent candidate for a little soupin' up -- especially given our awesome non-pressurized portafilter!
So this is how it went down: We asked Gail to pull shots with it, she did so and we filmed all the action for your viewing pleasure. Really, it's a blast -- so sit back, relax and watch the crema ensue.
Tea lovers, pour over aficionados, French press geeks and cup noodle fanatics know that you can't beat a good electric kettle. But with so many to choose from, how is one to decide which is the best for their needs?
Watch as Gail takes us through the paces of several different models that we carry. She goes over their features and specs, then we perform a (not-so) madcap race to see how quickly they boil 20 oz. of water.
Yeee-haw. We wanted to take a moment to let you know about a slew of new goodies we've added over the last few weeks.
Quick Mill QM67 Dual Boiler
A double boiler for under $2k? Quick Mill's latest model features the E61 brew head, separate boilers for simultaneous steaming and brewing, an integrated PID for controlling the brew boiler temp and a simple case design. If you've been thinking about upgrading to a prosumer-class machine but your budget hasn't allowed it, the QM67 is definitely worthy of your consideration.
Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle
We did a crew review of this featuring the engineer, Brian, a few months back, but the kettles themselves finally hit the market at the end of August! Select a specific temp and the kettle will heat until it reaches it, then hold it at that temp as well. With the curved gooseneck, it's an excellent option for precision pour over preparation (say that three times fast!).
Refurbished Jura Superautomatics
If you're a fan of Jura's superautos -- or want to be -- you can pick up a factory refurbished model at an awesome discount! We've added three new models to our refurb line-up: The space-conscious ENA 5, the ultra sleek J6 and the straight-forward C9 One-Touch.
Saeco Tune-Up Kits
Love your Saeco semi-automatic? Keep it tuned up and in excellent working order with one of our three new parts kits. These include everything you need for a regular cleansing of your Aroma, Sirena or Via Venezia, plus instructions on how to get the job done.
Whip up a deliciously frothy beverage with Bodum's super easy-to-use frother, known to fancy folk as the Chocolatiere. It will blend everything together quite nicely, as well as add a yummy froth to it.
Perfect for hot or cold drinks, Gail demonstrates how to use it for hot chocolate. Delish!