Author Archives: Kat

  • Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee Grinder

    Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee GrinderHave you ever walked into a coffee shop, seen a particularly grimy coffee grinder and wondered if you should stick around? We definitely have! Caring for your Mazzer Super Jolly has a variety of benefits, not the least of which is communicating to your customers your commitment to fresh and delicious coffee.

    We know that taking it apart and caring for each component can be a bit daunting, however, so we're here to guide you. Watch Brandon disassemble, clean and then reassemble the Mazzer Super Jolly, while also discussing with us common issues, best practices and considerations you should take into account when caring for your grinder. If your business moves swiftly, we highly recommend that you take this on at least once a month, if not weekly. Your grinder (and customers!) will thank you for it, later.


    Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee Grinder

  • How-To: Programming the Breville Infuser

    Breville Infuser Espresso MachineIf we were going to anthropomorphize the Breville Infuser (BES840XL), we're pretty sure its human counterpart is Gabby Douglas: Sleek, compact, multi-faceted and the best all-around performer in the group.

    One of the features that it offers is automatic water dosing for your espresso extraction, which can take a bit of the guess work out of the process. But since programming the Breville Infuser isn't as simple as measuring out exactly one or two ounces of water and then calling it a day, we asked Gail to guide us through the process.

    Watch as she discusses with us how automatic dosing works, provides us with tips on getting the right shot volume and then shares her thoughts on why you'd want to do this. Whether you've been considering the Breville Infuser or already own it and just want to learn more, this how-to video dives a little deeper into one of its great, easy-to-use features.

  • Crew Comparison: Barista Express vs. Dual Boiler Espresso Machines

    Breville Compare - Barista Express vs. Dual BoilerHere's a dirty little SCG secret: Sometimes, we're a little shallow. We like pretty, shiny things and when we first began carrying Breville's espresso machines, we did so only because, well, they were pretty and shiny. At the time, most of the more budget-conscious models were rockin' plastic or powder coated metal cases, yet the Breville machines were lustrous, brushed stainless steel ... and we totally went for it.

    Sadly, in that first couple of years, we came to understand that their function did not measure up to their form and they just simply couldn't get hot enough to produce a truly delicious espresso. With the release of their first version of the Barista Express (BES860XL), however, they started to address this temperature situation and haven't looked back since.

    Breville's next entry into the home espresso enthusiast space was the beloved Dual Boiler (BES900XL) , which was a truly magnificent leap forward for the company in terms of temperature control and functionality. What they learned from developing that machine, they applied to the budget-friendly Infuser (BES840XL) about a year later, and what they learned from developing the Infuser, they then incorporated into the next iteration of the Barista Express (BES870XL): Namely, the thermocoil and PID temperature technology.

    Since the new Barista Express has some great features like simple PID temperature control and an integrated grinder, folks often ask us how it compares to its larger, yet somewhat-similarly featured compatriot, the Dual Boiler. First off, of course, it's got it's own grinder and it doesn't brew and steam at the same time like the Dual Boiler does, but there are a few other functional differences as well. The end cup of coffee, however, is remarkably similar ... so it may just be your budget that casts the deciding vote.

    Watch as Gail takes us through a feature and technology comparison of these two machines, then shows us how they perform side by side.

  • Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Mini Coffee Grinder

    Mazzer Mini ETaking sweet and loving care of your burr grinder is pretty much the best thing that you can do for it. After all, it really is the most important part of your coffee making setup! So we asked Gail to guide us through the process of taking apart, cleaning and putting back together several of the different grinders that we carry.

    First up in the series are the ever-popular Mazzer Mini models -- both the standard doser hopper version and the electronic doser version. While they manage dosage a bit differently, their internals are pretty much the same so you get to the burrs and care for them in the same way.

    Even if you're running Grindz through your beloved every month (like you know you should!), performing this thorough cleansing a few times each year will ensure that your grind remains consistent -- and also that you're grinding only the freshest of coffee.

    Ready to take this on yourself? Watch Gail break it down, clean it up and put it all back together again.

  • SCG Tech Tips: Saeco Superautomatic Brew Groups

    Saeco Superautomatic Brew GroupsThere are many things in life that have been attributed to such nebulous sources as 'science' or 'engineering' that are actually deeply rooted in magic. The chromatophores of cephalopods, gelatin-based foodstuffs, magnets -- these are just a few examples of magic being passed off as ordinary. It's unfortunate that their provenance isn't more keenly celebrated, but we understand why: It's far easier for people to get their head around these experiences if they disregard their obvious mojo.

    And while it's tempting to add the brew groups of Saeco Superautomatic Espresso Machines to this list, these are actually not operated by tiny magical beings inside your espresso machine; they truly are the result of some fine-tuned mechanical engineering. But don't take our word for it! Learn all about them with Brendan -- what they do, how they work, how to care for them, troubleshooting tips and more.

  • Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Appia Semi-Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

    Nuova Simonelli AppiaAnother commercial-class espresso machine that will perform well in a medium-paced business is the Appia by Nuova Simonelli. Available in both semi-automatic and automatic/volumetric formats, the Appia is simple and straight forward and certain to keep up with you.

    Watch as Brandon takes us on a tour of the semi-auto version, going over its features and specs and then demonstrating how well it performs.

  • Tasting: illy vs. Nespresso Capsule Espresso Machines

    We have carried Nespresso capsule machines for awhile now and we know that while they'll definitely get the caffeinated job done, it's unlikely that the shots they produce will ever knock your socks off. illy came to the scene recently with their reworked Francis Francis! machines that utilize the Iperespresso capsule functionality, so we decided it was time for a little side-by-side taste-off.

    Note that there are a ton of variables at play here, especially since both of these use proprietary capsule systems and blends, we couldn't necessarily judge the machine's tech separate from the coffee's flavor. Bunny selected a dark roast, light roast and single origin from each manufacturer for us to taste; watch as the crew gives their feedback on flavor!

  • Compare: Mazzer Mini vs. Rancilio Rocky

    Next up in the grinder battle to the death (wait, what?!): The Mazzer Mini vs. the Rancilio Rocky. Now, these are fairly different grinders in terms of features and functionality, but when folks consider whether or not to go with the more budget-conscious Rocky or to upgrade to a Mazzer, the Mini is the entry level model that is often targeted.

    Watch as we go through how these two grinders compare in specs and grind quality.


  • Compare: Baratza Vario vs. Rancilio Rocky

    A toe-to-toe, or, rather, a burr-to-burr grudge match is always fun, right? We must think so -- we do them often enough!

    Due to popular request, we decided to match up the Baratza Vario and the Rancilio Rocky coffee grinders. While these are in similar price ranges, they both have different pros and cons and folks are often torn on which to choose.

    If you're not sure which might best suit your needs, watch as we go through features, compare burr sets and then demonstrate their grind quality.

  • Brewin' with Brandi: Espresso Caviar

    Get ready for a gastronomical journey, friends! Brandi goes all mad scientist on us with today's recipe, featuring a rather unique treat: Espresso Caviar. Watch her craft this crazy concoction!


    • 2 - 3 cups vegetable oil
    • (2) 1/4 oz. packages of powdered gelatin (4 teaspoons)
    • 3 tablespoons cold water
    • 3 oz. espresso - freshly brewed
    • ice
    • 1/4 cup salt for water bath

    Equipment Required

    • Plastic squeeze bottle
    • Mesh sieve


    1. Chill oil overnight in the refrigerator. The oil must be very, very cold for the gelatin to set properly.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix the gelatin and water until combined, then let it stand while you make your espresso.
    3. Pour hot espresso over gelatin mixture and mix until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
    4. Transfer the melted gelatine mixture to the plastic squeeze bottle and let it sit for a few minutes to cool down before you start the caviar making process. If it's too hot, the caviar will be misshapen.
    5. Put oil in a 1 quart metal or glass container.
    6. Prepare an ice bath by filling a larger bowl with ice and water until it is 2/3 full, then add salt and stir thoroughly. Rest the chilled oil bowl on top.
    7. Begin dropping the gelatin mixture in the chilled oil, 1 - 3 drips at a time.
    8. Allow the droplets to sit in the cold oil for 3 - 5 minutes, then scoop out and strain in a metal sieve.
    9. Repeat this process until you've used all of the gelatin mixture.
    10. Serve immediately over ice cream or any other dessert you think you benefit from a little extra espresso!
    11. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge; just add enough oil to cover them and they'll remain moist for about a week.


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