Semi-automatic

Be your own barista with a semi-automatic espresso machine. Learn how to brew, froth or clean up!
  • Barista Pro Review

    The Barista Express has been the gold standard for new home baristas for years now. By combining a quality espresso grinder with solid brewing and steaming, Breville build a winner in the Express. It has always been an easy machine to recommend as a first purchase, or upgrade from a cheaper, less powerful brewer. So how does the new Barista Pro stack up? Is it just a higher price tag with a fancier face? The short answer is no, the long answer is a lot more interesting.

    Visual Design

    The Barista Pro features a completely redesigned case that maintains a similar footprint as the Express, but with a totally different look. Most recognizable is the addition of a backlit screen, somewhat similar to the Barista Touch. This screen provides information about grind fineness, amount, and timers. Keeping all of this on one screen makes dialing in the machine a little friendlier. Rather than track numbers in different places, you can review everything about the grind settings at a glance. The screen also offers a shot timer, a huge boon for any machine. Measuring shot time is key to pulling a good shot, so having this information visible on the main display is a great feature.

    Otherwise, the visual design and controls are on par with that of the express. This machine is simple to operate with intuitive controls for pulling shots, adjusting the grinder, and steaming milk or adding hot water. All of this combines for a design package that is a step up from the Barista Express. That said, if these visual improvements were all this machine offered it'd be a hard sell given the price difference. Thankfully, there's a lot more under the hood in this new model.

    Brewing and Steaming Performance

    Breville has always had a knack for fitting powerful heating systems into affordable machines. The Barista line has always been a great example of this, but their new machines push this concept even further. First introduced in the Bambino, the Barista Pro features Breville's new ThermoJet heating system. The Bambino already impressed with its heatup and steam times, but getting this enhanced heating element in a more prosumer machine is exciting. From lightning fast heatup times to a near non-existent delay going from brew to steam, this heating system does work.

    When dialing in, we were able to pull several shots in a row with the Pro heating up. As far as making lattes, the milk steaming both switched on faster, and steamed milk faster than the Express by a considerable margin.

    Another interesting upgrade on this machine is the hot water spout. This spout functions like you'd expect, but it's angled to allow you to make Americanos without moving your cup. Some of this depends on your cup size and design, and it is surprising to see the hot water come out at an angle at first. While this isn't nearly the overhaul that the heating element and look got, it's worth mentioning for even easier Americanos!

    Verdict

    Overall it's extremely easy to recommend the Barista Pro. It's true that its price pushes into competition with machines like the Silvia and CC1, but those machines don't also have a built in grinder. There is certainly an argument for being able to upgrade these devices independently, and both of the aforementioned machines are viable options, but if you're new to espresso or looking to upgrade from the Express, the Pro is a no brainer.

    You do still run into the combo machine issue of sludge in the drip tray, and stepping up into dual boiler machines will provide even faster steam and heatup times. With all that said, we're huge fans of the Barista Pro here, and you should absolutely add it to the list of machines to research before you make your next purchase.

    Check out the Barista Pro on Seattle Coffee Gear here!

  • An Overview of Izzo Espresso

    You may have noticed an exciting new product line on SCG recently: Izzo Espresso! We're extremely excited to bring Izzo to our list of machines. We thought we'd take some time to introduce each of the machines in the line here today.

    Roasting First

    One of the things that differentiates Izzo from other machine manufacturers is heritage. Many machine companies start with a goal of building a great espresso machine. This has created incredible machines from a wide range of producers. Izzo, on the other hand, started as a roaster! This means that the company sought to create the perfect machine for brewing their coffee.

    This unique approach is precisely why we've decided to bring on Izzo coffee alongside their machines. This is classic Italian espresso roasting with big flavor and big body. We definitely recommend grabbing some coffee with your new machine! We should, however, be really clear that this coffee tastes great in many machines. Further, these machines are incredible brewers capable of brewing coffee from anywhere! Let's give them a look!

    Vivi PID+

    The Vivi is Izzo's most compact machine. Like its bigger siblings, the first thing you'll notice about Vivi is its stunning design. The gorgeous, shiny stainless steel extends to the case, frame, and boiler of the machine. The controls on the machine are tactile and responsive, giving you fine control of pre-soaking grounds and steam. The gauges on the front of the machine are precise and easy to read, and the machines' PID temperature controller interface is simple and doubles as a shot timer. Finally, you might notice the Vivi's exposed E-61 grouphead. This group keeps water temperature constant as it flows into the portafilter. This leads to even extraction and hot shots, every time.

    The inside of this machine is exciting as well. The Vivi's stainless steel boiler is 1.8 liters and features a heat exchanger design. This means the boiler heats up incredibly quickly and has the power to pull shots and steam milk at the same time.

    Our criticisms are very minor. For one, this is a hot machine. This is normal for machines of this type, but you'll definitely want to avoid leaning on it! We also found ourselves making fine adjustments to the PID setting to really find the best temp to pull shots AND steam milk. This is because of the size and shape of the boiler. It's a minor nuisance though, and one common in machines of this nature.

    Overall, this is an excellent brewer for someone looking to get into high-end espresso and really start tweaking their drinks.

     

    Alex PID+

    Next up is the Alex PID+. For starters, this machine offers everything that the Vivi does so well. The Alex PID+ is all about "more is more." The boiler is stepped up to a 2.3 liter size. This is a massive boiler for a home machine, and it means you'll be pulling shot after shot without slowing down. This added capacity means added size as well, so fitting this machine on your countertop may prove more difficult than with the Vivi. Bigger size means more room for cups, and a deeper drip tray as well. Finally, the Alex PID+ has a rotary pump, making plumbing in possible if you have the right water!

    The only real complaint we have with this machine is that it might be a little bulky for some kitchens. If that's not a concern for you, it's a fantastic option.

    This is a beautiful machine best suited for a heavy espresso drinker looking for a "prosumer" solution to the daily coffee shop run. While the Vivi is an excellent option for a wide range of kitchens, the Alex PID+ is a slightly larger size investment. With that said, the larger boiler, rotary pump, deeper drip tray, and cup warmer real estate definitely justify the slight bump in price.

     

    Alex Duetto IV+

    Last but not least, the Duetto IV+. At first glance, this machine may look just like the Alex PID+, and while it shares similarities in terms of design and component quality, it's a different animal. This machine takes the exquisite attention to detail of the PID+ and Vivi and adds a host of tweakable features, and a whole second boiler. The second boiler means that the machine is able to steam and brew far faster than you can. We'd challenge even the busiest home barista to outrun this machine!

    But it's not just the boiler that sets the Duetto apart. First of all, if you have a kitchen wired for 20A, the Duetto can accommodate. While it works perfectly fine for 15 amp wiring, the 20 amp mode gives accelerated heatup times and blazing fast steam recovery times. It's a great option for the busy kitchen with the ability to take advantage of the feature. Additionally, this machine is a techie's dream.

    The Duetto gives you external access to elements like pump pressure, boiler drains, and heating elements. This means you can tweak and tease every aspect of the machine's operation. All of this means that hobbyist home baristas will have field day making fine adjustments and changes to their shot creation. Most machines make accessing these components much more of a chore, so it's a welcome addition alongside the larger boiler. It is worth noting, only experienced users and technicians should mess with a lot of these items, and doing so could affect your warranty.

    We hate to sound like a broken record, but the only thing we can knock the Duetto for is potential size concerns in smaller kitchens. It combines the smart design throughline of the other Izzo machines with a second boiler and tweakability not common in machines at this price point. Check out all of these machines below!

     

     

     

  • Seattle Coffee Gear’s Top Three Espresso Machines of 2018

    It’s that time of year again! Leaves are falling, the air is getting cool and crisp, and Summer is well and truly in the rear view mirror. All of this means that we have plenty to share about our favorite machines for 2018! Today we’re taking a look at SCG’s top espresso machines of 2018! We focused on picking the best buys of the year, not limiting the list to machines that came out this year.
     
    Chances are that if you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ve seen a machine from Rancilio. From stalwart commercial machines to no-frills home machines, Rancilio earns its reputation. The Silvia is no exception! For starters, many of the Silvia’s features are inspired by its commercial siblings, but adapted for the smaller form factor. The controls are also extremely easy to use. Simple on/off switches control extraction and steaming, with clear indicator lights to tell you when something’s not right.
    All of this combines with excellent construction and component quality to produce a solid machine. The Silvia doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some higher dollar machines. It also doesn’t have the boiler capacity of machines above its price bracket. It makes up for this with usability and reliability. New this year is a stylish black powder coat over the stainless steel frame. The classic stainless Silvia is still a nice looking machine, but the black may fit better in your kitchen, and we love how it looks.
    The Silvia is the perfect machine for someone upgrading from an entry level brewer or looking to spend a little extra on their first machine!
     
    If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you know that we’re big fans of this machine. The Saeco Xelsis is an update to a classic machine that well outperforms the previous model. We’ve said it before, but the programmability, milk quality, and ergonomics of this machine punch above their weight. It’s an excellent superautomatic in its price bracket.
    The control options in the Xelsis are more varied than most other superautos. This means you get to change things like milk texture, flavor, strength, and so much more with the slide of a finger. Additionally, while the shots from the Xelsis are on par with any of its competitors, the milk is the real star. The hygiesteam system froths milk with quality that’s not easy to achieve from a device of this nature. That system, plus Saeco’s tried and tested AquaClean water filtration, make maintaining the Xelsis easy.
    It’s great machine wether it’s your first superauto, or an upgrade.
     
    We don’t have too much to say about this machine that we haven’t already. Between the Appartamento’s stellar looks, excellent build quality, and capable components, this is simply one of the most successful home espresso machines that we offer. The first thing you’ll likely notice is its looks. This machine shines with its beautiful stainless steel casing and tactile controls. These controls give you the ability to make fine adjustments to your brewing process. They also help you “feel” every aspect of pulling the shot and steaming your milk. This gives you a great sense of the science behind your brewing.
    It wouldn’t be one of our favorites though if wasn’t also high performing. The Appartamento features a 1.8 liter heat exchange boiler, this will allow you to steam milk and brew shots at the same time, something that’s hard to find in machines at this price point. The heated E-61 group also keeps water temps and extraction even through the brewing process. To top it off, the build quality of the Appartamento is extremely solid. In the end it’s a fine machine for someone ready to buy a machine they’ll hold onto for a very long time.
    Check out the video version of this piece, where I discuss these picks in our studio! Stay tuned for even more best of 2018s, coming very soon!
  • 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!

  • Top 8 Gear Essentials for 2018

    We know you're well into the new year, but we have an addition to your list of resolutions. MAKE COFFEE YOU LOVE!  Delicious coffee at home couldn't be simpler, so we put together a collection of some of our favorite gear essentials to get you on your way! Get on the road to your best brew yet with these items!

    Essential Drip Brewer - Bonavita Metropolitan Coffee Maker

    bonametr1 Why you'll love this Drip Brewer: The name of the game is "simple" with this 2017 drip brewer release from Bonavita. This brewer features a one touch design, easy to use optional pre-infusion, and a consistent brew at the 200° sweet spot. The Metropolitan produces a deliciously clean cup for a brewer coming in at just below $100, which is credited in part to its straight forward unibody plastic case.

    Essential Superautomatic Espresso Machine - Saeco Incanto Plus HD8911/67

    incanto_plus Why you'll love this Machine: Saeco's new Incanto Plus is a Seattle Coffee Gear exclusive that gives you many of the diverse features of a solid superauto without going too in-depth with overwhelming technology. You'll also enjoy easy drink programmability and panarello wand or automatic cappuccinatore steaming options. The Incanto Plus is accessible not just in it's usability but also with its price.

    Essential All-Purpose Grinder - Baratza Vario Burr Grinder

    57 Why you'll love this Grinder: It's 2018 - the year of ditching your blade grinder. While it may sound like an overwhelming investment, you WILL taste the difference. Baratza's line of grinders are accessible at multiple price points including the Encore, VirtuosoForte AP, and many more depending on your needs. So why the Vario? It's just about perfect when it comes to grinding anything from espresso to French press. And, with automatic dosing by weight you don't have to worry about wasting excess grounds. Paired with a quiet grind and easy cleanup, the Vario is a total winner.

    Essential Electric Kettle - Oxo On Adjustable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle

    oxo_kettle_main Why you'll love this Kettle: Let's just make one thing clear from the get go—this kettle is FAST. In fact, it is the fastest of all of the kettles we currently carry, heating a liter of water in four minutes. Additionally, the gooseneck design allows for optimal pour over control. With its easy to use temperature dial, built-in timer, and ability to hold your temperature for 30 minutes—this sleek kettle is a must have.

    Essential Scale - Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale

    home-left-right-image-1 Why you'll love this Scale: We've all had that experience of enjoying an incredible cup of coffee that we just can't seem to replicate. While there are many contributing factors going into that cup like differences from roast-to-roast and the quality of the harvest, there are a handful of tools you can use at home to brew a more consistent cup of coffee. Using a scale to measure your coffee as opposed to eyeballing your amounts will do wonders! The Acaia Scale features an LED screen, touch-sensitive buttons, heat resistant pad, and and an interactive app that lets users recreate recipes from the past and experiment with new brews.

    Essential Coffee Storage - Airscape Coffee Bean Canister

    airscape_64_black Why you'll love this Product: All of the gear in the world can't make stale coffee taste good. Whether you go through a pound of coffee in a week or a month, having the proper storage is crucial to a tasty bean! The Airscape's patent-pending valve allows maximum freshness by removing oxygen that causes your beans to grow stale. Available in two sizes, the larger of the two holds about 16oz of whole bean coffee. Pick your color of choice and taste the difference fresher coffee can make!

    Essential Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine - Rocket Espresso Appartamento

    sa-roc-app-w-2 Why you'll love this Machine: Milan-based espresso machine manufacturer Rocket Espresso brings cafe quality coffee to your home at a fairly affordable price with the Appartamento. Featuring Rocket's tried-and-true heat exchange boiler and E61 group head pairing, you'll be pulling shots and pouring lattes in polished style. Featuring a small footprint perfect for those with limited space! Pair this with a solid grinder (maybe the Baratza Vario!) and you'll be enjoying delicious espresso in no time!

    Essential Travel Coffee Maker - AeroPress Coffee Maker

    aeropress_updated Why you'll love this Coffee Maker: World travelers—say goodbye to instant coffee. The AeroPress Coffee Maker is here to help you brew a wonderfully smooth and robust cup of coffee from your kitchen, hotel room, or camp spot. Easy to clean and super lightweight, the AeroPress is tough to beat when you're craving a cup of Joe. Whether your traveling with a compact hand grinder or freshly ground beans, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious the coffee coming from this simple brewer can be!

    Taking your love of coffee to the next level in 2018 doesn't have to be hard! Whether it's this gear or another favorite piece, a little effort goes a long way!

    Want to share a picture of your essential gear setup? Use the hashtag  #makecoffeeyoulove to show everyone what you're working with!

  • SCG Exclusive: Rocket Espresso R58 - Il Centesimo Giro d'Italia Edition

    Rocket_Giro_FinalSelects (17 of 32) The Rocket Espresso R58 - Il Centesimo Giro d'Italia Edition featuring custom pink dials, commemorative engraving, and an individually numbered face plate.

    What does it take to pull the perfect shot of espresso? Patience. Expertise. Precision. Diligence. A deep understanding of your materials. The list goes on with different preparation techniques from person to person informing your perspective. Espresso aficionados alike strive for that euphoric moment of perfection – a demitasse cup of liquid gold. While many tools exist to get you there, a select few reign supreme. The Rocket Espresso R58 Il Centesimo Giro d'Italia Edition stands at the peak of its class. A reflection of espresso and cycling mastery, the R58 Centesimo is a commemoration of 100 years of Italian Bike Touring excellence.

    The second of the famed 'European Grand Tour', The Giro d'Italia follows a route over 2,200 miles long circumventing Italy in a 23-day race. This centennial achievement is memorialized in this limited edition R58. Each R58 Centesimo sports the names of Giro d'Italia's champions (including 2017s Tom Dumoulin), custom side panels, maglia rosa-themed gauges and matching accessories. Much like a champion cyclist, you'll find the R58—with its classic dual boiler E61 setup, removable PID controls, and optional plumbing—a prime contender for creating some of the best espresso you've ever had.

    Limited to a run of 100 machines worldwide to echo the 100 winners of the race, each R58 Centesimo is individually numbered to reflect it’s place it this one of a kind collection. Only 9 are available in the United States exclusively at Seattle Coffee Gear.

    Rocket_Giro_FinalSelects (11 of 32) Reflecting a cyclist's wheel, each R58 Centesimo features custom engraving of every Giro d'Italia champion.

    The Big Race:

    Giro d'Italia 1953, Stage 4, Wim van Est and Gino Bartali Giro d'Italia 1953, Stage 4, Wim van Est and Gino Bartali
    • Founded in 1909, the original Giro d’Italia was organized as a means to raise funds for the La Gazzetta dello Sport – an Italian publication covering various sports and the most widely read daily newspaper in Italy.
    • The race is held annually during late May and early June, except for two breaks during World War 1 and 2.
    • The Giro d’Italia is one of three races that make up the ‘European Grand Tour’ – the Tour de France and Vuetla a España complete the trifecta.
    • Professional road bicycle racer Tom Dumoulin won the 100th race – becoming the first Dutch rider to win the race.
    Rocket_Giro_FinalSelects (20 of 32) The one of a kind R58 Centesimo stands above the rest.

    Details of Excellence on the R58 Centesimo:

    • Italian cycling history comes together with Milan-made espresso machine mastery featuring custom pink dials, packaging, tamper, and engraved side panels celebrating past winners of the Giro d’Italia.
    • Manufactured in Milan and limited to 100 machines. Only 9 exist in the United States and are individually numbered with a custom front face plant.
    • PID-Controlled Double Boiler allowing for superior control of steam and brew boiler temperatures. PID controller is detachable.
    • Plumb in adaptability; hosing included.
    • Classic E61 Group providing thermal stability at the head of the machine.
    • Insulated Steam Wand allowing for barista-quality steaming ability without the risk of burning your hands.

     

    What does Gail think? Check it out!

    Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of Bicycle racing and espresso history. Buy your one of a kind machine here!

  • Seattle Coffee Gear + illy: Be Your Own Barista

    SCG_illy (2 of 24)It’s a frustrating question that has plagued many a coffee aficionado throughout the years: why doesn’t the cappuccino I make at home taste as delicious as the cappuccino I buy from my local coffee shop? The answer to that question can be found by addressing a diverse set of material related variables from the freshness of your beans, to the quality and calibration of your grinder, to the pressure at which you are extracting your espresso. Maybe your machine hasn’t been cleaned? Maybe it wasn’t properly rinsed after cleaning?

    But what about when you’ve covered all of the variables and you’re still not getting the results you are hoping for? Then it’s time to look at your technique!

    SCG_illy (11 of 24)That’s where illy’s “Be Your Own Barista” course came in to play. Meant to empower coffee lovers who wanted to take their home coffee preparation to the next level, this class held at our Bellevue location provided participants with the opportunity to train hands-on with Giorgio Milos – illy Master Barista and Italian Barista Champion. Equipped with all of the tools needed to produce great coffee at home, fourteen students discussed coffee history, learned tips and tricks to consider when preparing their beverages, and were released to put their new knowledge to the test while illy’s education team helped fine tune their technique.

    “I never knew I could make espresso that tastes this good,” shared a participant frustrated with the past drinks she had been making at home. It was a matter of making small corrections to her grinder as well as changing her tamping that helped her produce a cleaner, fuller bodied drink. Many attendees took notes on the discussions while others asked technical questions they had been investigating for months.

    Seattle Coffee Gear strives to be a place where coffee lovers like us can go to the next level in beverage preparation using the best tools available while also being a resource for people to ask questions and learn. This partnership with illy is only one of the many ways we continue to help people “make coffee you love!”

  • Crew Comparison: La Marzocco Linea Mini vs Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine

    How Does It Compare?

    La Marzocco and Rocket Espresso are two of the top manufacturers for high-end home espresso machines. It comes as no surprise that people often request a comparison between their two double boiler espresso machines, the La Marzocco Linea Mini and Rocket Espresso R58 Espresso Machine.

    While these espresso machines aren’t similar in price point, the capabilities and build quality make both semi-automatics tough competitors! Odds are you’ve heard of the impressive La Marzocco Linea café equipment; the Linea Mini is their home machine designed with an integrated brew group that boasts temperature stability. Not to mention, the Linea Mini is NSF-rated!

    On the other hand, the R58 hits the price point sweet spot and wows baristas with its sterling exterior. And, of course, the R58 features the distinguished E61 Brew Group to help maintain espresso temperature. Although, it’s argued that an integrated brew group has more temperature consistency. That said, a sip of espresso from either machine won’t leave you disappointed!

    Continue reading

  • Crew Review: Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine

    How Does It Compare?

    Basic gets a whole new definition with the Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine! Sure, it’s simple design and easy to use controls are the fundamentals, but this little machine comes with more accessories for budding baristas to grow their technique; the Basic includes both non-pressurized, pressurized and pod baskets to adapt to anyone’s barista skills.

    With the crowd favorite Saeco Via Venezia discontinued, the Basic swoops in to take its place as the new affordable, user-friendly machine. If you’re a new barista looking for an entry-level semi-automatic espresso machine, the Basic fills in the right price point for the amount of features packed in this little machine.

    Continue reading

  • Crew Comparison: Breville Infuser vs Crossland CC1

    How Does It Compare?

    There is couple hundred dollars difference the Breville Infuser and Crossland CC1 and there’s a good reason for the jump. Both semi-automatic espresso machines feature a programmable PID and timed espresso shots. Both have a traditional steam wand. Both are fantastic homes machines. But the CC1 rocks a single boiler and thermoblock-enhanced steam and a digital interface featuring more programming. Between these espresso machines, the Infuser boasts fame from Breville’s consumer-centric design and some extra goodies to make your home coffee experience easy.

    Heads up! We recently compared the Crossland Coffee CC1 and Breville Barista Express, so this might feel like a recap. If you haven’t checked that out yet, there isn’t a huge difference between the Infuser and Barista Express. Really the most notable change is the Barista Express has a built-in grinder.

    Back to the Infuser! Check out this comparison of the Infuser and CC1 and find out which machine is right for you.

    Shot

    Customized Coffee

    Built by coffee geek Bill Crossland, the Crossland CC1 has all the personality you’d expect from, well, a coffee geek! The innovative interface programs the espresso shot time, pre-infusion and wait time between pre-infusion and brew. The PID allows you to adjust the boiler—remember it’s a single boiler—for the ideal brew temperature. Best of all, you can set up three profiles with each of the listed features and that includes the CC1 remembering different brew temperatures—a feature you don’t find on most machines!

    The Crossland Coffee CC1 features a programmable PID and three espresso profiles. The Crossland Coffee CC1 features a programmable PID and three espresso profiles.

    On the other hand, Breville Infuser is built with the kind of convenience casual coffee drinkers adore. Built-in pre-infusion optimizes coffee extraction—and keeps it easy for you—while the two programmable espresso buttons let you set the right shot time. But the Infuser doesn’t have individual profiles like the CC1. The brew temperature is set for the whole machine, which is easier for some baristas to manage, but less customizable.

    The Breville Infuser features two programmable buttons and internal PID. The Breville Infuser features two programmable buttons and internal PID.

    Steam

    Single Boiler vs Thermoblock

    You’ve probably heard the differences between single boilers and thermoblocks. If you're new to this topic, it’s definitely something to think about when purchasing your first or next espresso machine. The Crossland CC1 is outfitted with a single boiler while the Breville Infuser (like the Barista Express) has a thermocoil, a version of the thermoblock.

    A single boiler heats the entire boiler up to brew or steam temperature, which creates consistent brew temperatures and pressure. But that also means a single boiler takes longer to warm up. We recommend giving it a good 30 minutes to heat. A thermoblock heats water the spot to reduce the wait time and also the cost of the machine. The only catch is thermoblocks tend to have less temperature stability.

    While the CC1 only uses the boiler for brewing, it has a trick for steaming—a thermoblock! With an extra helping hand, steam temperature and pressure are quickly reached. Between these two machines, the CC1 definitely brought the steam! That didn't surprise us either since typically single boilers produce more steam power over thermoblocks.

    Thanks to the thermoblock, the CC1 gets up to steam temperature quicker. Thanks to the thermoblock, the CC1 gets up to steam temperature quicker.

    Steam Before Brewing

    One common quality these semi-automatics share are both can’t steam and brew at the same time. Even though the Crossland CC1 has a thermoblock, the boiler will still climb to steam temperature. So what do you do? On machines like the CC1, you’ll have to use a technique called “temperature surfing” to purge water through the steam wand to the boiler back to brewing. But that’s no problem for machines like the Infuser! Breville built in an auto-purge feature to cool the boiler for you!

    The Infuser uses a turn style knob for steam or hot water. The Infuser uses a turn style knob for steam or hot water.

    Style

    Machine Interface

    The Crossland CC1 flaunts a digital display that makes setting everything from the setting the PID a no-brainer. The extra large screen awakens sleepy eyes, so you’re ready to select your daily brew. With this machine, brewing is handled through the digital interface, so you really are selecting your brew! There are some pre-factory settings, but we recommend setting up at least one profile for your favorite coffee.

    While the Infuser doesn’t show off programming on a digital display, it does feature a helpful pressure gauge. You might have noticed the pressure gauge on the front of your machine fluctuates at you brew. The pressure gauge is there to tell baristas what’s happening inside of the boiler. If you ever noticed your coffee isn’t to your standards, watch the gauge and see what it’s doing. Is the needle hitting the espresso range? If not, you might need to adjust your grinder setting finer. Experiment with it and above all else, taste the espresso first to help make the right changes!

    The Infuser features stainless steel buttons and a pressur gauge. The Infuser features stainless steel buttons and a pressure gauge on the interface.

    Extras

    The Breville Infuser is designed with extra bells and whistles to make this machine usable to everyone! If you’re new to espresso, the Infuser has pressurized baskets to assist pulling a delicious shot. But it also comes with non-pressurized baskets, like the Crossland CC, to grow with budding baristas. Lastly, it has a dosing razor for the portafilter and magnetic tamper built in the machine to make brewing a breeze.

    On that note, the CC1 is built for advanced brewing. It boasts an industry-standard 58mm non-pressurized portafilter and hefty single boiler that makes powerful steam pressure. There’s no assisted portafilter here. But that doesn’t mean willing newbies can’t take it for a spin! The intuitive display and a little barista know-how make it effortless for anyone to try.

    The CC1 comes with a industry standard 58mm non-pressurized portafilter. The CC1 comes with a industry standard 58mm non-pressurized portafilter.

    Conclusion

    Are you deciding between the Crossland CC1 and Breville Infuser? Tell us which one you would choose in the comments below! If you have one at your home, share how it’s working out for you.

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