Make Coffee You Love!

  • Holiday Coffee Culture

    Coffee has evolved to be a major part of the holiday experience, and today we’re taking a look at some of the reasons why coffee may have become so important to the holidays!

    Warm, Cozy, and Delicious!

    Studies have shown that coffee consumption increases around the holidays, and there are a number of potential reasons for that! For starters, December is when many parts of the world (in the Northern Hemisphere of course!) start to get quite chilly. A nice hot coffee in the morning right after the sometimes unpleasant experience of waking up to a chilly home is a great way to start the day. Coffee is also a great accompaniment to a chilly walk to work or in the park. It’s also a cozy addition to a nice evening around the fireplace.

    And that’s another important note to mention - more free time! Many folks get at least a little bit of extra time off around the holidays. Not having to work or get to class the next morning makes that 4PM coffee just a little less dangerous! There’s also the need for a little extra kick when you’re busy preparing gifts, studying for your finals, or travelling (though we hope you’re enjoying a nice, safe staycation this year!).

    That last bit is another key factor - seeing family and friends. While we all may be cooped up inside this year, in “normal” years travel and gatherings are a key part of the holidays. Coffee is a drink with so many ways to prepare it, and so many unique flavors from roast to roast. When you think about it, it’s the perfect beverage to share with friends and family.

    And that’s part of why we see so many holiday roasts!

    Holiday Roasting

    It’s become a holiday tradition for specialty roasters to prepare holiday roasts for the season. This tradition is rooted in the fact that so many coffee notes fit the holidays so well. Flavors like citrus, chocolate, and baking spices provide a wonderful assortment of tastes for the season! We also see some interesting offshoots and more adventurous notes than you’d typically find in a basic blend. Since coffee is seasonal, all of this works out with the standard supply chain for the roasters and producers as well.

    Plus, there’s the exciting artwork that goes along with these seasonal blends! We often get extra fun bag art that adds a wonderful bit of extra character to these tasty roasts.

    There’s no doubt that coffee is an important part of the holidays. We hope you’re enjoying some coffee YOU love this year!

     

  • Behind the Scenes at SCG: Holiday 2020

    Hey coffee fans! We’ve all had quite the year here at Seattle Coffee Gear and we’re sure you have too. With the difficulties from COVID-19 we’ve almost all shifted to working from home, while instituting strict social distancing and cleaning guidelines for staff that has to be on site. We’re really proud of how the whole team pulled together here (figuratively speaking of course!), especially as we’ve dealt with the holiday rush!

    Holiday Content

    Our video team worked hard to create awesome video content all holiday long. As you may have guessed, we tried to film as much of it in single sessions as possible. We also made sure multiple hosts were never in the studio at the same time to make social distancing a little easier. 

    We’re so glad we were able to focus on delivering content that helped with buying decisions, because it was very hard to look at machines in person this year. We’re glad everyone enjoyed the tops 3s, shopping guides, gifting tips, and host favs. We also were excited to share Ariel and John’s tips and recipes, and hope they made you holiday just a bit brighter.

    Holiday Shopping Rush!

    Our shipping teams have been doing an outstanding job of responding to the huge holiday rush this year. They’re some of the real heroes of the company, and have been working with our shippers to get everything sent out. 

    Our Customer Service and Sales teams have been working hard to help everyone with their holiday shopping and getting their new machines set up. We’ve seen some of the highest volume of contacts ever this holiday, and we’re working our butts off to get back to everyone!

    Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

    We’ve really enjoyed the set of holiday roasts we’ve seen from across our roasting partners. Delicious, easy to work with coffee for a range of brew methods has helped to keep us going as we push through the holiday rush!

    We’re all eager to get back to the office and see each other, as well as provide more dynamic, exciting coffee content. We have big plans in the works across our teams for 2021, and we really hope you join us. 

    Most importantly, we’re thankful for you this year. Our customers are some of the best in the world, and we love bringing you our unique blend of content and retailing. We hope you have a wonderful, safe holiday this year, whether it’s already partway concluded, or hasn’t really started yet!

  • Holiday Video Roundup

    Hey coffee fans!

    It’s time for our biggest video roundup of the season! Since we have so much to cover we’ll be linking to the videos for usability.

    First up we have our big ol’ list of 2020 top threes:

    Next we have a trio of holiday drink recipes with Ariel:

    And finally, a couple of tips and tricks videos for the season with John:

     

    We hope you enjoy the video content and have a wonderful holidays!

  • Holiday Coffee Drinks

    Hey Coffee Fans!

    Today we’ve got some extra delicious coffee drinks (alcoholic and non!) by way of resident mixologist, Ariel! Ariel demonstrated these drinks in the video below, but we’ve got them here for you too! Let’s dive in:

    Gingerbread Cookie Syrup Latte:

    1 cup water

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup light corn syrup

    1/4 cup Biscoff cookie butter

    1 tsp. Gingerbread spice

    1/4 tsp ground cloves

     

    Combine ingredients in over medium-low heat. Whisk until sugar, corn syrup, and cookie butter are well combined. Pour into a heat resistant container and let cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

    Add syrup to taste for your next latte and top with whipped cream!

     

    Spicy Hot Chocolate:

    1 cup water

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup light corn syrup

    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

    1-2 dried Thai Chilis

     

    Combine ingredients over medium-low heat. Whisk until sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa powder are well combined, allow flavors of the spices and chilis to infuse, remove from heat once desired spice level is reached. Strain into a resistant container and let cool. Cover and store in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.

    Combine sauce with steamed milk and top with a whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce!

     

    Espresso Syrup:

    1 cup (4 shots) espresso

    1 cup granulated sugar

     

    Combine espresso and sugar in a heat resistant container. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

     

    Espresso Bourbon Flip:

    2 oz of your preferred bourbon

    1 whole egg

    1oz espresso syrup

     

    In an empty drink shaker, combine bourbon, egg, and syrup. Shake vigorously for one minute to combine ingredients and whip the egg. Add 4-5 ice cubes to shaker and shake again for 30 seconds to chill. Double strain into coupe glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

    We hope you've enjoyed these holiday coffee treats!

  • Holiday Host Favorites!

    We know we’ve been inundated with lists this year, but we’ve got one more important one to share! So far we’ve had our best ofs and shopping guides, but what would our top 3s hosts bring home themselves? Let’s take a look!

    Pat

    • Saeco Xelsis: The Saeco Xelsis is a fantastic superauto that is high end, but provides so much bang for your buck. Loads of drink customization options, high quality milk steaming, great shots, and easy maintenance make this my superauto of choice to bring home for the holidays.
    • Solis Barista Perfetta: The Barista Perfetta is a really solid entry to the semi-auto world that offers just a little more than a simple entrypoint. This is a machine that really gives you all you need to get started, but will last you a good long time as you discover what you want in a more generational machine.
    • Bonavita Interurban: The Interurban is a great, simple kettle that includes the gooseneck spout, programmable temps, and reliability. Bonus points for including the temperature presets!

    Jake

    • Eureka Mignon Notte: The Mignon Notte is one of the best ways to get into grinding for espresso. Affordable, simple, and high performance, this is a grinder you can use with your first machine all the way to prosumer, high end options.
    • Philips 1220 Carina: The Carina is such an incredible value for what it offers. You get consistent shots, milk steaming, and easy maintenance in the most affordable superauto on the market. It may not have the bells and whistles of the Xelsis, but this machine is a great all around purchase to get your morning latte.
    • Ratio Six: The Ratio Six is an incredible consistent drip brewer that’s simple and high performing. The included heat retention gasket offers extra performance that we haven’t seen on the competition!

    John

    • Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto: The Cinquantotto is a powerful machine that provides very high end prosumer grade performance and might just be the last espresso machine you ever buy. With its programmable PID controller, auto on, and detachable touch screen control unit, this machine combines form and function elegantly.
    • Acaia Pearl S: The Acaia Pearl has been a longtime favorite for crafting perfect pour over. WIth the Pearl S, Acaia has upped its game. This scale combines accuracy, timing, and ease of use for a pretty unbeatable package.
    • Baratza Virtuoso+: The Virtuoso+ is a precise, high-performance brew grinder that gives the perfect grind for slow brew methods. What’s more, the easy to use digital timing knob means you can dial in your time to grind. The lit catch bin also is a nice touch for that early morning (or late night) cup of coffee.

     

    Check out our host’s favorites over on our YouTube Channel as well!

  • Holiday Coffee Favorites

    Hey coffee lovers! It’s that time of year for cozy coffee notes and comfy drinks perfect for frosted windows and lit fireplaces. It’s a tough year because we can’t all share our favorite coffee with visitors, but we’re here to make the most of it with some favorite roasts and ways to prepare them.

    Brandywine Coffee Roasters - Seattle Coffee Gear 2020 Holiday Blend

    As has become holiday tradition here at SCG, we’re proud to have collaborated with our friends at Brandywine Coffee Roasters on another holiday roast! If you can tear your eyes away from the adorable artwork on the bag, you’ll find a delicious, classic set of notes within.

    One of the best parts of this roast is how versatile it is. Whether you like an espresso, drip brew, press, pour over, or more, this blend is just the right thing. On top of this, this is a delicious roast with or without milk. For a little extra fruitiness, we love a latte made with a hint of raspberry syrup.

    Onyx Coffee Lab - Framily

    As the name implies, Framily is the perfect complex, but approachable blend to share with friends and family over the holidays. It’s true most of us can’t do that in person this year, but this one’s a great candidate to send to your framily and enjoy over your holiday video calls. 

    Framily’s notes offer some lighter tastes over classic richness via a medium roast that is easy to brew and drink. Because this one’s got some fruitier notes along with that earl grey touch, we recommend giving it a shot as a classic pour over. This method will tease out those lighter flavors wonderfully, and you can impress your friends and family with your technique over a video meeting!

    Camber Coffee - Dialed In Espresso

    This one’s a bit of a cheat, as it’s available year round! We still couldn’t pass up the chance to recommend it. Why is this? Because it’s the perfect way to break in your new espresso machine. We worked with Camber to develop Dialed in as an easy to, well, dial in, espresso. That means it’s got classic espresso notes and will be a great coffee to get started with.

    With that in mind, this one’s a great add to some eggnog! If you’re brave enough try steaming eggnog, just remember to go slow and steady, it’s jumpy! It’s also important to carefully purge and clean your steam wand after steaming a thicker milk substitute like eggnog.

    Partners Coffee Roasters - Miracle on North 6th St.

    This one’s where that quintessential bit of orange flavor comes in. Miracle on North 6th St. fills that baked goods profile with a hint of citrus to really top it off. This is another one that works great in a lot of brew methods and isn’t hard to work with.

    That’s why we think it’s a great one to share as a pot of old fashioned drip coffee with a roommate or partner. Maybe you’ve got more than just a couple of coffee drinkers in your home and you’ll need a second pot! Either way, this one’s great with or without milk or cream.

    The truth is, we’re in love with all of our holiday blends, and we want to hear how you’re brewing them! Try out your favorite roaster’s seasonal roast this year and let us know how you love to prepare it!

  • Coffee Trivia To Stump Your Friends and Family!

    We know that trying to gather remotely makes this a challenging holiday season for a lot of folks. Thanks to group video chats we can at least gather virtually, but it’s hard to share food and drinks around a fire or physically exchange gifts. To add a bit of coffee flavored fun to your video calls we have collected some fun coffee themed trivia! We hope you get a bit of joy out of sharing these facts or making them into a caffeinated guessing game this holiday.

    • Where and how was coffee discovered?
      • Legend has it that people in Ethiopia first noticed erratic behavior from goats who had eaten raw coffee beans!
    • How many cups of coffee does the world consume per day?
      • Around 2.3 billion!
    • What makes espresso different from coffee?
      • It’s all about the brew. Espresso is just coffee brewed at a higher ratio of coffee to water (1:2 instead of 1:16) and at about 9 BAR of pressure.
    • Which U.S. President was so careful about his coffee that he watched it brew himself?
      • Franklin Roosevelt.
    • When did coffee arrive in America?
      • The British brought coffee to the American colonies sometime in the mid 17th century.
    • How did Pope Clement VIII allegedly contribute to the spread of coffee in Europe?
      • He was the first pope to drink coffee, and blessed it, ending the church’s ban on and disapproval of the beverage.
    • How many different varieties of coffee plants are there?
      • There are over 100 different coffee plant species!
    • How many countries produce coffee?
      • Approximately 70 different countries produce coffee!
    • What historical event led to coffee’s popularity in America?
      • The Boston Tea Party! After this event, coffee steadily rose in popularity as a function of tea’s declining popularity.
    • When and where was the first coffee shop opened?
      • It’s believed that the first coffee shop opened in Constantinople in the mid 16th century.
    • What’s the ideal temperature for brewing hot coffee?
      • 195-205 degrees fahrenheit.
    • How many different brew methods exist for coffee?
      • Over 10 popular brew methods exist, with many more regional ways around the world.
    • What’s “third wave” coffee?
      • Third wave coffee roasting refers to the current method of coffee roasting where the roasters treat coffee as an artisanal ingredient. The “third wave” wording was inspired by the three waves of feminism.

     

    We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun coffee facts!

  • 2020 Carina Holiday Gifting Guide

    Is someone on your gift list getting a Philips Carina this year? We’re here to help! The Philips 1220 Carina is a great way to get started with brewing espresso at home, and we’ve got some great gifts to help you help them!

    Filters

    One of the great things about the Philips Carina is that it’s compatible with AquaClean water filters. These filters reduce the number of descalings that the Carina needs by delivering water with the perfect mineral content to the brewer. 

    It may seem a touch boring, but a gift of some filters is a great way to help the new Carina owner on your list cut down on one of the few recurring costs that come with the Carina. Plus it’s convenient to not have to remember to order new filters!

    Cups and Mugs

    With a world of drink options, that new Carina owner will need some mugs to enjoy them! Sure, you could just brew any drink into a standard coffee cup, but adding a bit of flair is always fun! We love Acme mugs for enjoying lattes and cappuccinos, these mugs are durable, functional, and look great.

    Looking for something with a little more flair? Cups from notNeutral offer bold, colorful ways to enjoy your favorite espresso drinks.

    Storage

    Coffee storage is important for getting the most out of your beans. Coffee maintains its freshness for up to a month in the bag, but you can extend its life by storing it in a proper airtight container. There’s a few options out there, but we find Airscape containers to really offer a great balance of capacity, performance, price, and looks.

    These containers feature a gasketed lid, but also have a vacuum sealer that can be used to provide true vacuum storage for your coffee. In an airscape, coffee can last months. Perfect for stocking up on holiday roasts! Just remember to get an Airscape that’s a little bit bigger than what you need for it to fit the sealer.

    Coffee

    Speaking of coffee, we’ve got a whole category of Superauto Friendly roasts to help any new Carina owner get started. Prefer to let our experts do the work? Check out our wonderful new gift coffee subscriptions! Just pick blends or single origins (we recommend blends for the Carina) and our team will do the rest. 

  • 2020 Rocket Espresso Holiday Gifting Guide

    Do you know someone receiving a new Rocket Espresso machine this holiday season? Turns out, getting the most out of it takes more than just the machine. We’re here to help you help them to get the most out of their new machine! Important to note - if they got their Rocket Espresso machine through Seattle Coffee Gear then they probably received a Rocket Espresso Pro Upgrade Kit! This is exclusively available from SCG, and covers some great additional items like a naked portafilter, premium tamper and milk pitcher,  and more. Worth checking to see if they have this kit before purchasing them another tamper or pitcher! We’ll give those a look in our first section!

    Tampers, Mats, and More

    While a Rocket Pro Upgrade kit may come with a premium tamper, having an Espro Calibrated Tamper doesn’t hurt. This tamper “clicks” when proper pressure is applied, so it helps to train new users on the perfect tamp. 

    Another key element of any espresso setup is a tamping mat. These rubber mats help contain any mess from spilled grounds and provide a places to tamp while protecting your countertop. Perfect for their new Rocket Espresso machine, check out this Rockest Espresso Tamping Mat!

    Finally, while it’s on the higher end, the Ona Coffee Distribution Tool is a great tool for improving shot quality. This adjustable, weighted tool helps to evenly distribute grounds across the portafilter for even extraction and reduced channeling. It’s a great addition to any Rocket Espresso setup!

    Pitchers, Glasses, and Storage

    Another great addition to a Rocket Espresso setup is a premium frothing pitcher. While one of these comes in the aforementioned Rocket Espresso Pro Upgrade Kit, we also recommend this stylish and easy to use Rocket Espresso Frothing Pitcher. The spout and shape make it the perfect pitcher for learning to froth and pour latte art.

    Speaking of pitchers, it’s key to get the perfect volume as you dial in shots. While we think a scale like the Acaia Lunar is a great addition to any espresso setup, you should also consider a Rhino Coffee Gear shot pitcher!

    Drinkware is also important, and we have a wide range of cups and mugs to choose from. Mugs and cups always make a great gift!

    Last but not least, there’s storage. No coffee setup is complete without a way to store coffee. You can store coffee in the bag, but to really get the most out of it you’ll want to keep it in an airtight canister. We like Airscape’s range of different coffee containers. It’s important to remember that the vacuum seal takes up some room inside of the canister, so you’ll want to get one a bit larger than the capacity of beans you want to store!

    Coffee!

    To top it all off, you’ve gotta gift them some coffee! We’re excited to offer gift coffee subscriptions for the first time here at Seattle Coffee Gear! Just select blends or single origins and a length of time and we’ll do the rest!

    Hopefully this has given you some great options for helping them get the most out of their new Rocket Espresso machine for the holidays!

  • Cyber Monday Deals Guide!

    It’s Cyber Monday 2020! That means we’ve got a whole load of great savings across the site. We wanted to highlight a few of the great deals you can get right now! Please note that these deals are available at the time of this posting, they may not be at the time that you’re reading. Be sure to check out our holiday deals page for up to date information on 2020 holiday savings!

    Semi-Automatic Espresso

    In the semi-auto department we have exclusive deals like the Solis Perfetta for just $429. You can also bundle a Eureka Mignon Notte and save more! The Crossland CC1 is also available at $150 off for just $549 for all of the hobbyist espresso drinkers out there. If all you need is a grinder, the Notte mentioned above is available standalone for $50 off as well!

    We’re also excited to bring you the Breville Dynamic Duo, a powerful pairing of a Breville Dual Boiler espresso machine and Smart Grinder Pro espresso grinder for $100 off! This already excellent deal is even sweeter this holiday season.

    If you’re a fan of La Marzocco, we also have the classic Linea Mini available for $300 off.

    Superautomatic Espresso

    In the superauto category we’ve got an exciting $100 off offer on the Philips Carina. This puts this machine at the low price of $399! It’s an incredible way to get started in the world of espresso for a fantastic price. 

    If you’re looking for a higher end superauto, Miele machines are a full $200 off right now. These extraordinary machines only get better with a holiday price point!

    Drip and Slow Brewing

    We’ve also got the entry-level Solis Scala grinder available for just $79, making it one of the best values for new brew coffee enthusiasts.

    Then there’s coffee! Right now you can grab a gift coffee subscription for a friend or family member, which will get them delicious hand picked roasts selected by our coffee experts!

    Plus, you can save sitewide with our holiday tiered discounts! Just used the following codes at checkout:

    • HOLIDAY10: Take $10 off orders $100 - $249
    • HOLIDAY25: Take $25 off orders $250 - $449
    • HOLIDAY50: Take $50 off orders $500+

    We’ve got more savings coming over the course of this week, so be sure to sign up for the Seattle Coffee Gear newsletter and watch our holiday deals page for more savings!

     

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