Make Coffee You Love!

  • Video Roundup: 10/16/20

    Hey coffee fans!

    We've got two crew reviews and some tips and tricks for you today, so let's dig in!

    First up We've got some Breville Oracle Touch tips and tricks with Jake!

    Next up, we've got a Crew Review with the Eureka Brew Pro's stylish smoked accessories.

    Last but not least, we've for a fresh Crew Review of the Rancilio Silvia for 2020!

    That's all for this week, stay tuned for more great videos!

  • Breville Oracle Touch Review

    A lot of home espresso users know exactly what sort of machine they’ll want. On the one hand, you’ve got traditional semi-automatic espresso machines. These machines require some patience and practice to learn to use. The upside here is that they offer a high degree of control and precision. On the other hand, there’s the convenience of superautomatic espresso machines. While these machines tend to make the espresso they make, they are also extremely easy to use and can create delicious drinks with just a button press or two. For those looking for something a little more in the middle, there’s the Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine. How does the Oracle Touch stack up in 2020? Read on to find out.

    The Basics

    The Breville Oracle Touch is a hybrid machine that offers some of the control of a semi-automatic machine while automating many of the steps of brewing like a semi-auto. This can be a tough concept to wrap your head around, but it makes sense when you start working with the machine. 

    For starters, this machine features a built-in burr grinder along with its two PID-controlled stainless steel boilers. This combination gives you everything you need to brew great espresso on its own, but then there’s the interface. Using the machine’s color, touchscreen interface you can automate the entire process of grinding, tamping, brewing, and steaming if you want. The only part the machine needs you to handle is moving the portafilter to the grinder, then back to the brew group, then cleanup of the espresso puck and wipedown of the steam wand. 

    The nice part about this is that you can automate as much of the process as you want to. If you like hand steaming milk, that option is there for you. If you hate milk steaming but want to tamp yourself, that’s an option as well. All of this makes the Oracle Touch a fantastic machine for any user that isn’t sure how involved they want to be in the brewing process. What’s more, while this machine is expensive, it doesn’t cut corners on quality or performance. 

    The Details

    As mentioned about, this machine features two boilers, one for steaming and one for brewing, with PID controlled temperatures. This means that you’ll be able to pull shots and steam milk continuously with stable temperatures and minimal downtime. The group head of the Oracle also features an electronic heating element, which keeps the portafilter at temp. This is important because it keeps water from the boiler at temp as it is pushed through the grounds in the portafilter. All of this ensures consistent, even extraction.

    The 58mm pro style portafilter also helps provide the most even extraction of the espresso. A built-in solenoid valve ensures pressure consistency and makes backflushing easy as well. With volumetric or timed programming, you can also dial in the perfect shot manually and have the machine reproduce it every time if you like that sort of hands-on preparation.

    Finally, there’s the steam wand. The Oracle’s steam wand monitors temperature of the milk and can be programmed to introduce a specific amount of air. The results is true differentiation between cappuccino and latte steaming, allowing you to trust in the machine to produce your perfect milk. 

    The biggest problems in the Oracle Touch come from it’s slightly slimmed down control options from the non-touch Oracle, and its size. As a result of development on the touchscreen interface, Breville has removed the programmable tamp pressure and pre-infusion, option for static values for each of these. This was done in an effort to make the machine a little easier to use for new users. Additionally, like the Oracle, and Breville’s Barista line of machines, the Oracle Touch is a large machine. While we think it makes up for this by combining grinder and brewer, having to find room for a combination machine can be a challenge.

    Taken as a whole, the Oracle Touch is a phenomenal platform for any user looking for the control of a semi-automatic and the available automation of a superauto.

  • Baratza Encore 2020 Review

    The Baratza Encore is one of the most popular brew coffee grinders in the world. Featuring conical steel burrs, stepped grind adjustment, and simple operation, all for an entry level price, it’s easy to see why this grinder is so popular. Read on for more details about this fantastic grinder below!

    The Basics

    The Baratza Encore is a grinder specifically designed for brewed coffee. This means that it works for press, drip, and pour over brewing, but can’t grind fine enough for espresso. This has nothing to do with it being lower quality, and everything to do with specific design.

    The Encore’s 40mm conical steel burrs are engineered to provide consistent grounds and reduce retention from finer drip settings all the way up to coarse press settings. These burrs grind fast and are incredibly durable, which means they should produce the perfect grind for your brews year after year. Grind setting is handled by an well marked stepped adjustment operated by rotating the hopper. It’s intuitive, comfortable, and precise. This stepped adjust makes it easy to switch between grind levels for different brew methods.

    The Encore can be engaged by rotating its bi-directional on/off switch, or by pressing and holding the pulse button found on the front of the grinder. Both control options work great, and the catch bin is easy to remove and scoop grounds from. The Encore is also a stylish grinder, available in slick white and black color options. This makes it adaptable if looks are important to you!

    What really puts this grinder over the top for us is its reliability and support. Baratza offers highly engineered, long-lasting products. Considering the Encore’s price, we’d normally assume it is an entry level grinder that you’d wear out after a few years of use. Not so. This is a grinder that is built like a tank and really goes the distance.

    One of our favorite ways to use the Encore is as a single dose, so let’s talk a little bit about that next.

    Single Dosing

    One of the best ways to enjoy multiple coffee roasts and ensure that no beans are wasted is with single dosing. Instead of filling the hopper with beans, you measure out just enough beans for your brew method. This is easiest to do with a scale for pour over, but can work just as well for drip and press brewing too. From there, you dump the grounds in, flip the grinder on, and let it grind through your beans. Because of its relatively low retention, the Baratza Encore makes a fantastic single dose grinder for pour over. 

    You can, of course, fill this grinder’s hopper up to the top and use a combination of the on setting and pulse to grind just enough as well. We just like pointing out that it’s such an excellent single dose grinder because it’s one of the ones we use for coffee testing here at Seattle Coffee Gear!

    It’s for all of these reasons that it’s hard for us not to recommend the Baratza Encore. The perfect blend of performance, price, and reliability, this grinder is a phenomenal way to start your home coffee journey.

  • Video Roundup: 10/9/2020

    Hello out there!

    It's time for another video roundup here at SCG. Let's jump in to this week's videos!

    First up we've got some tips and tricks for the Saeco Xelsis with Jake!

    Next up, we've got a Crew Comparison between the Oxo 8-Cup Coffee Maker and the Bonavita Connoisseur!

    Finally, we've got a Crew Comparison between the Eureka Atom Pro and the Eureka Atom 75!

    That's all for now! We'll be back with more next week.

  • Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto Review

    Rocket Espresso’s home espresso machine line up has seen some evolution over the last year. The Mozzafiato and Giotto received useful new timers, the Appartamento Nera offers a stylish new look for a legendary machine, and now the R58 has received a major overhaul in the form of the Cinquantotto. We’ve looked at the updates to the R58 in a separate post, but we wanted to give a review to the machine on its own as well. Let’s dig in!

    The Basics

    The Rocket Espresso R58 Cinquantotto is a hand-built, double boiler espresso machine that is the very definition of “prosumer.” This is a machine designed for the engaged home espresso enthusiast that wants to make a long-lasting purchase of a machine they simply won’t need to upgrade. This machine features a .58 L dedicated brew boiler offering fast recovery times for brewing multiple shots in a row. The Cinquantotto’s 1.7 L service boiler allows for back to back milk drink steaming and hot water with additionally quick recovery times.

    Perhaps more important than boiler size is overall construction. The boilers themselves are brass/copper, with a stainless steel case and framing for a rock solid brewing and steaming platform that will stand up to year after year of use. On top of all of these, PID controlled temperatures maintain rock solid stability to ensure consistently perfect shots and milk steaming every time.

    Aiding in this is the Cinquantotto’s heated E-61 grouphead, which keeps the portafilter up to temp with the water in the boiler. This means no heat is lost during the brewing process, further ensuring incredible espresso.

    A commercial grade rotary pump delivers perfect pressure every shot, and offers the capability of plumbing this machine in. This provides you the option of using the included water reservoir or directly running a water line to the machine for convenience. 

    All of this combines to deliver an incredible package from a raw power, reliability, and design perspective. What really puts the Cinquantotto over the goal-line is it’s sophisticated controls.

    The Controls and Extras

    The Rockest Espresso R58 Cinquantotto features an all new touch screen PID controller that allows you to control various aspects of the machine. With the basics like temperature control easy to manage, you’ll have more programming at your fingertips as well. This PID controller offers the ability to schedule an auto on sequence, one of the biggest requests from home espresso aficionados. With this functionality, you can schedule your startup so that the machine is heated and ready for duty as soon as you’re ready for your morning espresso.

    Also new to the Cinquantotto is a mini shot timer. This small, unassuming feature is key to helping dial in the perfect espresso shot. Using it, you can ensure that you’re pulling just the right amount of volume over just the right amount of time. This will help you to get that perfect grind from your grinder to pull the perfect shot. It’s a small, but incredible welcome feature for this machine.

    Finally, one of the best parts of all of this is that the PID controller can be detached, letting you keep that classic look. The shot timer also blends in with the machine when not in use, giving you the stunning stainless appearance that gives Rocket Espresso its legendary style. 

    It’s safe to say that we highly recommend this machine to any customer looking for the pinnacle of home espresso. While it may have a learning curve for newer users, it’s a consistent, powerful, beautiful machine that is the perfect way to ensure year after year of incredible coffee.


  • Video Roundup: 10/2/20

    Hey coffee lovers,

    It’s time for another video roundup! We’ve got 3 delightful videos for you this week, so let’s get to it!

    First up, we’ve got Jake with a sneak peek of Baratza’s new Gear line of accessories!

    Next, it’s a Jake double feature with a Bodum Bistro Grinder Crew Review!

    And finally, we’ve got some tips on dialing in the SCG exclusive Eureka Mignon Notte with Ariel.

    That’s all for now! Check back soon for more videos!

  • A Look At Rocket Espresso's RE Doppia Commercial Espresso Machine

    There are so many factors that come into play when selecting an espresso machine for your business. We’ve talked generally about things you’ll want to watch out for, but today we’re highlighting a specific machine. At Seattle Coffee Gear we think it’s an excellent option for aspiring cafe owners and those looking for an upgrade alike. The machine in question? The Rocket Espresso RE Doppia.

    The Basics

    The RE Doppia is a newer premium commercial espresso machine from Rocket Espresso that strives to hit a sweet spot between features, performance, and price. While it’s not the only machine that offers many of the benefits that it does, it’s also well priced compared to the competition. It’s for these reasons that we love to work with and recommend this machine. But what about specifics?

    Available in 2 and 3 group models, the RE Doppia features 2 stainless steel boilers with PID controlled brew temperatures. On the 2 group model, this means a 4 liter brew boiler and 9 liter steam boiler. On the 3 group model you’ll get a 6.3 liter brew boiler and 12 liter steam boiler. Having these sizable double boilers will allow baristas to pull shots and steam milk as fast as orders come in. PID controlled temperatures ensure that you get rock solid consistency in brew temperature as well. 

    Further improving temperature stability all the way from boiler to cup is the RE Doppia’s saturated group heads. Essentially, a saturated group circulates heated boiler water around and through the brew groups to increase temperature stability. This ensures that your water holds temp as it is pushed through the portafilter, which is itself kept hot. Saturated group heads are becoming more and more popular on commercial machines, but to find them on a dual boiler with PID controlled temperatures in this price range is quite impressive. Rounding out the pure performance side of the equation is the RE Doppia’s steam transducer for electronic pressure control. This keeps recovery time quick even under significant load.

    With all of this in mind, even a machine with performance this solid can be a struggle to work with without quality of life and workflow in mind. We’re happy to say that the RE Doppia is also a joy to use.

    Features and Workflow

    Before we dig into the bullet pointed features of the RE Doppia, let’s look at general workflow. The RE Doppia’s groups are controlled by intuitive buttons located at the top of the brew groups. This means all of the information your baristas will need can easily be found at eye level during operation. It also helps avoid messes on a busy countertop, as there’s no need to access the area under or around the groups except when placing and removing cups or portafilters.

    The steam levers on the RE Doppia are very easy to access and operate, and combine comfortably with the machine’s top mounted steam wands. These wands rotate with a high range of motion for use without blocking the brew groups. To top it off, this machine features cool touch wands that won’t burn your staff if they bump into the wand or grab it to move it.

    One of the most important features on the RE Doppia is its volumetric programming. Instead of timed shots or needing to manually stop the flow, baristas can dial in a roast and save the pull by volume. That means if your grinder settings and coffee are kept consistent, you can simply press pre-programmed buttons for the perfect shot every time. This feature allows your baristas to set up an espresso shot before the cafe even opens and then recreate it all day long with just a push of a button. Rather than remove the craft and precision of manually pulling shots, volumetric programming empowers your staff to share their skill with your customers without having to rush when it gets busy. While other high end machines do share this feature, it’s very rare to find it in a dual boiler machine with PID control in the RE Doppia’s pricerange. This combination alone makes it an extremely easy recommendation.

    The RE Doppia also has mix valves on its hot water spouts, a key feature for busy cafes serving Americanos. These valves stop the sputtering and steam spray that can come from pulling hot  water from a steam boiler.

    Last, but certainly not least, is the extensive programming available on the RE Doppia. From pre-brew times and volumetrics to deep control of pumps and boilers, with the help of a technician you can really dial your machine in for your business. This all combines to really make the machine something that adapts to your needs and workflow, rather than demanding that you learn to wrap your coffee service around it.

    Conclusions and Takeaways

    So what does all of this mean to a prospective cafe owner? What it boils down to is that the Rocket Espresso RE Doppia is hard to argue against as the perfect centerpiece for a growing coffee program. As you consider an upgrade to your equipment, it’s worth taking a hard look at Rocket Espresso alongside options like La Marzocco, Nuova Simonelli, and Rancilio. This particular machine combines a unique mix of premium features at an attractive price point without sacrificing build quality or performance. For that reason alone it’s a machine that we find it easy to recommend. 

    Are you in the process of shopping for the perfect commercial coffee equipment? Just have some questions about the RE Doppia or other Rocket Espresso espresso machines? Head over to our cafe landing page, send us an email, or give us a call at 866-372-4734 for a free consultation!

  • Breville Precision Brewer Review

    A common problem when shopping for drip brewers is the apparent similarity between these machines. It’s hard to look at a product page and see what differentiates one brewer from another. One machine that doesn’t have that problem is the Breville Precision Brewer. This versatile coffee maker gives you tons of control and options while maintaining a core of consistency and performance. Let’s take a look at what makes this machine tick!

    The Basics

    The basics of this machine are pretty comparable to other high end drip brewers. The Precision Brewer offers rock solid temperatures between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is by far the most important part of a great coffee machine. Temperature consistency at the proper brewing heat means you’ll get delicious coffee every time you brew a pot. The Precision Brewer also gives you control over this temperature, which is a key difference between it and other similarly priced machines. We’ll touch on that control more shortly.

    Aside from the temperature details, the Precision Brewer has all of the other basics covered. WIth glass and thermal carafe options you can get the exact vessel that fits your taste. Solid build quality all around means you won’t have to worry about the machine going the distance. Finally, this coffee machine features an adjustable bloom setting and well designed shower head, rounding out the core features you expect from a premium drip brewer.

    These features are similar on other machines, what really makes the Precision Brewer special is in the details.

    Unparalleled Control

    Most drip brewers are pretty simple to operate. You just add water and grounds and push a button, then the machine brews a (hopefully) delicious pot. This is as much as many users need, but for some, deeper control is a bonus. That’s where the unique features of the Breville Precision Brewer come into play. With its digital readout and control knob you can control the parameters of your brew. This means you can set bloom time, temperature, flow rate, and even auto start times. Essentially, you have the ability to completely customize every aspect of your brewing process. This kind of control is what makes slow-brew methods like Pour Over and Press brewing so popular. To have those options in a drip brewer really makes this machine stand out.

    The only downside here is that because of the extensive options, it may take some effort to dial in your favorite settings. Each setting you come up with might not be the optimal choice for different coffees as well. To alleviate this, the Precision Brewer has a number of excellent presets. Options like SCA Gold Cup brewing as a baseline, iced coffee/cold brew settings for cold coffee, single cup brewing, and even pour over settings for use with a separate attachment. If you are interested in getting that attachment WITH your Precision Brewer, you can check out our Tribute Edition of the Precision Brewer.

    Another welcome feature of the Precision Brewer is its multiple baskets, allowing you to swap between cone, and flat bottom filters. For added convenience, the flat basket is also a metal filter in case you want to skip the paper entirely.


    As you can see, the Precision Brewer really is the pinnacle of home coffee machines. This brewer combines rock solid performance with pretty unparalleled control. While new users might want something more simple, there’s no better drip brewer for the experimental enthusiast.

  • Video Roundup: 9/25/20

    Happy Friday Coffee Lovers!

    We’ve got more fresh video content for this week, so let’s jump in!

    First up we’ve got a Crew Review of the DeLonghi Stilosa with Allie!

    Next up, it’s a Crew Comparison of the DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe and the Breville Bambino Pro with Jake.

    And last but not least, we’ve got a Crew Review of the new Silvia Rancilio Pro with John!

    That’s all for this week! We’ll have more videos coming soon!

  • Differentiating Drip Brewers

    Drip coffee brewers may not all look the same, but telling them apart features wise can be a bit of a challenge. With so many brewers offering wild stylistic differences but still boiling down to only having a couple of buttons, it can be tough to know what to look for. We’re here to help!

    The Basics

    The core of a good drip brewer is temperature stability. Brewing great coffee requires water that is ~200 degrees fahrenheit, with about 5 degrees of give on either side. This means any drip brewer needs a heating element capable of maintaining temperature in this narrow band throughout the brewing process. Cheap drip brewers tend to skimp out on this. They might burn the coffee by overheating it so that consistent temperature isn’t applied, or just fail to maintain hot enough temperature to brew with. 

    So for this reason, the first thing you should ensure is that your prospective drip brewer has a heating element that provides the right water temp. This can be achieved with less expensive brewers like those from Bonavita, which offer value and quality performance. The other basic part of differentiating these brewers is whether they use a glass carafe with a warming plate or a stainless steel option. This is entirely a preference issue. Glass carafes have less heat retention, which is offset by the warming plate, but extended use of a plate can scorch the coffee. By contrast, stainless steel carafes can impart a taste difference that bothers some palates.

    Control and Options

    Once you’ve secured a set of options that you know will be temp stable, the real fun begins. The big differentiator at this point is control options. What you’re looking for is going to be based on preferences largely. One important thing to look for is blooming. In pour over brewing, the bloom is the first step in brewing. You pour a smaller amount of water to saturate the grounds, which releases acids, aromas, and flavors. Great drip brewers do this as well, usually with options to disable the bloom based on preference.

    Otherwise, what you’re looking for is largely up to you! Do you want a machine that will simply make a great pot of coffee when you turn it on? A Ratio or Technivorm brewer might be perfect for you. If you’re looking for the ability to tweak your brew, you might be more interested in something like a Breville Precision Brewer

    The Precision Brewer has numerous settings that allow you to customize your coffee. You can alter the temperature, bloom time, amount, and other settings. You can even set it up to brew iced coffee, or use a pour over dripper. While this range of options might be overwhelming for some users, the control here is unparalleled.

    While the process of differentiating drip brewers is more simple than with espresso machines, it’s still worth doing some research. With that in mind, ensuring temperature stability, blooming, and that you get the right style carafe for you is the most important thing!

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