Make Coffee You Love!

  • Roast of the Month: Ladro Roasting Myanmar Yay Chan Pyin

    It's time for another roast of the month here at SCG! This month we were excited by the unique flavors in Ladro Roasting's Myanmar Yay Chan Pyin! Read on for why:

    Unique and Delicious

    Myanmay Yay Chan Pyin comes to us from the Shan State region of Myanmar and the beans were grown at an elevation of 1,534 meters. Generally coffee from Myanmar features a big body with heavier flavor notes, and this is true here as well. What sets this coffee apart for us is just how complex it is. Sometimes we pick the smoothest or best all around cup, but in this case we definitely can't get over the range of notes going on with this roast.

    The nose on this roast is wildly complex, with earthy, sweet scents not quite overwhelming the senses. At the front of the coffee you really can taste the brown sugar notes. This sweetness reminds us of baking cookies or cake, but quickly gives way to the flavors imparted by the natural processing of these beans. That natural taste manifests as a tropical, fruity note that Ladro has identified as Guava. It's definitely different than the more berry notes that South American and African natural processing creates. We love it here. Finally, the earthier, cedar tones hit the back of the palate, rounding out this coffee nicely. You're left with a earthy, slightly tart, but overall smooth mouthfeel that is very satisfying.

    Brew Methods and Closing Thoughts

    Ladro recommends using a drip method or pourover for this roast, and we agree. It's a light one, so pourover is really the best way to tease out the roast's more complex notes and aromas.

    Like most coffee from Myanmar, this one is a micro-lot. That means it won't last forever and we have a limited stock! Snag a bag for yourself here!

  • Video Roundup: 12/7/2018

    Hey coffee fans!

    We're back with another week of great video content!

    First up, Gail takes us through some of our favorite gifts under $250!

    Next, we took a look at some tips from John on dialing in a grinder.

    Finally, here's a demo of our drip coffee starter set!

    We'll see you next week! Make some coffee you love this weekend!

  • Holiday Drink Ideas!

    We've all heard of the egg nog latte or the peppermint mocha, but what about some other flavors fit for holiday cheer?

    Lots of Lattes!

    Lattes are one of the easiest drinks to influence the flavor of. By choosing the right coffee and the right syrup, there's no end to the combinations. Try frosted mint syrup for a peppermint kick in an eggnog latte or traditional mocha! Looking for something a little more rich and nutty? Monin's peanut butter syrup offers just that.

    Beyond syrups, there's loads of spices that you can add to bring your latte up a notch. Try some brown sugar and cardamom for an aromatic, delicious touch. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and simple syrup also make for a delectable addition to any holiday cup of coffee.

     

    No Espresso? No Problem!

    Maybe espresso just isn't your jam. Fear not! With a hint of heavy cream, spice, and fruity syrup or concentrate, you can add some holiday cheer to your favorite pourover or press brew as well. To really wow your family and friends, try experimenting with fruit and spice combinations that match up with the tasting notes on the coffee roasts you're using.

    Another fun way to bring a cooler twist to your holiday coffee offering is to stock up on cold brew! Cold brew mixes great with everything mentioned above, especially with some milk. Try cold frothing in a Breville Milk Café for an extra tasty holiday "notte!"

    We'll be back Monday with another batch of great holiday roasts to check out!

  • Guide to Holiday Roasts Part 1

    Holidays bring a whole world of delicious holiday roasts! From warm, chocolatey blends to some exciting fruitier coffees, we're excited to share our 2018 holiday roast guide! This week, we'll take a look at 6 of the roasts we're featuring this year. We'll finish up with several more next week! Without further adieu:

    Caffe Ladro - Fireside

    Caffe Ladro's Fireside returns this year for a delicious cup of coffee to enjoy with friends and family around the fireplace. Our team has used words like "cozy," "classic," and "warm" to describe this delicious holiday blend. The molasses notes offer a indulgent sweetness with earthy, nutty notes on the finish. Definitely a delicious roast in a variety of brew methods!

    Velton's Coffee - Holiday Blend

    It's typical (and delicious) to get strong chocolate notes from holiday coffee roasts. While that makes for a familiar, warm, and inviting cup of coffee, Velton's brings us something a little different this year. This roast features delicious fruity notes like pineapple and lemon with berry flavors coming from the natural beans in the blend. We love how bold this roast is, and how much it stands out! Check it out as a drip or espresso!

    Tony's Coffee - Backcountry Blend

    For anyone looking for a darker roast this holiday season, check out Tony's Backcountry Blend. This coffee offers milk chocolate notes alongside more earthy flavors of toasted almond. What we liked about this blend is that it'll satisfy those looking for a darker roast without being too much for the medium roast drinker. This is a plus when looking for a coffee to share with others over the holidays! It also works for a variety of brew methods.

    Counter Culture Coffee - Iridescent

    The perfect gift blend, Iridescent features brilliant, giftable packaging and a striking look! That's not all though, this is a delicious blend of Colombian, Kenyan, and Ethiopian beans that makes for an accessible roast that will still provide some complexity. Predictable chocolate notes come from the washed process beans in this blend, with the natural beans lending a berry flavor. We love this roast in a variety of brew methods. What's more, Counter Culture is donating a nickel of every pound of coffee sold to charities in the producing countries!

    Dogwood Coffee - Snow Emergency

    Continuing the trend of blending natural and washed process beans, Dogwood's snow Emergency is a brilliant holiday entry. Natural process beans bring a berry, cherry flavor to this roast that's rounded out by traditional chocolate notes. This is a full bodied roast that won't overwhelm, and makes for an excellent drip brew.

    Kickapoo Coffee Roasters - Revelry

    For a brighter set of notes, check out Kickapoo's Revelry! This delicious medium light blend will please a wide range of coffee drinkers. We love the richness of this cup of coffee, but it doesn't overwhelm if you like lighter roasts. The smooth aroma is a delightful prelude to the richer flavors inside the roast too! Try it in a press or as a drip brew!

    Check back soon for more holiday roast notes!

     

     

     

  • Saeco Holiday Giveaway!

    Win big!

    We're thrilled to be giving away 3 phenomenal Saeco espresso machines this holiday season! Head on over to https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/subscribe for entry details. Good luck!

  • Holiday Purchase guide: Presses and Other Alternative Brew Methods!

    We’ve talked about various drip and espresso brew methods this season, but there’s a simple, delicious alternative that exists as well: The press! The French Press is a consistent, inexpensive brew method that makes stronger, full bodied coffee. It can be easy to get lost in the weeds of these simple machines, but we’re here to help. We’ll also look at a couple of other interesting methods that don’t fall into traditional categories!

    The Aeropress

    The Aeropress coffee maker makes delicious press cofffee using a simple, easy to pack brewing system. Instead of needing to bring a full sized press on a camping trip, the Aeropress folds and packs into itself, while still brewing excellent coffee. This is achieved through small paper filters that filter out grounds to provide a grit free cup of press coffee. Some people love this brewer so much that they use it at home!

    For a more classic press design, check out the Bodum Brazil French Press. This 8 cup shatterproof press is simple, affordable, and makes a classic cup of pressed coffee.

    A Wide World of Weird Brewers

    For a solution your gift recipient may be surprised by, take a look at the Fellow Duo. The Duo is an awesome little brewer that provides the full tasting cup of coffee of a press and less acidity, like you’d get from pourover. It also does it all easily and in just about 5 minutes. Simply add medium-coarse ground coffee and hot water to the steeping chamber and stir. Then, let the coffee steep for 4 minutes. Finally, twist the top of the brewer, and fresh, delicious coffee will fill the lower half. This brewer’s coffee tastes great and is grit free!

    Another weird coffee option that makes a great cup is the Bodum Santos Stovetop Vacuum Coffee Maker. This brewer sits on the stove and uses pressure from the hot water to brew your coffee. It’s easy to use, fun to watch, and delicious! Check it out for the curious coffee drinker on your gift list.

    Check back soon for more holiday gifting tips!

  • Holiday Buying Guide: Pourover!

    Drip brewers and espresso machines are great tools for producing a great cup of coffee, but today we’re looking at a slower alternative that might thrill someone on your guest list. For those that enjoy a carefully crafted cup of coffee, look no further than some pourover gear!

    The Perfect Pour

    There are three key components to any pourover set: Kettle, dripper, and scale. You need something to serve it in, but in a pinch any coffee cup will do as a thing to brew into. Lets start with drippers!

    There are a few things to consider when picking out a dripper. First, material is very important. While you can get a cheaper plastic dripper that may taste fine to some, it’s important to remember that you’re pouring water that’s quite hot through it. Plastic drippers are safe to use, but can impart flavors that will cause your coffee to taste off. Stainless Steel drippers look nicer and last longer, but some can taste the steel flavor in them. Plenty prefer this type of dripper, so it’s worth trying to find out if the person you’re buying for likes drip coffee from a glass or stainless carafe. Finally, there’s ceramic drippers. These are prone to breaking, but don’t impart any flavor and are easy to clean. Once you’ve settled on material, it’s down to style. The two styles we prefer are the Hario V60 and Kalita Wave. Both look nice on the shelf and are great at evenly distributing grounds and water. Just make sure you get the right filters!

    Kettles and Scales

    Next up is the kettle. Kettles range from under $50 to well into the triple digits. The most important thing when choosing a kettle is flow control. You’ll want to stick with kettles that feature gooseneck style spouts have solid build quality. We recommend options like the Bonavita Elective Pourover Kettle or the OXO On if you’re trying to stay under $100. If you’re looking to splurge, the Fellow Stagg EKG+ is an excellent kettle with some awesome app integration with Acaia scales (more on that in a minute).

    Finally, having the right scale will really up your pourover game. The Hario V60 is a great option under $100, it’s reliable, fast, and accurate. For a scale that will really blow the recipient away, check out the Acaia Pearl. This scale not only features several modes, extreme accuracy, and water resistance, but also interconnected app features. Acaia’s Brewbar app pairs with these scales (and the EKG+, mentioned above) to help you dial in and perfect your pourover brewing.

    Of course, if your gift recipient doesn’t have one already, they’ll need a grinder. For that, we love the Baratza Encore. Oh, and don’t forget the filters!

  • Holiday Buying Guide: Stocking Stuffers!

    What do you get the coffee drinker that already has everything? We've got you covered today with another holiday buying guide! From smaller items to drop in as a little something extra to bigger surprises in small packages, we've got you covered.

    Odds and Ends

    First up, let's look at a few smaller extras that many coffee drinkers may overlook. For your outdoorsy friends, check out the GSI Outdoors collapsible dripper. This neat little tool is great for making pourover at home or on the go. It's billed as a camping device, but it works great in hotel rooms and relatives houses too! Another neat little add-on to a classic coffee making tool is the Fellow Prismo add-on for Aeropress coffee makers. The Prismo provides extra resistance to an Aeropress brewer, allowing you to get thicker, richer coffee from the device. It's a fun way to try something a little different out of a standby coffee maker. Stepping up on price, but still offering great value, is Kalita Wave stainless steel dripper. While we agree that your choice in dripper is largely going to come down to personal preference, the Kalita is a beloved option, and the stainless steel version lasts for years! For the home barista that enjoys milk drinks, cups and pitchers are always a great option. Spouted frothing pitchers generally offer the best control for latte art. As for cups, we love Acme's line of drinkware, such as this Demitasse set.

    Big Surprises

    What if you're looking to go the extra mile with a stocking stuffer? Maybe you want to tease a bigger gift, or just like the idea of the surprise of a more expensive item in their stocking. If that's the case, take a look at items like the Espro Calibrated Tamper and OCD Coffee Distribution Tool. These devices help with prepping espresso shots. The OCD gives you excellent distribution of grounds in the portafilter. This is a must for brewing with a bottomless portafilter and ensures even extraction for better tasting espresso. The Espro Tamper "clicks" at 30 lbs. of pressure. It's a great tool to train yourself on proper tamping technique.

    Finally, one of our favorite coffee crafting stocking sized items is the Acaia Lunar Interactive Espresso Brewing Scale. This definitely the luxury car of coffee scales. Acaia's tech is top notch, and the Lunar packs it into a tiny package that's perfect for weighing shots. with multiple modes and integration with Acaia's range of apps, this scale will take your espresso brewing to the next level.

    Look out for more holiday shopping guides and some incredible deals very soon!

     

     

     

  • Holiday Buying Guide: Drip Coffee

    Welcome to another holiday buying guide from Seattle Coffee Gear! Today we're taking a look at some of the features and controls to look for in a drip brewer! If you're shopping for a new classic drip coffee machine for someone on your guest list, read on!

    Features Vs. Performance

    Like with many coffee machines, cost usually comes down to feature set and performance. Build quality and reliability also factor into this, but generally any drip brewer you find at Seattle Coffee Gear or similar retailers will be pretty long lasting. Let's start by taking a look at some of the features you might be looking for in a brewer.

    Drip brewers can be as simple as a machine with a single button (such as the Bonavita Connoisseur), or have a myriad of options. Some of the features you might be looking for are things like single cup brewing, temperature control, pre-infusion, and pourover or cold brew options. Other useful options include things like custom programming for pre-infusions and brew methods. By dialing in specific options you can unlock different elements of a roast's flavor profile. One of our favorite machines for programmability is the Breville Precision Brewer. This brewer offers a host of custom options for getting exactly the drink you want. We love it so much that we worked with Breville to offer the Brewer's Cup Edition linked above. This version includes a pourover adapter out of the box! Another important consideration is whether the person receiving the machine prefers a glass or stainless steel server. Stainless servers keep coffee insulated and erase the need for a warming plate on the brewer. These plates can lead to scorched coffee if left on, but some can taste the difference between stainless and glass. Make sure you know before you gift!

    Maybe you're not looking for a ton of options though, and just want a great cup of coffee with the push of a button!

    Simplicity and Style

    For a simpler cup of coffee, consider a brewer like the Technivorm Moccamaster. While a brewer like this may come at a higher price tag, it also simply and perfectly brews just the right cup every time. In the case of a high performance brewer like this, it'll also offer extreme reliability and longevity. These brewers can last decades, and may be the perfect higher dollar item for that special someone on your guest list.

    At the end of the day, so much of the drip brewing shopping process is about options. If you or the person you're shopping for likes pourover, cold brew, and experimentation, take a look at the Precision brewer. For those looking for an easy, no frills cup of joe, the Connoisseur or Moccamaster is the way to go.

  • Video Roundup: 11/16/2018

    Welcome to another video roundup from Seattle Coffee Gear! Let's dive into this week's videos!

    First up, we have a new crew review for an old favorite!

    Next up, we took a look at two new Izzo Espresso machines!

    Finally, we have a Crew Review we've all been quite excited for, the Breville Bambino!!

    Thanks for watching! We'll see you next week!

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