Make Coffee You Love!

  • Crew Review: Saeco Incanto DeLuxe Superauto

    This is one of our crew faves (from !!!Bunny!!!) and we realized the only video crew review we had done on this machine covered the refurbished models we work on and carry. So we thought we'd take you through a brand spankin' new model -- which performs exactly as a refurb, it's just a little bit shinier. Watch Gail take us through her usual lecture on the Incanto Deluxe's features and functionality, then demonstrate making a latte.

  • Recipe: Coffee Mudslide

    The sun is out and all you can think about is an ice cold drink -- one that will cool you down as well as give you the requisite kick in the pants to get that party started. We've included both boozy and non-boozy versions of this recipe so you can share with everyone, regardless of their tastes.

    Ingredients - with booze:

    Ingredients - without booze:

    Directions:

    1. Boozy: Mix equal parts Kahlua, Bailey's and Vodka on ice in a cocktail shaker (enough for one glass). Non-Boozy: Blend 1/2 cup of strong coffee with cream, sugar and ice until it's a smooth mixture.
    2. Take your 8 oz glass and hold it at a 45 degree angle while you pour the sauce directly onto the sides of the glass. Turn the glass around as you pour the Monin Dark Chocolate sauce so that you have "mud" sliding all around the glass.
    3. Pour your cocktail or iced coffee mixture into the “mud” coated glass. Serve at once. Feel free to top it off with some whip cream for an extra treat.

    Note:
    For the non-alcoholic version make sure that the coffee is very cold before pouring it into the prepared glass. Otherwise, the chocolate will melt and mix into the coffee and you won’t get the mudslide effect. While drinking your coffee mudslide, swirl the coffee before every sip so that the chocolate syrup slowly mixes in.

    Recipe: Home Cooking Rocks

  • How-To: Mavea Purity C Water Filter Installation

    Filtering your water is essential if you plan on plumbing in your espresso machine to a direct water line in your location. Without this, you run the risk of scale build-up that can only be removed by a professional taking apart the machine and physically removing the scale. How quickly this occurs will depend on your location -- we did have a cafe attempt to go without filtration for just a couple of months and their equipment completely seized up as a result. Clearly, they were working with very hard water, but it's not a risk we recommend you take, at all.

    For commercial locations, there are tons of filtration options that will address a wide variety of water source needs. If you're looking at that kind of a setup, then you'll need to install something a bit more sophisticated and robust that will be able to address the multiple appliances that will require water (such as drip coffee makers, ice machines, water fountains and your espresso machine) in a way that's easy to manage. But for just straight espresso machine filtration, the Mavea Purity C filters are simple, easy to install and do an excellent job of filtering out what you don't want in your espresso machine's boiler.

    Watch Gail as she walks us through an overview of how she installed a Mavea filter on our La Marzocco Linea.

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi Caffe Venezia

    Practicality is king with this budget-minded superautomatic from DeLonghi. Pretty sure the Caffe Venezia isn't going to win any pretty design awards, but if you want a superauto for less than $600, its definitely worth considering. Gail takes us through its features and demonstrates whipping up a latte.

  • Crew Review: Capresso EC100

    While our deep love for the Rocket Cellini is endless and binding, we do appreciate that not everyone has $2k to drop on their home espresso setup and they'd still like to make a rockin' cup of joe in the morning. The Capresso EC100 is a small semi-automatic espresso machine that features stainless steel finishes and flexible brewing options -- although, we did learn that you'll need to use smaller sized pods for these if that's the route you want to take ... 40mm vs. the standard ESE.

    Watch Gail take us through the features and demo its functionality.

  • Rocket v. Silvia

    If you drop $1k more on your espresso machine, is there a discernible difference and / or improvement in the shot quality and flavor? We dialed in the Rocket Giotto Evoluzione and the Rancilio Silvia, pulled shots simultaneously and asked three of our fearless compatriots to taste them. Watch as they tell us which they prefer and why.

  • How To: Descaling the Saeco Vienna Plus Superautomatic

    This popular superautomatic is simple and straight forward to use, but we often get questions around how to care for it. In addition to regularly removing the brew group and spraying it down, cleaning the dregs box and the drip tray, you'll need to descale the Vienna every 1 - 3 months (depending on the mineral hardness of the water you're using).

    Remember: Descaling isn't based on usage, but on timing. If you're not using the machine, water is still sitting in the waterworks and scale can build up. If you use your machine very rarely, it may prompt you to descale less regularly then you might need to, so using the general 3 month rule of thumb is always a good idea.

    Watch Gail take us through the process.

  • Crew Review: Quick Mill Monza Superautomatic

    A couple of years ago, Quick Mill's first superautomatic offering hit the US market. It had a lot of great things about it -- primarily that it had a heated metal brew group -- but the fit and finish left a bit to be desired. They took it back to the workshop and revamped it a little, addressing several of the things we didn't dig about the first edition, and have now released the Monza.

    Gail takes us through its features and then demonstrates its shot and steaming functionality. If you're looking for a superautomatic that will get you the closest to a traditional espresso extraction, this may be the machine for you.

  • Recipe: A Hint of Spring Latte

    Look, we're not joking around here: Spring best not be late this year as we're a little bit over the snow and the rain. To court the upcoming blooms, we are incorporating them into our coffee drinks. Yes, we're serious.

    Ingredients

    Directions

    Combine the sauce, syrup and espresso together. Top with steamed milk.

  • Clump Testing on the Rancilio Rocky

    To clump or not to clump -- that is the question! You know that we shoot from the hip very often around here at Seattle Coffee Gear HQ and the whole subject of clumping seemed to be a little bit mythical. After all, you're pressing down the grounds with the tamper so why would any clumps beforehand matter?

    We wanted to see if we could practically notice a difference between shots pulled with coffee ground directly from the Rocky doserless grinder and shots which were stirred up beforehand. Watch Gail experiment to determine whether or not clumping really is something worth considering.

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