coffee

  • Coffee On The Brain: Gesha Coffee Varietal

    Described as complex and ethereal, the Gesha coffee varietal sounds as divine as it tastes. The delicate, floral and black-tea-like profile make it a sensational brew that’s highly sought after.

    The Gesha is just one of the Ethiopian Heirloom coffee varietals but by far this varietal’s taste soars above the rest.

    The rareness of finding the varietal, too, makes it even more desirable. The Gesha plant is just as delicate as it tastes. The thin, frail branches make it difficult to grow and the cherries are easily knocked off the plant. It's also vulnerable to pests and temperamental to weather, which makes this varietal more expensive to care for.

    How did such an otherworldly plant come about?

    An Ethiopian heirloom was transported to Central America where it mutated and created the Gesha (not to be confused with Geisha. It was named from the town of Gesha, Ethiopia). It wasn’t until the 1950s in Costa Rica that the Gesha was discovered; however, the coffee really grew in popularity after a Panama farm won a competition with their Gesha varietal. 

    Join Amber as she explores the Gesha coffee varietal in the full video below. If you love our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel to get your fill of all things coffee!

  • Crew Review: DeLonghi EC860 Espresso Machine

    The traditional artistry of semi-automatics meets the one-touch capabilities of superautomatics in this entry-level machine. The DeLonghi EC860 is a semi-automatic with programmable features and a milk carafe to froth-up a piping hot cappuccino right into your cup!

    DeLonghi_EC860

    We know what you’re thinking, it’s strange to see a milk carafe on a semi-automatic. The EC860 comes with the option to auto steam with the carafe or manual steam with the panarello. If you’re worried about the milk temperature with the carafe, don’t! The carafe delivers hot, frothy milk right into your cup just like a one-touch.

    The programmable features also don’t fail to impress us. Customize the temperature and volume of your espresso shot and, for the speciality drinks, you can change the milk volume. That’s something you generally don’t see in an entry-level machine! 

    This entry-level machine is also equipped with a pressurized portafilter with baskets for a pod, single or double shot. With a pressurized portafilter, newcomers don’t need to worry about dialing in a consistent grind, it’ll compensate for you!

    Con-wise, we’re not too keen on the plastic scamper—the scoop and tamper combo (which is not as convenient as a spork). Even with the pressurized portafilter aiding your shot, you still want a nice, even tamp to reduce grinds on the brew head and, of course, deliver a delicious espresso. We recommend purchasing a sturdier tamper. Also, this machine lacks a three-way solenoid valve, which makes a soupy coffee puck.

    No matter how you look at this machine (oh, by the way, super nice stainless steel body) the pros outweigh the cons. We recommend this machine for entry-level folks who want a semi-automatic with the convenience and programmable features of a superautomatic. Or, hey, this machine is great seasoned coffee-brewers, too! Check out the video with the full review below and tell us what you think!

  • Coffee Collaboration: A Stovetop Americano (Plus Half & Half!)

    We’re calling this recipe, courtesy of Asher, a Stovetop Americano! Flavorful, stout and full-bodied, this brew makes one delicious cup we'll be making for a while! Let's get started on replicating this hot drink right in your home.

    Bialetti Stovetop Espresso

    Ingredients & Equipment:

    Instructions:

    1. Fill up your kettle with water and bring it to a boil.
    2. Have 25 grams of freshly ground or pre-ground coffee ready
    3. Once the water is boiling, fill up the stove top chamber with it. Leave the hot water boiling.
    4. Add 25 grams of pre-ground coffee into coffee chamber.
    5. Carefully screw on the top of the stovetop (it’ll be hot!) and place it on the stove to boil. You’ll notice it start to brew quickly, so don’t walk away! It took us about 45 seconds to percolate.
    6. Now comes the fun! When the stovetop is done, pour 95 grams of the freshly brewed stove top coffee into your mug, then clear the scale and add 135 grams of hot water in, too.
    7. Add your shot of half and half and enjoy!

    We’re always taking new coffee recipes. Leave your recipe in the comments on YouTube!

    Tips & Tricks:

    Add some extra hot water to reduce the concentration of coffee or if you like it stout, add less.

  • Ask Gail: Adjusting Your Grind Based On Roast Level

    On this episode of Ask Gail, we were asked if you need to adjust your grinder setting based on the roast level? The short answer is: Yes!

    Watch the short and sweet video on how different variables (sounds like high school science class) affect the grind of your beans and, ultimately, the taste of your coffee.

    Have some burning questions for Gail? Leave us a comment on YouTube!

    Tips & Tricks

    You’ve probably been advised not to put dark roasts into your superautomatic. If this is news to you, stop putting those oily, dark roasts into your superautomatic! You’ll just clog it up and get frustrated when the machine stops making caffeinated goodness.

  • Coffee On The Brain: Bourbon & Caturra Coffee Varietals

    Bourbon? We’ll take ours on the rocks, please.

    In this episode of Coffee On The Brain, Amber explores the Bourbon and Caturra coffee varietals. Check out the full review in the video below!

    CounterCulture_LosRosales

    Sweet, complex and crisp, the Bourbon coffee varietal is one of the first two know varietals from the Typica plant discovered on the island of Bourbon, now called Réunion. If you’re looking for the island, you’ll find it located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. Today, the Bourbon varietal is more commonly grown in Brazil and South America.

    The Bourbon’s high bean yield made it desirable (understandably so) and it quickly spawned some other varietals like the Caturra. The Caturra subspecies is favored for its “compact” growth, allowing farmers to grow more plants together and get more beans.

    How do they taste?

    The Bourbon is sweeter with crisp acidity and is gentle on the palette. A great blend to try is the Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso, which features the Bourbon and other coffee varietals. Try it as an espresso or cappuccino—either way, it's delicious!

    For a sweet and fruity coffee, Counter Culture’s  Los Rosales, a Caturra varietal, has a smooth, well-balanced taste with slight cherry undertones.

    If you’re curious about trying one the Bourbon or Caturra coffee varietals, check out our tasting wall at the Alderwood store and ask one of our coffee specialist for a sample!

    P.S. Hey, Bellevue! The Bellevue SCG Store is celebrating the grand opening of "The Wall" on Saturday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m. and we want you to join us! "The Wall" features forty speciality coffees that you can have freshly ground and brewed on the spot! (Sample the Black Cat Classic while you're there.) RSVP for the grand opening in Bellevue here. 

  • Crew Review: Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit

    Mason jars, coffee socks and cold brew coffee. You might be thinking this all sounds like an episode straight from Portlandia. But we assure you, coffee-lovers, it’s no joke! The Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit is just that: a cold brewing mason jar kit with an organic cotton (we heard you laughing) CoffeeSock to brew your coffee grounds in.

    While you might be laughing still, this summer-friendly cold brew is going to knock your socks off (pun intended) with its deliciously smooth flavor.

    Check out our full video below to see how quick and easy it is to use the Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit.

    Cuppow Mason Jar Cold Brew Kit

    What it comes with:

    • Organic cotton CoffeeSock Cold Brew Filter, created by Cuppow
    • 32-ounce mason jar

    How it works:

    1. If this is your first time using the CoffeeSock, make sure to boil it before you use it.
    2. Take your CoffeeSock and put it inside the mason jar. Fold the open end of the sock over the top of the jar, so it creates a nice opening for coffee grounds.
    3. Add three ounces of coarsely ground coffee into the sock.
    4. Grab 24 ounces of cold water. Add some of your cold water to let the grounds bloom, just like you do with a pour over.
    5. Add the remaining water into the jar.
    6. Close up the CoffeeSock using the built-in tie, so it’s nice and tight to make sure no grounds end up in your coffee.
    7. Stick it in the fridge for 12 hours or up to a day to brew.
    8. When the time is up, take out the CoffeeSock, squeeze it out and pour yourself a cold cup of coffee! (This makes a concentrated cup, so if it’s too strong for your taste, add water or milk. Enjoy!)

    P.S. Go ahead and drink it straight from the mason jar—we’re Seattle Coffee Gear, after all, we won’t judge.

  • Crew Review: Eureka Mignon Burr Coffee Grinder

    Sometimes big things come in small packages. And the Eureka Mignon Burr Coffee Grinder is no exception to that rule! Be sure to watch the full Crew Review video below for all the stats and to see this coffee grinder in action!mignon_side_black_2

    The first thing that we noticed about the Eureka Mignon was it's simple design. It's sleek and has one of the smallest footprints we've seen for grinders of a similar caliber. Inside, it boasts 50mm flat steel burrs. The burrs are controlled with a stepless adjustment knob, which is conveniently located on the front of the grinder. A stepless adjustment gives you the ability to really fine tune your grind, great for espresso.

    This grinder is great for use as espresso, or even Turkish! That's right, this grinder can go very very fine. Which is a huge plus for those brewing espresso. That being said, this grinder has trouble going much courser than a standard pour over grind. So if you like to brew both espresso and french press, and are wanting to use the same grinder, the Eureka Mignon won't work for you. But if you really want to play with the flavors of your espresso, meet your new best friend!

    Another great feature that this grinder has is the built in timer. When grinding, you can either use the portafilter trigger or the timer. The choice is truly yours!

    Watch the complete Crew Review below before heading over to our website for all the details on the Eureka Mignon!

     

  • Crew Review: OXO Glass Electric Kettle

    They say a watched pot never boils. But boy how they were wrong! We got our hands on the latest from OXO, Clarity their Glass Electric Kettle.Glass Electric Kettle

    This is a huge kettle, holding 1.75 liters of water! That's a whole lot of tea or coffee. We were really impressed how fast a full kettle came to a boil. In our testing this Glass Electric Kettle from OXO brought room temperature water to a boil in seven and a half minutes! Once the water is brought up to a boil the kettle automatically turns itself off, so not only is this fast but also very safe.

    The Glass Electric Kettle is considered cordless because the base separates from the kettle itself. The handle has a great grip which makes for a very easy pour. We enjoyed how much control we felt we had when lifting the kettle while it was full of hot water. Two thumbs up in that department!

    All in all, this is a great kettle for everything from tea to french press coffee and everything in between!  Be sure to check out the full Crew Review video below to hear all the features and see this kettle in action!

    Want to subscribe to our YouTube channel? We post daily videos from Crew Reviews to coffee experiments! All in the name of a better cup of coffee! Click here to subscribe! 

  • Comparison: Rancilio Rocky vs Smart Grinder Pro

    In today's Crew Review Comparison we have two popular grinders for you! Introducing the Rancilio Rocky vs Smart Grinder Pro from Breville. Which is best for you? Which grinder will give you the grind you are searching for? Let's find out!Rancilio Rocky vs. Smart Grinder Pro

    The Rancilio Rocky is quite the machine! With 50mm flat stainless steel burrs grinding at an impressive 1725 RPM, this coffee grinder will wow any home barista. The Rancilio Rocky weighs 18 pounds, the motor itself weighs 11 pounds. Basically this grinder can grind! Some like to compare this grinder to other commercial quality grinders, and while it is not designed for a commercial setting it certainly can hold its own.   It is operated by a simple on and off switch and the grind setting is adjusted by rotating the bean hopper. What the Rancilio Rocky may lack in bells and whistles it certainly makes up in grind quality.  This grinder is an excellent choice for all types of consumer espresso machines!

    Rancilio Rocky vs. Smart Grinder ProNext up on our comparison list is the Smart Grinder Pro from Breville. The Smart Grinder pro has 40mm stainless steel conical burrs. The conical burrs allow for a faster intake of beans and as a result can produce a double shot in 17 seconds (compare to 25 seconds with the Rocky). The Smart Grinder Pro is powered by technology. You are able to program the grind time, volumetric grind amount, and the grind setting on the easy to navigate digital display. The Smart Grinder Pro has an adjustable upper burr, which will allow you to compensate for use over time. So grind on you crazy diamond!

    Be sure to watch our complete Crew Review Comparison video below! Did you know we publish a new video on our Youtube channel every single day? From Crew Reviews to Maintenance tips and back to crazy brew methods, we are sure there is something there for you! Click here to subscribe and never miss a video!

     

  • Crew Review: Rocket Espresso Mazzer Grinder

    The Rocket Espresso Mazzer Coffee Grinder is the grinder of our dreams. In case you haven't been able to tell, we are in love with our Rocket Espresso machines. From build quality to looks, Rocket makes some excellent espresso machines. So you know when they teamed up with Mazzer to created the Rocket Espresso branded Mazzer Mini Electronic Grinder we got a little giddy.Rocket Mazzer Grinder

    The Rocker Espresso Mazzer Mini Electronic Grinder Type A is a stepless grinder. It features large 64mm stainless steel flat burrs. This grinder is absolutely on the prosumer side of things. This grinder can do anything from French Press to turkish. However, because it is stepless, it can be very difficult to dial your grinder back in. Sticking with a certain type of preparation is sound advice when using this coffee grinder. You can of course switch from course to fine, just be prepared for a headache in the process!

    The hopper that comes with this grinder can hold over a pound of beans, 1.3 pounds to be exact! Because of the size of this hopper, the grinder stands particularly tall--coming in at 18 inches in height. So if you are planning on using this in a kitchen, measure your cabinet height!

    Watch our full Crew Review of this commercial style coffee grinder for all the stats and to see it in action! Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel! 

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