how-to

  • Seattle Coffee Gear + illy: Be Your Own Barista

    SCG_illy (2 of 24)It’s a frustrating question that has plagued many a coffee aficionado throughout the years: why doesn’t the cappuccino I make at home taste as delicious as the cappuccino I buy from my local coffee shop? The answer to that question can be found by addressing a diverse set of material related variables from the freshness of your beans, to the quality and calibration of your grinder, to the pressure at which you are extracting your espresso. Maybe your machine hasn’t been cleaned? Maybe it wasn’t properly rinsed after cleaning?

    But what about when you’ve covered all of the variables and you’re still not getting the results you are hoping for? Then it’s time to look at your technique!

    SCG_illy (11 of 24)That’s where illy’s “Be Your Own Barista” course came in to play. Meant to empower coffee lovers who wanted to take their home coffee preparation to the next level, this class held at our Bellevue location provided participants with the opportunity to train hands-on with Giorgio Milos – illy Master Barista and Italian Barista Champion. Equipped with all of the tools needed to produce great coffee at home, fourteen students discussed coffee history, learned tips and tricks to consider when preparing their beverages, and were released to put their new knowledge to the test while illy’s education team helped fine tune their technique.

    “I never knew I could make espresso that tastes this good,” shared a participant frustrated with the past drinks she had been making at home. It was a matter of making small corrections to her grinder as well as changing her tamping that helped her produce a cleaner, fuller bodied drink. Many attendees took notes on the discussions while others asked technical questions they had been investigating for months.

    Seattle Coffee Gear strives to be a place where coffee lovers like us can go to the next level in beverage preparation using the best tools available while also being a resource for people to ask questions and learn. This partnership with illy is only one of the many ways we continue to help people “make coffee you love!”

  • The Great SCG Brew Comparison

    It's time for a vertical tasting! We asked Jess and Nick to join us in an extravaganza of different non-espresso coffee preparations, featuring Velton's Twilight Blend. Watch as we brew up batches using the Chemex, Sowden SoftBrew, AeroPress, Kalita and Espro Press, taste them and then discuss how the flavors change between the different brew styles.

  • Crew Review: Capresso Coffee a la Carte

    Capresso Coffee a la CarteIf you're looking for a versatile one-cup coffee maker, the Capresso Coffee a la Carte might fit the bill. It offers you the ability to brew a single cup of tea, single cup of coffee or a whole pot of coffee, with programmable water dosages for the single cup versions.

    Watch as Gail walks us through their features and then demonstrates each of the brew options.

     

  • How-To: Re-Calibrating the Baratza Encore

    When Baratza released their new Encore grinder, they made a point of talking about how the re-engineering of the burr set resulted in a lower cost burr grinder that could still go fine enough for traditional espresso machines. While the consistency isn't quite as good as its Virtuoso, Preciso or Vario counterparts, it does do a fairly solid job grinding for espresso -- as long as the 0-point is set accurately.

    The first demo model we tested worked just fine from the factory and we were able to use it with the Rancilio Silvia without issue; however, subsequent models -- and a few customer reports -- led us down the path of re-calibration. In this video, Gail shows how to take apart, re-calibrate and then put back together the Encore, including a demonstration of the grind quality before and after the adjustment.

  • Crew Review: Rocket Espresso Cellini Classic

    Rocket Cellini ClassicCertain things are a classic for a reason: Like Prince, tea cozies and bow ties, the Rocket Cellini Classic offers tried-and-true, rockin' functionality backed up by smooth lines. While its pricier counterparts sport dual manometers and a fully polished stainless steel casing, the Classic has a two 'tone' finish of both brushed and polished stainless steel and a single manometer for the boiler's pressure.

    If you're looking for a simple heat exchange espresso machine that's not too hard on the wallet, the Classic should be high on your list! Watch as Gail takes us through all of its lovely features and functionality, then demonstrates how it performs.

  • Compare: Rocket Espresso R58 vs. Quick Mill QM67

    Dual boilers are where it's at when it comes to controlling the temp of your shot while also sporting steaming functionality that is almost embarrassing in its ferocity.

    These little babies come in variety of formats and price ranges, and Gail shows us models from Rocket Espresso (the R58, what!) and Quick Mill (the QM67, what!) to show you how their form, function, tech specs, internals and performance compare.

  • Brewin' with Brandi: Savory Salted Caramel Appletini

    Ring in 2013 with a devastatingly devilish riff on the very popular appletini! Brandi shakes up a batch of this lovely cocktail, which sets the sweetness of the apple off with its salted caramel undertones.

     

    Ingredients

    Directions

    Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; add the syrup, vodka and apple juice, then squeeze the lemon wedge into it. Shake vigorously and serve up!

  • Crew Comparison: Rocket R58 vs. La Marzocco GS/3

    In the market for a big baddie? Is having control over your brew temperature and/or steaming enough milk to serve up cappuccinos to a small army a high priority for you? If yes, you probably should check out the Rocket Espresso R58 or La Marzocco GS/3 double boiler espresso machines.

    Look we don't want to tell you how to live, but we do care about you. So we've put these two popular machines side by side to show off their features, tech specs, internals and performance. Watch Gail walk us through this glorious adventure!

  • Crew Review & Compare: AeroPress with Kaffeologie S Filters

    Kaffeologie S FilterIf purchasing paper filters on a regular basis seems like a bit too much organization on your part, the re-usable, fine mesh stainless steel S filter from Kaffeologie just might be the answer to the question you didn't even know you had.

    In this pair of videos featuring the S filter, we first show how it works with the AeroPress, performing our standard crew review. Then we brew up a batch on the AeroPress using the stock paper filters and the S filter to see how they compare, flavor-wise.

    Enjoy!

    Crew Review: AeroPress with Kaffeologie S Filter

    Compare: Kaffeologie S Filter vs. Paper Filter on AeroPress

  • Brewin' with Brandi: Pumpkin Espresso Smoothie

    Brandi's recipe this week is both delicious and healthy -- woah! We know, we know. It's a rich, smooth and creamy smoothie that features real pumpkin and an espresso shot for a little kick. Watch her blend it up!

    Ingredients

    Directions

    You'll need to begin with frozen pumpkin, so it's best to put the pumpkin in the freezer the night before you're going to make your smoothie. Once you've completed that, throw all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth! Garnish with crushed cinnamon graham crackers, if desired.

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