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!”

  • How To Guide: Ask a Question

    Ask a Question

    You’ve probably spent hours reading through product reviews and prolonged stories just to discover the question you’re looking for wasn’t there. Enter: Ask a Question—our way of saying, “Hey, we know you’ve got burning questions best answered before you’ve made a purchase.” Ask a Question is an interactive community of machine owners and product experts answering questions using their real experience. If it goes unanswered, our Crew steps in with the best response—we’re coffee machine owners, too!

    Where To Find It

    Under every product, we've included the "Ask a Question" tab. Click on the tab and you'll see all the questions and answers. To ask and answer questions, you can be anonymous or log in to your account.

    How This Works

    1. Type in your question. If there are matching questions in our Q&A database, we'll show them immediately.
    2. If there aren't any, submit a new question. You'll get fast answers from customers who really own the item(s) and from our product experts. (About half the time you'll get an answer in under two hours, depending on your question and the item you are asking about...)

    Done! Now you can save time searching through the internet. If you need a place to start thinking of questions you'd want to ask, we've got you covered.

    Good Topics To Ask About

    • Which items will best meet your needs
    • What customers who own an item think of it
    • How to use, fix or take care of an item
    • Product information
    • General advice related to the types of products we sell
    Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 4.15.53 PM Here's a customer's answer to a question on the Saeco Xelsis Evo.


    Share Your Experience

    As a proud new owner of a coffee maker, you're in the know. Make suggestions for newbies or share your early morning coffee routine. It's your time to shine and show you've got this—remember the pure satisfaction of knowing the answer in class and impressing all the kids and teacher. Yeah, it's something like that.

    Now, you owners might be wondering how you'll know there's a new question to be answered. We'll shoot you an email and let you know when there's a new one. Or you can take a look under the Ask a Question tab and see if there's anything you can answer. If you don't know and you're thinking you got to know too, just click on the "I Have This Question Too," to let owners know. Our Crew can take on unanswered questions or provide other suggestions we know.

    That's all there is to it! Check out how many questions and answers you or others have entered by clicking on their name. You might be surprised at how much you know—any excuse to call Mom and brag, right?

     

  • Hayden's Cinnamon Coconut Latte Recipe

    We’re digging the coconut oil trend here at Seattle Coffee Gear. We’re trendy. We previously whipped up a delicious coconut oil recipe with butter that made one creamy creation, but this time, we’re leaving the butter at home. Hayden sent us in this recipe for a Cinnamon Coconut Latte and we’re more than excited—but not as much as Gail—to try it out!

    We’re pulling out big guns—the Rocket R60v—to make our latte. If you haven’t been following us, we’re head over heels for the new R60v. It’s a high-end home espresso machine built to be on par with their commercial. We brewed Counter Culture’s Fast Forward for our espresso shots. This light bodied blend with sweet and nutty notes is a perfect match with the refreshing coconut flavor.

    Equipment:

    Ingredients:

    • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + a dash
    • 20 grams of ground coffee (makes 2 ounces espresso)
    • 8 ounces of 2% milk
    1. Prep your semi-automatic machine. Before brewing give your machine 30 minutes to warm up.
    2. Grind 20 grams of coffee into a double-shot portafilter. This makes 2 ounces of espresso. Lattes are generally made with 1-2 ounces of espresso per 8 ounces of milk or 1:3 ratio.
    3. Pour 8 ounces of milk and add one teaspoon of coconut oil and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon.
    4. If you can steam and brew at the same time, we like to start the shot and then begin frothing the milk while it's extracting the coffee. If you can’t do both, first steam your coconut and milk mixture and then make your shot so it's at the hottest temperature.
    5. Add the 2 ounces of espresso to a 10-ounce glass and then pour the steamed milk on top. Try a little latte art while you’re at it!
    6. Add a dash of cinnamon to the top. Enjoy!

    Thanks Hayden for the recipe! We’re thinking about putting it on ice for this warm weather we’re having in Seattle.

    Send us your favorite recipes in the comments below and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all things coffee related!

  • Coffee Collaboration: Use Up Your Old Coffee Beans Recipe

    Here’s the age old question that’s been affecting coffee lovers across the nation: What do you do with stale, old coffee?

    To answer this questions, you should know why it goes stale.

    Coffee goes stale when it has been oxidized by contact with—you probably guessed—oxygen. Roasters will use different bagging methods to reduce oxidization, but once you split open that new bag of coffee and take a big whiff of those fresh roasted beans, the quality goes down from there. As the beans stale, the flavor quality is reduced and loses its unique profile.

    The best way to avoid old coffee is to brew it ASAP. Each coffee bag typically has a roast date and a recommended “best buy” date. But when your coffee ultimately goes stale, it’s time to get inventive like our coffee friend Saxman11290 who sent us this delicious recipe solution. Let's check it out!

    This recipe calls for a double shot of espresso, so you'll need a superautomatic or semi-automatic machine. Got it? Here's everything you'll need:

    Equipment:

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of ice
    • 1 cup of 2% milk
    • 14-18 grams of ground old coffee
    • Drizzle of chocolate sauce
    • Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg

    Instructions:

    1. Add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of ice into a shaker.
    2. Using an espresso machine, make a double shot of espresso. For semi-automatics measure 14-18 grams of pre-ground old coffee or use a superautomatic and brew a double shot.
    3. Pour your double shot on the milk and ice and shake it up!
    4. Pop off the glass and strain the mixture over a chilled glass.
    5. Top off with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Enjoy!

    Thanks Saxman11290 for this tasty creation! Gail whipped herself up a cup—and we don’t want to spoil it for you—but she couldn't tell that she was drinking old coffee.

    Send us your favorite coffee recipe in the comments below and we’ll share it with everyone on another episode of Coffee Collaboration.

  • How To Ice Brew Coffee

    Ice BrewIt's summer. Which means iced coffee of course!

    But we think iced coffee should be more than just hot coffee poured over ice. If you have been following our YouTube channel you know that we have been experimenting with different ways to get that coffee we know and love, ice cold.

    We have experimented with cold brew, which is amazingly smooth, but takes up to 24 hours to brew! Luckily we found out about this Japanese Cold Brew method, or sometimes referred to as ice brew!

    We made some great coffee using this ice brew method. It's as easy as making a cup of pour over except you substitute half of your brewing water with ice. As a result, you brew concentrated coffee directly onto ice, which instantly cools your coffee--locking in all the flavor. Trust us when we say, you need to try this!

    Watch the video below to see Gail demonstrate how to brew using the ice brew method! And don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking here. We publish a new video every day of the week, so we are confident there will be something for you ;)

     

     

     

     

  • Ask Gail: How To Make A Latte

    How to make a latteYou ask. Gail delivers. Simple as that.

    We here at Seattle Coffee Gear get asked all the time by customers, potential customers, family,  friends and even people waiting for us to leave work. Ok maybe not the last one, except that one guy. Anyways...the question we get asked all the time is how to make a latte. And not just any latte, the perfect latte.

    So we asked Gail if she wouldn't mind giving us a tutorial. And you know what she said? NO! But to her credit, she said she would find someone who could. Fair enough Gail. And like I said earlier, she delivered. Gail was able to track down and convince a local barista who has competed in several international barista competitions  to come to our offices and show us how to make a latte. And not just any latte, a perfect latte.

    We met Sean, our very kind barista,  and gave him the best equipment we could get our hands on: the La Marzocco GS/3, the Rancillio Rocky grinder, a frothing pitcher and a tamper. Everything you could need. We asked for the best latte he could make, and he showed us every step of the way.

    Be sure to watch the video below if you want to be able to make a perfect latte every time. We all learned a lot from our time with Sean and hope you do too! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well for new videos all the time!

     

  • 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.

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