• Carina Drink Guide

    Are you the happy owner of a new Philips 1220 Carina? Maybe you’re considering picking one of these machines up? Either way, the Carina can do more than just make the drinks you see on the buttons. With just a little extra effort your new superautomatic is practically a cafe on your countertop. Let’s take a look at a few drink basics and ideas for the Carina!

    The Basics

    The Carina features 4 main menu buttons for making drinks. Let’s quickly run through them just to make sure you understand what you’re getting with each button press!


    A classic single or double shot of espresso This is one of the basic building blocks of many of the drinks you can make with the Carina.


    The “coffee” from superautomatics like the Carina differs a bit from a standard drip brew. Because these machines don’t have the room inside to fit a drip brewer, what you’re getting here is a “lungo” or “long shot.” Water is still being pushed through a puck of ground coffee like an espresso, but it uses more water to dilute the shot. The result is something closer to drip coffee, but still quite distinct.

    Hot Water

    The hot water dispenser on your Carina can be used for tea or to make an Americano. Americanos differ from the coffee option mentioned above. For the coffee button, more water is pushed through the espresso. With an Americano you are adding hot water to a shot after the shot has been pulled.


    This button activates the steam wand. With the Panarello wand you can steam milk for lattes and cappuccinos. For a cappuccino, run the steam wand closer to the surface of the milk to incorporate more air into the milk. This creates the dry foam you want for this drink. For a latte, focus on generating a smaller amount of foam and heating up the milk from deeper in after you create that initial layer of foam.

    More Drink Ideas

    So we’ve gone over the ways to make an espresso shot, long coffee, americano, and basic latte or cappuccino. Let’s look at what that opens up!

    Alternative Milks

    Are you a fan of a soy capp? Maybe an oat milk latte? While alternative milks are tricky in a Carina, you can use them to make tasty drinks. If you have some leftover eggnog you could even try your hand at the eggnog latte! Just be careful, as that can be quite the mess. For advanced users - you can get some extra control out of the panarello wand by removing the outer sleeve and using the rubber tip.


    The biggest tool in the home barista’s arsenal is keeping some tasty syrups on hand. Want that vanilla latte, mocha, or hazelnut capp? With a few pumps of your syrup flavors before you brew your espresso you’ll be in business. The fun part about selecting your own syrups is getting to keep extra unique flavors on hand too, so keep an eye out for all kinds of fruity, floral additions they might not have at the drive-through. 


    A sprinkle of cinnamon, chocolate, or other topping can add a little flair and extra flavor to your latte or cappuccino. These extra flavorings look nice, but can taste great too!

    Putting It All Together

    When you realize all of the combinations available to you, that simple 4 button interface becomes a lot more expansive. With the right ingredients, you can make your own double vanilla eggnog latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon from the comfort of your home!


  • Holiday Coffee Drinks

    Hey Coffee Fans!

    Today we’ve got some extra delicious coffee drinks (alcoholic and non!) by way of resident mixologist, Ariel! Ariel demonstrated these drinks in the video below, but we’ve got them here for you too! Let’s dive in:

    Gingerbread Cookie Syrup Latte:

    1 cup water

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup light corn syrup

    1/4 cup Biscoff cookie butter

    1 tsp. Gingerbread spice

    1/4 tsp ground cloves


    Combine ingredients in over medium-low heat. Whisk until sugar, corn syrup, and cookie butter are well combined. Pour into a heat resistant container and let cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

    Add syrup to taste for your next latte and top with whipped cream!


    Spicy Hot Chocolate:

    1 cup water

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup light corn syrup

    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

    1-2 dried Thai Chilis


    Combine ingredients over medium-low heat. Whisk until sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa powder are well combined, allow flavors of the spices and chilis to infuse, remove from heat once desired spice level is reached. Strain into a resistant container and let cool. Cover and store in the pantry for up to 2 weeks.

    Combine sauce with steamed milk and top with a whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce!


    Espresso Syrup:

    1 cup (4 shots) espresso

    1 cup granulated sugar


    Combine espresso and sugar in a heat resistant container. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.


    Espresso Bourbon Flip:

    2 oz of your preferred bourbon

    1 whole egg

    1oz espresso syrup


    In an empty drink shaker, combine bourbon, egg, and syrup. Shake vigorously for one minute to combine ingredients and whip the egg. Add 4-5 ice cubes to shaker and shake again for 30 seconds to chill. Double strain into coupe glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

    We hope you've enjoyed these holiday coffee treats!

  • Holiday Coffee Favorites

    Hey coffee lovers! It’s that time of year for cozy coffee notes and comfy drinks perfect for frosted windows and lit fireplaces. It’s a tough year because we can’t all share our favorite coffee with visitors, but we’re here to make the most of it with some favorite roasts and ways to prepare them.

    Brandywine Coffee Roasters - Seattle Coffee Gear 2020 Holiday Blend

    As has become holiday tradition here at SCG, we’re proud to have collaborated with our friends at Brandywine Coffee Roasters on another holiday roast! If you can tear your eyes away from the adorable artwork on the bag, you’ll find a delicious, classic set of notes within.

    One of the best parts of this roast is how versatile it is. Whether you like an espresso, drip brew, press, pour over, or more, this blend is just the right thing. On top of this, this is a delicious roast with or without milk. For a little extra fruitiness, we love a latte made with a hint of raspberry syrup.

    Onyx Coffee Lab - Framily

    As the name implies, Framily is the perfect complex, but approachable blend to share with friends and family over the holidays. It’s true most of us can’t do that in person this year, but this one’s a great candidate to send to your framily and enjoy over your holiday video calls. 

    Framily’s notes offer some lighter tastes over classic richness via a medium roast that is easy to brew and drink. Because this one’s got some fruitier notes along with that earl grey touch, we recommend giving it a shot as a classic pour over. This method will tease out those lighter flavors wonderfully, and you can impress your friends and family with your technique over a video meeting!

    Camber Coffee - Dialed In Espresso

    This one’s a bit of a cheat, as it’s available year round! We still couldn’t pass up the chance to recommend it. Why is this? Because it’s the perfect way to break in your new espresso machine. We worked with Camber to develop Dialed in as an easy to, well, dial in, espresso. That means it’s got classic espresso notes and will be a great coffee to get started with.

    With that in mind, this one’s a great add to some eggnog! If you’re brave enough try steaming eggnog, just remember to go slow and steady, it’s jumpy! It’s also important to carefully purge and clean your steam wand after steaming a thicker milk substitute like eggnog.

    Partners Coffee Roasters - Miracle on North 6th St.

    This one’s where that quintessential bit of orange flavor comes in. Miracle on North 6th St. fills that baked goods profile with a hint of citrus to really top it off. This is another one that works great in a lot of brew methods and isn’t hard to work with.

    That’s why we think it’s a great one to share as a pot of old fashioned drip coffee with a roommate or partner. Maybe you’ve got more than just a couple of coffee drinkers in your home and you’ll need a second pot! Either way, this one’s great with or without milk or cream.

    The truth is, we’re in love with all of our holiday blends, and we want to hear how you’re brewing them! Try out your favorite roaster’s seasonal roast this year and let us know how you love to prepare it!

  • Video Roundup: 9/11/20

    Hello coffee fans,

    We have three new videos for you this week, a fun one, an informative one, and one that's a little bittersweet. Let's jump in.

    First, Ariel continues her adventure through delicious drink recipes with an Iced Peppercorn Latte!

    Next up, Allie gave us a full rundown of everything you need to know about burrs:

    And finally, we have a bittersweet, but very special message from Gail:

    We're sad to see Gail go, but wish her all of the best in her further adventures.

    That's all for now coffee fans, stay safe, stay healthy, and we'll see you next week!

  • Video Roundup: 8/28/20

    Hey coffee lovers!

    It's time for another roundup of the videos we've been hard at work on this week here at Seattle Coffee Gear. We've got tips, a recipe, and a review for you this week, so let's dig in!

    First, Ariel showed us how to make an iced espresso lavender tonic!

    Next up, Allie showed us how to dial in AKA Coffee's FTW blend:

    And finally, it's a review of the Oxo Brew coffee maker with Jake!

    That's all we've got in the pot right now, but we'll be back next week with a new set of videos for you!

  • Hot-Blooming Cold Brew

    If you’re here at the Seattle Coffee Gear blog we’re betting you know a thing or two about cold brewed coffee. This method of brewing has become incredibly popular over the last decade or so, and with good reason. Cold brewing coffee leads to fantastic extraction of flavor notes by slowly brewing coffee with the simplicity of overnight saturation. Did you know that you can tease even more flavors out of your cold brew with a neat trick? Follow along to find out!

    The Bloom

    If you’re a pour over drinker you’re familiar with the bloom. This is the part of the pour over process where you add water to your grounds, often around 1:1, to start the extraction and release gas from the grounds. You’ll see the grounds bubble as those gasses are released. This is an important step that is one of the reasons brewing pour over results in more distinct, smooth flavors than an old drip brewer.

    Cold brewed coffee already eliminates a lot of the bitterness that can come with coffee by nature of its slow-brew process. To get an even smoother, more complex flavor, you can bloom your cold brew coffee as well!


    To do this, you’ll need to heat up some water to brew temp. For the very best flavor, you’ll want filtered water heated to 195-205 degrees fahrenheit. Once you have this water heated, add the hot water to your coffee grounds at a ratio of 1:1. You’ll want to let the coffee bloom for around a minute, which will release those gasses and flavors mentioned above. From there, simply add the rest of your room-temp or cold water and set your cold brew to saturate overnight!

    The resulting coffee will be smoother and more flavorful than your typical batch cold brewing. This technique works especially well for naturals and honeys that have a stronger flavor. If you think about this, it makes sense that brews that work best as pour over will also perform better using this method. It should be noted that this method of hot blooming your cold brew can add a very minimal amount of acidity to your coffee, but it’s something most coffee drinkers won’t even notice. It’s just something to keep in mind if you specifically need to keep your acids as low as possible.


    In conclusion, Hot blooming your grounds before you set your cold brew to steep can add flavor and depth to your caffeine concentrate. Give it a try and see how you like it, and let us know how it goes!

  • Iced Coffee Vs. Cold Brew

    It’s that time of year where we pull out our cold brewers and ice cube trays for some cool coffee treats. Staying caffeinated and cool isn’t so hard, but you might be wondering what the real difference is between iced coffee and cold brew. We’ve got your back, with an explanation of each method right here!

    Iced Coffee

    Iced Coffee is as simple as it sounds. You start with brewed coffee and simply add ice. The trick is in the way you add the ice without diluting the coffee too much, because simply brewing over ice will lead to lukewarm coffee as the ice melts. On the other hand, using cool water with a pour over or press won’t cause the coffee to bond with the water effectively unless allowed to steep (see the cold brew section!). There are a few ways you can mitigate this, and they offer varying flavors. 

    First, you can just brew coffee over ice. The trick here is adjusting your water to coffee ratio to account for the melting ice in the coffee. This also means that your flavor profile will differ a bit because you’re really brewing a concentrate that is being instantly diluted. Some machines, like the Breville Precision Brewer, have brew settings that help with this.

    The other option is to brew coffee in a glass carafe, then remove it from heat and let it sit until it reaches room temperature. This can feel counterintuitive, but when removed from heat, coffee can cool quickly enough that you won’t lose its freshness in the process. Then you simply pour the lukewarm coffee over ice, and it will melt slower than if you brew over the ice. 

    Both methods can lead to tasty iced coffee, so it’s worth experimenting with both, and with different coffee ratios and recipes to find what works for you!

    Cold Brew

    Over the past decade, cold brew has risen to prominence as a fantastic way to drink cold coffee. And there’s a reason for that! As noted above, cooler water takes longer to bond with coffee molecules. You can achieve this with colder water by giving it a longer steep time. There are some fantastic brewers that help you do this, such as the Toddy Cold Brew System. Systems like this use a filter and valve to allow coffee to steep for a long time (such as overnight) and then be drained from the brewer. The result is ready to drink cold brew, or cold brew concentrate that can be diluted with water, depending on the ratio of water to coffee used. Some simple, grab n’ go options that brew for portability are brew bottles like those that Primula offers. 

    Other cold brewing methods include brewers like the Bruer Slow Drip Cold Brewer.This brewer emulates the slow drip cold brewing method that’s popular in Japan. By modulating flow rate, you can get different flavors as the cold water slowly drips through the grounds.


    No matter what kind of cold coffee method you use, the principles of each are simple. Iced Coffee refers to hot brewed coffee cooled down to room temp and then poured over ice. Cold brew methods refer to coffee that is actually brewed slowly with room temperature water. Both offer unique flavor profiles and are delicious with a splash of milk or cream. Give both methods a try this cold coffee season!

  • Video Roundup: 5/29/20

    Hey coffee fans!

    This week we've got at home discussions, recipes, and a good old crew comparison for you. Let's take a look!

    First up, Allie and I sat down to chat about brew methods:

    Next, we've got a tasty looking recipe from Ariel!

    And finally, Allie did a comparison of the new Eureka Mignon Notte and the classic Rancilio Rocky.

    That's all for now! We'll be back with more videos next week.

  • Video Roundup: 5/22/2020

    Hello out there!
    We have a trio of videos for you to enjoy over the upcoming long weekend. Let's get into them!

    First up we've got Allie with a Crew Review of the brand new Eureka Mignon Notte!

    Next, Ariel gave us some tips on infusing some coffee into your next Manhattan!

    Finally, it's a comparison between the Eureka Notte and the Eureka Silenazio with Allie.

    That's all for now! Enjoy your holiday weekend!

  • Video Roundup: 5/4/2020

    It's another Monday and another Video Roundup!

    Gail's taking a break from Good Morning Gail, so this'll be our last Monday roundup for a while. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled releases next Friday.

    But for now, let's jump in!

    First up, your's truly provided some insight on how to brew in a tightly packed kitchen:

    Next up, Allie shared some tips on different ways to brew:

    Then we have everyone's favorite coffee expert, Gail, with another episode of Good Morning Gail!

    And last but certainly not least, Ariel showed us how to make a delicious cold brew Daiquiri.

    That's all for this week, we'll see you next Friday!

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