July 31, 2007
So, this isn't exactly the most classic styled espresso maker, and it may just be the wildest I have seen in a long time. This Saeco Etienne Louis espresso machine has all the functionality one could ever want in a UFO looking, spiked machine with a removable water reservoir under the top half of the machine and the ability to crank out a couple of shots, then steam some milk. The unit is apparently steel and polished aluminum, and it should really come with a whip to crack just as you are cranking some hedonistic espressos.
Product Page Via Gizmodo
July 30, 2007
If you haven't voted, today is the LAST DAY to vote for your favorite Latte Art Video Contest over at Whole Latte Love. There are a couple dozen entries for you to look through and vote for, offering you a quick glimpse of what's possible with a little effort and a lot of skill.
Just double click on the image to pull the video up on You Tube, and check them out, then vote.
At Whole Latte Love
July 27, 2007
OK - so wrap up the Caribou French Roast Review and receive the CoffeePeople Black Tiger Bold K-cups for the next one. So idle time around here, and definitely no days without a cup of coffee or espresso around SingleServeEspresso.com
CoffeePeople Black Tiger is a dark roasted K-cup that the describe like this:
" Full bodied, earthy, and dark. Our answer to a customer request for a blend with the rustic taste of the old country. Rules were broken, but - oh well! Here it is. Totally unique and ferocious!"
I don't know, we'll see in our Keurig B-70 brewer. We'll check it out over the coming weeks, and get back to you.
Black Tiger K-Cups at Amazon
July 24, 2007
So, I have been dipping into the Caribou French Roast K-Cups recently and all of a sudden found myself at the bottom of the box realizing that I hadn’t really written anything up on them. The K-cups came to us
a few weeks about 6 weeks ago, and have been in rotation ever since. When I drink K-Cups, I have a lot of varieties available, but do tend to keep coming back to the Tully’s French Roast as a favorite morning coffee with it’s smoky boldness. So, it was a natural to compare the Caribou to the Tully’s.
Caribou is a pretty popular chain in the upper Mid-west, where I think it gives Starbucks a good run for its money. I like the outside nature and feel of the Caribou design concepts and their coffee is pretty good.
Caribou's website describes the French Roast this way:
Continue reading: "Caribou French Roast K-Cup Review"
July 23, 2007
Starbucks and Hershey’s are teaming up to create a high end chocolate offering that will be available in Starbucks (and other retail outlets) later this year. Not surprising that Hershey’s snuggled up next to Starbucks with Hershey's distribution capabilities, their knowledge of chocolate and their dire need for a palatable coffee inspired chocolate bar; my impressions were that their current iteration is terrible. Tastes like old oxidized coffee from a gas station mixed in with a decent chocolate bar.
Judging from Starbucks’ success in other foodie areas, namely ice cream, where they have had good success with Dryers making great tasting coffee inspired creations, my expectations are for grand products. I hope that Hershey’s doesn’t keep them grounded in mediocre bars, because with the Hershey’s knowledge, I would imagine great things could happen.
My current favorite coffee inspired bar is Endangered Species Chocolate Bars with bits of espresso beans mixed into the bar.
July 20, 2007
DeLonghi has announced their new Exclusivo Magnifica ESAM3500 Espresso and coffee maker model, which should be replacing their EAM3500 model. The design doesn’t appear to have changed much from the looks of things, but one improvement that is welcome is the new lower pitch grinder. While they didn’t say it was any quieter, they are clearly sensitive to this area of concern among users. I noticed the issue when I used the Magnifica EAM 3500 for my review.
The Magnifica ESAM3500 super automatic machine features a digital controls and an LCD readout. The programmable buttons allow you to set your favorite drink and get it made time and time again. The one-touch Latte and Cappuccino controls are great, and with the removable milk container, it makes it fantastically easy to create great espresso drinks.
The Esclusivo Magnifica ESAM 3500 includes a professional-quality conical burr grinder, which produces consistent, fresh and aromatic espresso or coffee. A nice change is that the grinder operates at a lower pitch, which allows for a quieter machine. Like most Super Automatics, the grind settings also allow the user to adjust the fineness for all types of beans. The Direct-to-Brew System, features a stainless steel piped double boiler, which guarantees that each grind is immediately processed into coffee or espresso.
Features: Makes coffee, espresso, latte and cappuccino
Lower pitch grinder
Double boiler means no wait between espresso and steam
Patented Cappuccino System Frother
Stainless steel piped double boiler
Coffee strength and quantity controls
Height adjustable coffee spouts to accommodate any size mug
15 bar pump driven machine
7 ounce whole bean capacity
3 Customizable Cup Size Buttons: Ristretto (Small), Espresso (Medium), Large (American Coffee)
July 19, 2007
This past winter I reviewed the Espressione ESE Pods, both the classic and the 100% Arabica. My tastes lead me to like a bit of robusta in my hot espresso, so while I thought that both were good shots, well blended and all around above average, I liked the Classic version better than the Classic.
Now that the warmer weather is here I have been drinking a lot of iced espressos, and my tastes have changed. The 100% Arabica version of the Espressione is the better choice. The flavor profile is clean, but definitely espresso that stands up to the ice, milk and sugar that make up the balance of my iced espressos. Net, I can still recommend the Espressione family of pods, and for me the 100% Arabica is the iced espresso choice, and the Classic is the hot espresso choice.
Espresione Classic, 100% Arabica at Amazon
July 18, 2007
If you are craving the best aroma and the finest freshness from your coffee, then you need to check out home roasting. With few exceptions you can not get fresher coffee, and believe it or not, it is not that hard to create excellent blends using a home roaster.
Summertime is a great time to get into home roasting, because you can do it outdoors, letting the roaster vent free to the wind, and enjoy the fruits of your labor without any issue of getting smoke indoors.
I reviewed the iRoast Home Roaster and thought it was really a great machine. With its pre-programed roaster times, and an easy supply of artisan quality green coffee available online, it makes for a fast way to get started on the new hobby. In short order I was roasting an excellent drip coffee and a very good espresso blend. If you're really into your coffee, home roasting is a great way to investigate bringing your passion to a new level.
Read More at my iRoast 2 Home Roaster Review
July 16, 2007
Portafilters are the magical ingredient that makes the world go around for espresso lovers as it’s responsible for some great taste, body and that wonderful crema. Some folks might argue that it’s the pump, the coffee, the grind, the cup, and on and on. Yes, without the mixture of greatness in all of these the espresso tastes terrible. The portafilter and how you handle it is responsible for the back pressure that allows for a rich extraction of coffee solids from the ground coffee as well as the emulsification of oils that create a delicious crema on the top. The pump driven espresso machine is like a garden hose; there’s plenty of pressure in there, but until you put your thumb across the end of it, you don’t see that pressure in action. There are two ways to get there, and it’s important to understand the difference.
Continue reading: "Portafilter 101 – Professional vs. Consumer"
July 12, 2007
Want a compact professional grade espresso maker for your countertop? Well over at Illy they are showing off the latest Pasquini's commercial machine that will fit nicely on your countertop, accepting both ESE pods and ground espresso.
This gleaming machine can steam milk and brew at the same time cranking out espresso with its 15 bar pump. The price isn’t cheap, but hey they’ll throw in some illy ESE pods and some espresso cups too! Cup warming area
Brass filter holder and bell
Steams and brews espresso simultaneously
Only one wear and tear seal in the entire machine
Self-priming 15 Bar pump (220 PSI)
Small footprint: only 8.5" wide x 14.25" deep
High efficiency heating systems for energy savings
Quick heat-up: 2 minutes for coffee, 4 minutes for steam
Slow start steam for greater control and safety
Seal-less solenoid steam valve for maintenance-free steaming
Okay to leave machine on all day
Measures 12.5"h x 8.5"w x 14.25"d. 23 lbs. - $1,150.00 at illy
July 11, 2007
This little wonder is great to take on the road to vacation or anywhere away from home; a battery operated frother. In just a few seconds the thing can whip milk into a decent froth to top off your espresso to make a cappuccino style drink when you can't steam the milk for a proper one. It works on 2 "AA" batteries, and has a stainless steel shaft that makes cleanup easy. It's lightweight, is about 9 inches long and comes with its own cover/travel container.
Aerolatte To Go at Amazon
July 10, 2007
Looking to expand their business, Van Houtte was just sold to a private equity firm for $615 million. The maker of coffee and k-cups will utilize the newly found capital as a way to continue their expansion over the coming years. The company was started back in 1919, and the head of the family business indicated that while he was sad to make the decision to sell, he recognized that the company needed to grow and for that they needed deeper pockets to realize their expansion goals.
July 9, 2007
Though we reviewed this machine not too long ago, we still think the Ultima Espresso Machine is a total steal at $299 and a total workhorse. We've yet to grow tired of it's simplicity, and we still love the pyramid like design.
- Semi-Automatic coffee / espresso / cappuccino center with dual frother measuring cup and video.
- Black with silver metallic accents design.
- 53 oz. water tank. Double coffee spout adjusts to any cup size.
- DualFrother with two settings for latte (steam milk) or cappuccino (froth milk) .
- Just fill coffee to your liking (7 to 15 grams) into the machine turn and pull the coffee lever down and switch on the pump.
- The double coffee spout even adjusts to accommodate different size cups.
At Ultima Espresso Machine
July 5, 2007
Illy is well known for their espresso cup collections, and this cup collection "stresses the exquisite floral motif decoration of the saucer, with the handle-less cups forming flower corollas when viewed from above." Very nice, very summer-like and very cool.
Available in both espresso and cappuccino versions, each collection comes beautifully gift-boxed with a collection brochure.
July 3, 2007
There are essentially four basic types of home espresso makers on the market today. They are all different prices, and all different qualities of espresso. You’ll have to decide what is right for you, and how much you want to spend to get a cup of espresso.
1. Stove Top - Manual
The manual machine can take the form of the Mokka Pot where you need to add your ground espresso, put it on the stove top and let the water boil from the bottom of the pot, up through the grounds into the top of the pot. It won’t give you the extraction of the higher pressure pump-driven makers, but it will give you a decidedly strong cup of espresso. These are the most economical way to get a strong cup of espresso in a quick way… usually for $15 - $60. A good example here is the Bialetti 3 cup Moka Pot.
2. Pump Driven - Manual
The other manual higher pressure maker is similar to the Gaggia Achille maker that has you pumping with a long handle to get the hot water through the grounds at a pressure that will create a crema on your cup of espresso. These are rare machines and they are generally for true afficinatos and cost a lot of money.
3. Semi Automatic Espresso Coffee Machine
The semi-automatic machine takes espresso in the form of ground espresso, ESE Pods, or Nespresso Capsules in and does a lot of work for you. The basic ones, are steam based, and relies on the fact that when you boil water, it expands and the pressure forces the hot water through the coffee to make your espresso. Essentially it’s an updated and electrified Mokka Pot. These machines cost anywhere from $30 - $60. A good example here is the Krups FND111 Allegro Espresso Maker.
The other kind of Semi-Automatic Espresso machine relies on a high pressure pump to extract the wonderful flavors, solids, aromas and oils from the ground coffee actually creating an emulsion to form the crema on top of your cup. The higher pressure makes a big difference in flavor and body of the espresso. There are two levels of units here where the less expensive units require you to start and stop the machine by hitting a button or turning off a switch. These machines cost anywhere from $80 - $800. Good examples here are the Nespresso Esenza C100 (read my review), the Delonghi EC155, the Gaggia 35008 Carezza Espresso Machine and up to the FrancisFrancis! 201032 X1 Trio.
4. Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
These types of machines are wonderful units to have on your counter that can give you drinks at the push of a button. These units start with whole beans and usually grind the coffee, tamp it and then pump hot water through the ground coffee to extract your espresso for you. The more expensive Super Automatics also have the ability to draw milk right from a container and steam it for you right into your cup. These units often work off of one button; the Barista Button and it gives you easy and addictive access to wonderful espresso drinks at your finger tips. These machines can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,500. Good examples of these are: Jura-Capresso 13187 Impressa E8, the DeLonghi ESAM3300 Esclusivo Magnifica, or the Jura-Capresso 13214 Impressa Z5