September 28, 2007

Buy an Espresso Maker & Save Money

It's not hard to think (hope) that you can save money when you kick the coffee chain habit and bring the espresso experiences home. The idea is that instead of paying several dollars for an espresso you can just pay a few cents for an espresso. A Grand Latte is costing about $3.50 these days, and if you are getting one every day, you are talking $3.50 * 365 = $1277.50.

Wow, even if you cut down to weekdays, that's still $3.50 * 5 days per week * 52 weeks = $910.

Doesn't include the coffeecake or the Venti Latte you have on Fridays....

If you have a seven day habit, you could easily afford a Super Automatic like the Gaggia 90500 or a Jura Capresso E8.

Even on the weekday habit you could still get a nice semi-auto like a Gaggia Classic Stainless.

Add some coffe and milk in and you are your own barista. It may take a few more months to pay out with supplies, but there's nothing like going no further than your own counter for a great espresso.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 25, 2007

Coffee Haiku Contest - Win a B60 Brewer

Green Mountain Coffee

Richness to the last drop

Vermont roasted Bliss

(Apologies to the Blue Can folks....) Yea, let's see you do better.... if you fancy yourself a poet of the Haiku variety (5-7-5 syllables), go ahead and pen a few and submit them to Green Mountain. You may win a B60 Coffee Brewer, and get your Haiku on a cup.

More at Green Mountain

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September 24, 2007

Big Factory Cafe Macchina


What a great look at a new espresso machine; the Pierre Ittner Designed machine feels fun and fanciful, right out of a Dr Suess book. The translation appears to say that the unit starts with coffee whole bean and milk to deliver your favorite espresso drink easily using its touchscreen. The unit has a ceramic grinder and water filtration to help deliver high quality espresso...

I think The Cat in the Hat should deliver each and every one of these.

More at Pierre Ittner Designs

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September 21, 2007

Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Pods


A year later, I still have to say that I love the Lavazza Super Crema ESE Espresso Pods; I felt that way a year ago when I reviewed them, and still feel that way now. They are a blended pod, not 100% Arabica, so they have a bit more body to them and a full finish, but not overly done. I got a fresh shipment the other day and have to say that I keep going back to how good they are. Absolutely well blended, seamless and full bodied. I haven't had them in a while, and had forgotten how good they really are.

They come in various sizes, from a dozen to 150 count:

  • Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Espresso Pods – 12ct
  • Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Espresso Pods – 150ct

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  • September 20, 2007

    Tully's - Compostable and Fair Trade All Around

    Next time you are in a Tully’s café, you can now relax and be thankful that your paper coffee cup is now fully compostable. The coffee chain is the first to rollout a new paper cup that unlike its peers is lined not with a regular plastic liner, but a plastic made from corn. With this, cups, napkins and food scraps will be commercially composted at its Washington state locations. Also in the “Good for the World” department, Tully’s is announcing that it is going to start using espresso that is only made from Fair Trade and organic coffees.


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 18, 2007

    Super Automatic Espresso Machine Cleaner

    Ok, so the shine is off the super-automatic and you’ve pumped through a few hundred of your favorite drinks through your machine and while the drinks are still awesome, you really do need to clean the machine more than just emptying out the spend grounds bin and wiping the milk off the steam wand…. Mineral deposits can accumulate in the system and either clog up the machine or at least make things taste bad with off crazy off flavors. On top of that, residual coffee oils, that age and can go rancid can also affect how your espressos are tasting these days.

    So while some machines come with a few tablets tht are good for one cleaning, you can also try out Joe Glo espresso machine cleaner. It cleans your machine up by removing those coffee oils and helps with mineral deposits too.

    Joe Glo Espresso Machine Cleaner
    at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 17, 2007

    Jura capresso Impressa S9 Avantgarde

    With its beautiful lines, the Jura Capresso S9 Avantgarde is sure to impress. It’s a classically built super automatic that will take whole beans, milk and water and turn them into espressos, cappuccinos, or lattes at the push of a button. However, this is no common super automatic, in fact it’s certified for home and commercial use. Anyway, it comes fully equipped and ready to perform as it has two stainless thermoblock heating systems, ready to brew and froth, and four pre-set beverage buttons that you can use to get you consistent quality time after time. If you want to add your own touch, you can program your own personal button and get a consistent “My Drink” brewed for you easily day after day. The S9 Avantgarde also has a frothing system that includes the ability to use the regular frothing/steaming wand, as well as the new Auto-Cappuccino. The Auto-Cappuccino sucks in milk at the push of a button, heats it up to the desired temperature and froths it.

    Like most Super Autos it has a warming tray, ample water in its reservoir (96 ounce), a by-pass doser for using pre-ground coffee of another variety (think de-caf), whole bean hopper that feeds an adjustable burr grinder, and a spent grounds dump bin.

    Jura Capresso S9 Avantgarde at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 14, 2007

    Bialetti Mia Moka Pot


    The Bialetti Mia Moka pot is a highly refined look at the classic coffee maker. Made of stainless, it is sure to stay beautiful for a long time, use after use. The design is by Guido Bergna and features a cobalt blue lid, as well as a unique pouring spout and handle. Makes 6 demi-tasse cups (9 ounces).

    At Bialetti

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    September 13, 2007

    In Pursuit of the Best Coffees in the World


    If you are a fan of high quality coffee you'll enjoy reading an article in the NY Times about the lengths some coffee roasters go to so that they can get some of the best coffees in the world. It's not all glamour, as it's a lot of travel to far off places that aren't too close to the 5 star hotel, but the dividends can be incredible as some of the finest lots of coffees and yes, even micro-lots of coffee can be found, bought and roasted into pure heaven. If you've been hanging around coffee culture, you'll probably recognize some of the names: Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Tea Traders, Counter culture and Terroir.

    Read More about the Pursuit of the best coffee in the world at NYT

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    September 12, 2007

    Most Expensive Espresso Machine at Amazon

    The most expensive Espresso Maker selling at Amazon these days is this beauty that is well equipped to handle crowds. This is not some personal unit that gets turned on for a single espresso every day; it’s made to pump out espressos one after another. With a 3.5 liter capacity in its boiler, it may take a few minutes to warm up, but it won’t be drained any time soon. The unit is of course push button, which starts the grinder, then tamps and pulls the espresso. If you punched up the order for a cappuccino or a latte, the unit can draw milk from its built in milk refrigerator and steams or froths it accordingly.

    Yours for around $15,000.

    Nuova Simonelli Espresso Machine at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 11, 2007

    Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with Nutrition Information


    Summer might still be in the air, but Fall is knocking on the door. At Starbucks the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back on the menu, with its blend of pumpkin and spice flavors that blend with the espresso note to create a very welcome Fall treat.

    For more Nutrition information on the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, check out their page on the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 10, 2007

    Joey Roth Moka Pot

    The Moka Pot transformed… Joey Roth has envisioned a way to make the Moka pot cubic with a nod to the East with this moka pot that locks with a piece of bamboo. The unit takes on the classic two half design that the moka pot is known for, but injects the feel of eastern elegance with the bamboo accents.

    Like any other Moka pot, fill the bottom with water, add ground coffee to the filter, and then heat until the water boils up through the grounds leaving you with espresso in the top chamber. Remove the wooden lid and use the bamboo handle to pour from the corner of the top chamber.

    More at Joey Roth

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    September 6, 2007

    Saeco S-TG-ST Giro Super Automatic Espresso Machine


    The Saeco S-TG-ST Giro Super Automatic Espresso Machine is one of those high end whole bean to cup machines that makes sipping a great espresso a push button experience. May not be for those who prefer to roll up your sleeves and get into the process, but it can certainly offer flexibility to fine tune your cup of espresso with precision and control. The Saeco S-TG-ST Giro Super Automatic Espresso Machine offers you the ability to put whole beans into the top, push a button and the unit grinds, tamps, and pumps at high pressure the heated water needed to pull a wonderful cup of espresso.

    The Saeco S-TG-ST Giro Super Automatic Espresso Machine is a stylish design that incorporates a dial up front which offers you the ability to dial up or down the amount of espresso that is pulled, from a short ristretto to a full 7 ounces. The unit can also dose 7 to 10.5 grams of coffee per pull, making for loads of combinations. The Saeco S-TG-ST Giro Super Automatic Espresso Machine has a ceramic grinder, which is apparently a lot quieter than metal burr grinders.

    I have used several Super Autos and it’s actually fairly easy to dial in a good espresso with these and get a nice shot. What can be difficult is to wing it and try to deviate and get a nice 7 ounce cup of coffee when you are used to pulling espresso shots.

    The unit features a 57 ounce water reservoir, and of course a grounds bin to hold the spent coffee pucks. To further improve the taste of your coffee, the unit has an integrated water filter.

    The Saeco S-TG-ST Giro Super Automatic Espresso Machine is available at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 5, 2007

    Quick Pick: Peet's Italian Roast


    Thought I would put this one up since I have enjoyed this coffee so much. I picked this up at a local grocery store, now that Peet's is distributed to the Northeast in several grocery stores, including a lot around my area. Peet's Italian Roast was the one roast that appeared to be best suited for espresso at home, although I was a little disappointed to find only ground in my store, I would have preferred whole bean so that I could grind it myself.

    Anyway, Peet's describes their Italian Roast as:

    "Intense; blended from the fullest-bodied, most flavorful coffees from the Pacific and Latin America.

    The Italian Roast is darker than our normal roast and consequently develops an intense, full-bodied flavor from the blend of Pacific and Latin American origins. The aroma is balanced and complex, and the beans glisten with natural oils.

    The name "Italian Roast" comes from the dark roasting style that is common in southern Italy. (Coffees in northern Italy are usually a bit lighter.) The dark roast may have resulted from trying to obscure off-flavors in cheap coffee, but our approach to this roast starts with high altitude, full-bodied coffees.

    Italian Roast is one of the coffees we recommend for espresso."

    Overall, I agree, I would recommend it for espresso. It is sufficiently dark to give a full bodied cup without crossing the edge of being abnormally bitter. I made it in a good entry level pump machine, the DeLonghi Bar 32 machine, and the result was a thick crema and a strong but clean coffee flavor. Well blended and acidic enough to be lively but not too much to be sour. The finish is clean, but better bodied than many 100% Arabica blends.

    I will definitely add it to my rotation of espresso coffees.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    September 4, 2007

    Illy Hyper Espresso


    Illy has announced a new format for brewing espresso, that they seem to indicate will be a great way to extract the very best espresso from excellent blends that will be available to you in their new Hyper (iper) Espresso Capsule system. Illy has long offered Espresso Pods for all ESE Makers along with their own Francis!Francis! machines. To use the new capsules, two new machines will be introduced, the Francis! Francis! X7 and X8 for the spring of 2008. The capsules will reportedly cost $0.75 each, which is a big jump up from the $0.49 for Nespresso capsules that are used in Nespresso Machines like the Essenza C100 machine.

    At Illy - New illy iperEspresso machines.

    More from Illy on the Hyper (iper) Espresso after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Illy Hyper Espresso"

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    September 3, 2007

    Founder of Peet's Coffee, Alfred Peet Dies at 87


    Founder of Peet’s Coffee and Tea and pioneer in the coffee shop world, Alfred Peet died last week at the age of 87. He was born in Holland and was the son of a coffee and tea merchant where he learned the trade and learned to appreciate what high quality coffee and tea could be like. He moved to the US and opened his first coffee shop in 1966 in Berkley, CA. As the original store flourished with its high quality coffee leading its reputation, he opened up more shops in the San Francisco area.

    Peet’s Coffee and Tea now has over 150 cafes and has its coffee distributed to much of the US.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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