May 29, 2008
The Segafredo SZ01 Caffe Solo is a capsule machine that is available for some high quality brewing of excellent espresso time and time again. The capsule revolution is in full swing and for good reason. Capsules, like pods, offer an easy way to get great espresso little effort. Capsules make it easy - drop it in, and no clean-up required. The machine I use, drops the capsules down into a waste bin to be emptied later, no dripping pod, or portafilter to get across the counter to the trash.
The Segafredo system was designed to crank out espresso in small commercial establishments day-in and day-out without a lot of training and without a lot of mess. The unit is designed to avoid build-up of residue and with an innovative cleaning-capsule, the unit can be cleaned with the push of a button too.
More at Segafredo Zanetti
May 27, 2008
Saw these and I had to try a few out. Monster Energy Drinks has a new line of Coffee inspired drinks out that follow the Monster tradition of juicing up your life with caffeine and a whole bunch of other energy enhancing stuff that is supposed to rock your world.
I picked up two to try out and see what the deal was: Loca Moca and Big Black.
On the can, they say "Enough with the coffeehouse BS Already!" clearly trying to distance themselves from either the Starbucks Double Shot that we all know and the big fluffy drinks that make the Starbucks experience either a good one for you or a gut wrenching experience.
Missed on Flavor - Both the Loca Moca and the Big Black were barely drinkable. The upfront flavor was decent for both, but finished with the classic bitter flavor that was a real turn off and a waste of the $2.69. I should have grabbed a couple of Double Shots on the shelf above these and walked away a happy man.
Missed on Energy - I have to say that when they said "Java Monster - half the caffeine and twice the Buzz" I was also a bit disappointed; I downed one of these and 15 minutes later took a nap I was still so tired. Sorry Monster; way too tame.
more at Monster
May 24, 2008
red espresso has won the prestigious SCAA Award for introducing a new beverage category in the world of espresso. South African company red espresso earned SCAA’s 2008 Best New Product/ Specialty Beverage category for developing the world’s first tea espresso. The tea delivers a dark red espresso coated with a saffron-colored crema. The naturally caffeine-free red espresso contains no preservatives, colors or other additives. Red espresso is the first South African company to win an SCAA Best New Product Award and is also the first organization to earn an award in the specialty beverage category for a tea product.
More at SCAA showcases inventive coffee, tea, food companies with 2008 Best New Product Awards
May 18, 2008
This Primula Stovetop Espresso Maker caught my eye, not only for its design but for its price - less than $25. Most stovetop makers that are more than the classic octagon shape cost twice this amount. While the expensive ones may have some high end design house behind them, I like the upscale but not too-nice-to-use look of this one.
At Amazon - Primula Stovetop Espresso Maker
May 16, 2008
After the pods came the capsules, and we are riding that wave now. Not only does Nespresso have a capsule system and set of machines out, but Lavazza, too. Now coming to the market is the newest entry, from Illy, the FrancisFrancis! X7, deemed the iperespresso (Hyper) enabled brewing system that infuses the coffee grounds with water under pressure and then starts the extraction process. According to a recent TIME article, the thing cranks out crema like a well poured Guinness. That's what I see in my Nespresso's too; incredible ease of use, and incredible quality.
More information about the machine at Illy
May 15, 2008
The "Pearl" design is our favorite - a round coffee-maker with a luxurious design.
The folks at Nespresso never stop looking for the latest designs for their Nespresso Capsule driven espresso makers. The Nespresso Essenza C100 that sits on my countertop is the smallest espresso maker to ever come through my kitchen for reviews, except maybe the trusty Moka pot. But Nespresso isn't stopping there, as they have run a design contest again this year to find what might be the next Nespresso coffee maker to hit the shelves. Students from all over Europe competed to design and submit the next best thing. Some are absolutely fantastic; I love the thins designs that would hardly be noticed on the counters. Some are a too edgy for my tastes, but all of them are worth checking out.
We like all of the designs produced by the winners, and really like "Pearl" above. Single Serve Coffee has a detailed post of all the winners, and you will also want to visit the contest site for videos and more pictures of the machines.
At Nespresso Contest Site and Single Serve Coffee
May 14, 2008
Capresso has sent us one of their MIni-S espresso machines to review. This four-cup safety espresso/cappuccino machine makes whipping up your favorite shot of espresso very easy if Capresso has anything to say about it.
We thought at first having safety in the name was a bit odd, but we're pretty sure Capresso is eluding to the safety switch for choosing between full pressure brewing and steam production, and not some other thing of espresso producing danger we should be safe from when using this machine.
- Boiler cap with built-in safety valve.
- Patented three-way safety switch for choosing between full pressure for brewing espresso and maximum steam output
- Red indicator light and dishwasher-safe glass carafe
- Stops brewing or steaming in the "0" position
- Dual frother lets you steam or froth milk either in a pitcher or right in your cup
- Instructional video shows how to produce espressos and cappuccinos in three easy steps
We'll have a full review soon.
At Capresso 302.01 Mini-S 4-Cup Safety Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
May 8, 2008
OK so while this won't exactly make your espresso in the morning, it is a pretty cute toy that I think a lot of kids would enjoy. I know all kinds of kids play those kitchen games where they are always making and serving food and drinks to everyone in the room... pouring imaginary coffee and tea into colorful cups. Well here's a great little coffee maker that will add to the fun.
Let's Pretend Coffee Maker at Amazon
May 7, 2008
Thought I would pass this along for that charm collector who loves coffee. Maybe a Grande Latte Skinny is part of her life on a daily or even twice-daily basis? Maybe it's time to admit that coffee is a big part of her life and signify it in gold. This particular charm comes in plated and solid silver and gold, so prices take up a wide range. Pretty affordable for everyone.
Coffee Bean Charm at Amazon
May 6, 2008
The DeLonghi Bar32 is a pretty simple, pump driven espresso machine that might just be a great choice for those first timers who are getting into espresso at home. Unlike the steam driven espresso machines, the pump-driven units create enough pressure to extract the flavor and create the crema that you are used to on your coffeehouse shots. I have been using one of these for a while in my usual rotation and have enjoyed it quite a bit. It works well with both ground espresso and ESE Espresso pods that allow for a quick shot of espresso without all the messy work.
The unit has a fairly large 35-ounce reservoir that fits on the back of the machine, and a decent size drip tray. On the right side, the unit also has a small tamp that will help set the coffee grounds in the portafilter. A tight tamp is not needed in the way that an open bottom portafilter needs it, as there is a small outlet in the bottom of the portafilter that serves to create the backpressure and thus the higher extraction of solids and oils that makes it an espresso. If Mom is really serious about Espresso and wants things a little more upscale and automated, consider the Super-automatic category.
The DeLonghi BAR32 Espresso Machine comes with: DeLonghi BAR 32 machine
Single/ESE Pod insert
Double Shot Insert
DeLonghi BAR32 at Amazon
They still have this in stock and have shopping options to get it to you by Mother's Day.
May 5, 2008
I like the design on these if for nothing else the simple black and white designs; stark contrast for a nice avant-garde urban look. The set comes with 4 cups and saucers, dishwasher safe, and 8.45 ounces - enough for a nice cappuccino. Made in Italy
May 2, 2008
With the warmer weather coming, there's ample opportunity to check out the woods and NOT leave behind the caffeinated comforts of home. The range of coffee makers is pretty huge, from cowboy rough to futuristic machinery, and everything in between.
You pretty much have four styles to choose from for coffee/espresso on the trail:
- Percolators - Your great grandfather used these and so did John Wayne - they work and they can turn out some hot-brown that does the trick, just might not taste that great. I used one camping and believe it or not, the body developed in the coffee through perking outweighed the negatives and all things considered, it wasn't bad. These are cheap, bulky and can make a lot at a time.
- French Press - There are a ton of these on the market specially designed for away from home use. Shatter resistant plastic, a plunger and a splash proof lid all add up to a good package. Don't forget to plan for hot water though.
- Tiny Espresso Moka Units - these are cute and make some decent stuff; just not the high pressure that you are used to on your 15-bar pump driven machine at home or the machine at the local cafe. On the plus side, they are small and pack well, on the minus side, they are small and may need a few of these to kick start the morning.
- Handpresso Wild - New and different, this space age bike pump can crank out the high pressure that you need to get some decent extraction. It uses ESE pods which are easy to pack in and out, but again on the downside the unit only makes a shot at a time. It still won't pack the pressure of a commercial machine, but you won't be packing that and a 220 volt power supply into the wilderness to get quality that good. Read more about the Handpresso here are SingleServeEspresso.com
Good luck and if you need a GPS, check out GPSLodge for some tips.......
May 1, 2008
April may have been the last of the truly cold months around the SingleServeEspresso.com kitchen, but not the last of the espresso. We'll keep cranking it out and keep talking it up. Check out some of the stories from the last month.
Stovetop Espresso Makers