January 29, 2014

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine


BrevilleBES870XL.jpg

The Breville BES 870XL espresso machine looks like a pretty cool machine for aspiring baristas. The countertop brewing station allows you to be lazy and brew like a consumer, pulling a shot through a double walled portafilter, where crema is all but guaranteed, or brew through a single walled portafilter to test your skills at tamping and brew like a barista.

When brewing through the double walled filter at the bottom of the portafilter, the backbressure is created from the wanter pressing through only a few openings. The build-up is almost guaranteed, and the extraction happens, emulsifying the coffee, water and wire to create that pillowy crema on top of the espresso.

When using a single walled filter, the bottom is more open and there is little to no back pressure created by the filter, relying on a proper grind, and tamp to create the proper amount of back pressure for extraction and crema production. If the tamp is too loose, the water channels through the puck, and you get a weak cup, too tight and you get flavor problems.

The Breville BES870XL, offers a built in burr ginger, that doses right into the portafilter, approximately a half gallon water reservoir, and controls to brew singles or doubles, and a sleek look with a temperature dial face.

At Amazon - Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

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January 27, 2014

Illy and Samsung Tie the Knot

Famed coffee name Illy has tied the knot with Samsung to create a symbiotic relationship that is sure to be watched for a while. The relationship is not about the machine; it's about a better or best in class retail experience. Illy is looking at an upscale retail experience, driven by a strong visual component. Samsung will help there.

Samsung on the other hand claims to want some reason to pause in their showrooms, and maybe a cup of Illy coffee can do that for them.

According to the press release, "The agreement is designed to pool the resources of both companies in order to leverage each other’s strengths and brand equities by utilizing Samsung’s legacy in technology innovation, electronic devices and multimedia content and illycaffè’s expertise in premium coffee, food and beverage retail marketing and their connections with a diverse set of artistic projects. The attention that both companies bring toward human creativity, specifically with regards to art and design, provide a common ground for the two brands."



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January 25, 2014

Review: Illy Issimo Mocha Drink

Illy Issimo Mocha

Illy Issimo Mochaccino is a ready to drink coffee treat that you can grab and go at a lot of convenience stores and sometimes can be found in the regular grocery store. I didn't grab a Mochaccino when I reviewed the rest of the line a few years ago. Since then, Illy has added the drinks in this bottle package shown above.

So, hey, with a quick chill, and a need for a little treat, I grabbed one of these the other day and enjoyed.

Give it a good shake, as you'll need to get the cocoa off the bottom. I had it straight, and not over ice, which I would recommend, because the flavors are already a little on the light side.

It's got a good Mocha flavor, but is not overwhelming, nor is it biting with bitter cocoa. The packing process sands off a lot of the top notes and finer flavors for most coffee drinks, so don't expect to look for the fine flavors you might fine in single origin coffees.

Overall, I give it two thumbs up if you like coffee, and like a little sweetness.


IllyIssimoBottlePour.jpg


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January 24, 2014

Review: Nespresso Bukeela Pure Origin from Ethiopia


Bukeela Ka Ethiopia Capsules from Nespresso

Nespresso announced their new Pure Origin Bukeela ka Ethiopia capsule this week, a low intensity capsule that is a 3 on a 12 (used to be a 10 scale before Kazaar). the flavor is "Floral and Wild".

Last year Nespresso said that they would be putting out more Lungos to compete in the US more effectively, where people want cups/mugs of coffee, versus Europe, where short espressos rule. The Bukeela is a "Lungo" which is recommended to be brewed to 4 ounces/110 ml. (See my Post on Setting Brew Volumes if you need to change your Lungo Brew size)

The Bukeela blend is made form a washed Arabica from the Sidama region, claiming to be the source of its floral notes, while the other beans are sourced from the western provinces bringing on their "wild" flavors.

Nespresso is pitching Bukeela together with the other three Pure Origin capsules making me think that the blend is making its debut with the plans that this is a permanent addition. If not, it would probably have a "Limited" or "Special" name.



ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Nespresso Bukeela Pure Origin from Ethiopia"

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Recent Comments
Scott Martin: Erik, Answering a few questions: So the whirring is definitely read more
Erik G.: Nice review! Just a couple of questions though. How hot read more
Scott Martin: SH, Excellent question - added a section to the review read more
SH: What about machine sound/vibration during the brew process? If it read more
Ironpeddler: Looks like the espresso capsules are different than the current read more
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