Selecting the right prosumer-grade espresso machine for you can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. With so much gleaming stainless steel and commercial-class components, how do you determine which model is worth your investment?
Take the Livia G4 and Giotto Evoluzione, for example: These are two heat exchange espresso machines, which allow you to brew and steam at the same time, that have polished stainless steel cases and are designed to work on the 15 amp, 110 power circuits most often found in home kitchens.
Feature-wise, the Livia G4 comes in a few different configurations — a traditional semi-automatic, a semi-automatic with a PID and an automatic with a PID. The two models that incorporate a PID enable you to control the steam boiler’s temperature, which will in turn affect the water in the heat exchange that is delivered to the brew head. Pasquini designed it to also incorporate a thermoblock at the brew head, producing a consistent brew temperature while not requiring an upgrade in the machine’s power requirements.
The Giotto Evoluzione, on the other hand, is simple yet refined: A traditional semi-automatic with an E61 brew-head and the ability to either use the internal water reservoir or plumb it in to your home’s water supply. While it doesn’t have any programming options, the brew head design and heat exchange technology produce a consistent brew temperature, backed by a very hearty steam boiler.
Watch as Teri guides us through a detailed overview of the features and specs of each machine, then demonstrates how they compare, performance-wise.
Compare: Pasquini Livia G4 vs. Rocket Espresso Giotto Evoluzione
Your trusty Bonavita coffee maker brews up batch after batch of delicious java with relatively little assistance from you. It doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, so it’s easy to overlook regular care and maintenance when it just simply works, right?
Implementing a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule will result in both increased equipment longevity and improved flavor in the cup. Certain components — like the carafe — will show their wear and tear, but other, more internal parts can’t give you a visual cue. Accordingly, it’s a great idea to come up with a schedule that you follow on a regular basis, descaling and cleaning the machine’s components at least a few times each year.
Here’s what we recommend:
Weekly – Each week, wash the carafe and filter basket with warm soapy water. Using a food-friendly cleaning solution, wipe down the machine, paying special attention to the hot plate if your model has one.
Monthly – Every fourth external cleaning, wipe out the water reservoir to limit any residue build-up. If you’re using water with a higher mineral content, you should also descale at this time.
Quarterly – For softer water, a quarterly descale using a descaled and detergent combo like Cleancaf will improve your coffee maker’s performance.
Designed to fit into the footprint of a legal sized sheet of paper, the Jura ENA Micro 9 features Jura’s updated brew technology and one-touch cappuccino functionality. We love that it also has a lower clearance, so you can more easily access its water tank and bean hopper even if you have lower cupboard clearance.
In this refreshed review, Chris guides us through the features and specifications of the Jura ENA Micro 9, then demonstrates how to craft a cappuccino. Check it out!
One of our favorite desserts during the holiday season is created by slowly poaching pears in red wine and a mix of mulling spices like cinnamon and clove. When we were learning how to use Breville’s Smart Scoop ice cream maker, we found a recipe that sounded quite delicious in their user manual — a vanilla and pear sorbet — so we decided to experiment with it! Instead of using simple syrup and vanilla extract, we used Monin’s Pure Cane Sugar, Vanilla and Cinnamon syrups to see if we could create a frozen treat that shared some of the delectable properties of our poached pear recipe.
The resulting Spiced Pear Sorbet was something that was altogether more refined and elegant! We think it would be exceptional when paired with an aged port. And while the recipe calls for canned pears, you could easily use fresh ones if you have access to them, you’ll just need to tweak the sweetener and possibly add a little liquid to make up for not having the canned pear juice.
Watch as Brandi preps it up and then lets the Smart Scoop do the heavy lifting!
While sophisticated temperature control and experimenting with how different brew temps affect the flavor of coffee was born in the world of Third Wave coffee, more and more cafes are getting in on the fun lately. Nuova Simonelli designed their Aurelia 2 T3 commercial espresso machine to meet this need. Combining their well-known commitment to excellent build quality, ergonomic design and intuitive functionality, they’ve designed the T3 version of their popular Aurelia 2 series of machines with independent brew boilers and separate temperature control.
By using a combination of heat exchange and multiple boiler technology, each brew head on the T3 (from two to four) will produce a very consistent shot. You can program each of them for different temperatures, allowing you to brew coffees in different ways without having to adjust your machine in the process. As this is targeted toward higher end specialty coffee businesses, it is currently only available in a semi-automatic configuration — Nuova Simonelli is assuming that you and your baristas will want to be actively involved in your shot extraction!
To learn more about the Aurelia 2 T3, we visited Nuova Simonelli’s US headquarters in Ferndale, WA, and took one out for a test drive. In this comprehensive review video, Brandon guides us through the T3′s tech specs, functionality and design, then demonstrates how to make a latte.
These machines are designed for very high volume businesses, so if you’re in the market for something that affords you sophisticated customization yet can also keep up with your busiest rush, the Aurelia 2 T3 is well worth your consideration.
Crew Review: Nuova Simonelli Aurelia 2 T3 – Commercial Espresso Machine
Perfect for a small office kitchen environment, the Krups Cup on Request allows you to brew into a removable stainless steel urn that doubles as a dispenser. With two programmable options, dosage selections, volumetric and manual pours and the ability to keep it warm for up to four hours, the Cup on Request provides excellent functionality in an improved design.
Here at SCG, we love our Technivorms and always have a few of them going at any given time. Because we drink the coffee so quickly, we prefer to use the glass carafe — this also prevents sad moments when you attempt to pour out of an empty thermal carafe. But this does result in more messiness, with coffee sometimes spilt on the hotplates, resulting in a burned in residue.
We love that the Cup on Request enables you to easily dose out fresh, hot coffee in regular or to-go cups with ease. Watch as Gail goes through all of her fancy book learnin’ and then demonstrates making a pot!