Brewin’ with Brandi: Twilight Dark Chocolate Truffles

Around these parts, we can’t just settle for truffles. They need to be dark Velton Twilight Coffeechocolate truffles. But are those good enough? Nope. They also need coffee. Not any kind of coffee, though. It needs to be Velton’s Twilight coffee. Wow, we’re picky!

The result of all this pickiness, however, are some amazingly delicious food items. So, without further ado, we present to you Twilight Dark Chocolate Truffles!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp ground Velton’s Twilight coffee
  • 4 oz baker’s chocolate
  • 2 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and heat over medium until all ingredients are melted (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.
  • When all ingredients are melted and the mixture is smooth, pour into a glass bowl and refrigerate for one hour or until it is a firm consistency.
  • Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and scoop the mixture onto wax paper or into treat cups by the tablespoon. Hint: A cookie scoop is great for this!
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Commercial Customer Spotlight: The Seed

Did you know that we have a department dedicated to helping coffee shops, and other commercial caffeine-serving institutions, get the perfect setup? Just as we’re super passionate about helping people make a great cup of coffee at home, we also want to help baristas make a great cup of coffee for you while you’re out and about!

The SeedOver the years, we’ve worked with a variety of commercial customers, from cafes to banks and restaurants to schools. Each one of them has two things in common: They have a vision of their dream setup and they have very distinct needs (be it throughput, available space or even the color of the machine that will pull the whole space together). So, we’re super excited to begin a series of spotlights on some of these businesses that we hope will help you feel more confident when making your purchasing decisions and maybe even provide some inspiration!

The Seed, a coffee and juice bar, was gracious enough to be our first participant (thank you, Rachel!). So, without further ado, we present their Commercial Customer Spotlight!

Tell us a bit about your operation.

The Seed is a third wave coffee and juice bar in Boca Raton, Florida. We provide an artisan experience with an in-house roaster, pour over bar, espresso service, and small batch juices.

What equipment did you choose and why?

The Seed La MarzoccoWe built our shop around the La Marzocco GB/5. We knew this machine would be the centerpiece of the shop with a custom matte black powder coat. From there, we moved on to find the best grinders for our espresso and selected two Mahlkonig K30 Airs. For our slow bar, we went with the triple threat of Chemex, Hario V60 and Aeropress. These methods are ground to specific parameters on Baratza Forte grinders and the water comes from a Curtis tank. For our classic batch brew, we pair a Curtis grinder with a Bunn brewer.

A huge factor in our selection was the knowledge of the SCG team. Jason was quick to give us all the good and bad which allowed us to make the very best educated decisions for our shop.

What was your experience when you purchased from Seattle Coffee Gear?The Seed - Mugs

Several internet searches pointed us to SCG. The customer service and endless conversations from the SCG sales team, specifically our point person, Jason, were more than we could have hoped for. We would highly recommend the team at SCG and intend to have a long standing relationship for all our coffee gear needs.

What’s in store for the future of your company?
We’re hoping to open several similar operations in the next 2-5 years.

Any tips or tricks you’d like to share with those that are new to the coffee-serving community?

Trust that the common factor must be great coffee and great people. In order to yield the very best coffees, your equipment must be on point. Do not settle for subpar equipment. Your espresso machine and your grinders are EVERYTHING!


We’re really excited to see what the future holds for The Seed, which is already off to an awesome start! You should also totally check out their Facebook page because they seem like a pretty happenin’ place!

Interested in downloading a PDF of their spotlight? Get it here!

Giveaway: Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale

Have you seen this beauty of a scale? If Apple made a coffee scale, we’re pretty sure it would look just like the Acaia Interactive Coffee Brewing Scale. Clean lines, easy to use and bluetooth connectivity for sending data to and from the accompanying app.

Acaia Coffee ScaleThe Acaia scale features an LED display, which displays the weight and times your brew cycle. It also has touch-sensitive buttons, so as not to detract from the scale’s sleek design, and a whole slew of settings.

So, imagine how excited we are that wheniwork.com reached out to us to host a giveaway of the Acaia scale! An employee scheduling software, When I Work has been partnering with coffee shops on their scheduling needs and heard about Seattle Coffee Gear through the grapevine…which leads us to this Acaia giveaway ($129 value)! Simply visit our Seattle Coffee Gear Facebook page and enter by commenting on the giveaway post with how you would use the scale. Easy peasy!

We’ll announce winners tomorrow (Friday, January 9th) morning, so hurry on over and make your entry!

(Not So Scientific) Experiment: Brewing Tea in a Pressurized Portafilter

You may remember that not so long ago we posted a blog about brewing tea on your espresso machine. Wha?! Yep, true story. At the time, we had a lot of fun with it and found that we could pressurized_teasuccessfully pull a whole cup of tea through a pressurized portafilter. There was even a layer of tea crema. So crazy and so cool.

Around SCG, we’re always looking for different ways to use the equipment we already have. So this was pretty exciting to us, especially given that there are cafes specifically dedicated to this type of tea experience…and now we could do it ourselves!

If you’re more into videos than text-based articles, we’ve created one specifically to walk you through the process of “dialing in” your cup of espresso machine-prepped tea. Now we’re off to daydream about the possibilities of tea lattes. Let’s say it together now: Yummmm!

Crew Review: Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade

Saeco BottomlessSaeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter UpgradeOftentimes when we find an espresso machine or coffee maker that allows us to make a cup of coffee exactly the way we like it, we use the machine until it no longer works for us. Only then do we then consider upgrading to a different model. However, that is not to say we won’t improve upon the machine while it’s still in our hot little hands when given the chance. Not only does this make the coffee the machine produces better, but it also might allow us to hang on to the espresso machine a little while longer. Luckily, we were afforded this opportunity with a few of our tried and true espresso makers and were able to create a Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade that will work on machines like the Via Venezia and Aroma.

We were really excited that we here at Seattle Coffee Gear were able to develop an upgrade (that’s right you won’t find them anywhere else) for some of our favorite Saeco machines. The nice thing about this upgrade is that since the Aroma and Via Venezia already come with a pressurized portafilter, adding a non-pressurized portafilter increases the functionality of this machine. With the pressurized portafilter that comes with these machines you have the ability to use pre-ground in your machine, as the portafilter will compensate for the grind not being perfect. This will be your easy-peasy approach with no tamping necessary. In addition, with the non-pressurized portafilter you now also have the ability to get in touch with the barista side of your coffee experience and play around with the grind and flavors of coffee, which can be the most enjoyable part of espresso.

What is even better is we didn’t just create one non-pressurized portafilter upgrade for these machines; we created two. In addition to the standard Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrade, we also created a Bottomless Portafilter Upgrade for Saeco Machines as well. The bottomless portafilter is truly a great teaching tool, as you see your shot as it comes out of the portafilter. If you have done everything correctly, you will see your coffee first start to dispense around the edges of the portafilter, then form into a cone in the middle. On the other hand, if your coffee starts coming out on the side, or does anything else, that means you have fractures or channeling in your puck. All is not lost if this happens, part of the learning process is trying again and seeing if you can adjust your technique to get a better shot the next time around.

To use these Saeco Non-Pressurized Portafilter Upgrades on your machine, all you have to do is pop out the basket from your pressurized portafilter and put into one of the non-pressurized portafilters and you are good to go. Keep in mind that when you use these non-pressurized portafilters you have to be really in tune with the grind of the coffee. As such, you will want to a get good grinder and 53 mm tamper to complete your setup, which you can do fairly inexpensively. Ultimately, adding a non-pressurized portafilter to your Saeco setup is a great option if you are interested in upgrading to a fancier semi-auto and want to see what you are getting into. Or, perhaps you are enjoying your Aroma or Via Venezia but want to start trying to make the same drinks your favorite barista has been making at your local coffee stand. Speaking of brewing like a pro, check out as Gail shows off her barista skills while she and Brendan explore all the options these non-pressurized portafilters provide.

Brew Tips: Latte Art Hearts and Rosettas

We’re back with double the latte art videos! Today Chad breaks down the elements of pouring a latte art heart and a latte art rosetta. Try each, impress everyone you know and then let us know how it went!

Brew Tip: Pour a Latte Art Heart

Brew Tip: Pour a Latte Art Rosetta