All posts by hausreview

Wake Up and Grind Some Coffee: Australian Breville Smart Grinder vs Danish Bodum Bistro Coffee Grinder

My exclusive coffee grinder just broke down few days earlier. While it has been a great run, it is time to get a new grinder. No time for grieving here, it’s time to move on because I need quality coffee.

The first time I was introduced to Bodum is when my coffee gear supplier brought some samples of their very sleek looking vacuum insulated glass. Back then, Bodum was just started entering United States and I thought, wow what a pretty glass, it’s sophisticated and yet very functional. I went to search on and Bodum sure has a very hip design approach while maintaining intended functionality of their products. The Bodum Bistro is no different. It comes with 4 different color palette to satisfy any craving to liven up the kitchen counter, powerful quality burr grinder and two years warranty. It’s great! But as much as I love the Bodum, it is simply not holding enough capacity or grind settings for my need (I drink a lot of coffee and are a little finicky grind settings).

Enter the Australian’s Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder. Not as young or chic as the Bodum Bistro, but it delivers a punch. Comes in three color choices, it has 25 grind settings compared to Bodum Bistro’s 14 settings. And it also let you grind directly to portafilter! Which is a great plus for me. The catch? It cost almost double for this bigger capacity machine.

Winner

Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder
Breville BCG800XL on Amazon
Runner Up

Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
Bodum Bistro on Amazon
25 grind settings. 1 pound bean hopper capacity. 14 grind settings. Half pound bean hopper capacity.
Grind to container, or directly to portafilter. Grind to glass catcher container.
15.5 x 6 x 8.25 inches; 6 lbs 12.5 x 7.6 x 7.1 inches; 4 lbs
1 year warranty 2 year warranty

Both use quality burr grinder.

Both comes with more than 2 colors choices.

I love Bodum design. If I don’t drink espresso or coffee as much in general, I’d probably go with Bodum Bistro for it’s chic color and 2 years  warranty.

Breville BCG800XL on Amazon.com Bodum Bistro on Amazon.com

Between Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Best Buy: Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond have the lowest price for both.

Pro tip: Especially for coffee grinder, never ever buy a used or refurbished one.

Signing out.


Breville Smart Grinder review by Seattle Coffee Gear.

Bodum Bistro review by Aroma Cup.

How I Am Bread Saved My Family

Thank God weekend finally arrived. Like most weekday 9-5 heroes I know, I start to look for things to do right after I clock out work on Friday. Netflix? TV? Eating out? Watch a movie? Gosh the choices are too many. Then I stumbled on a Youtube video of a game review which gives me the best idea for the weekend.

“I am Bread” by Let’s Play

The game is about the epic journey of a regular bread to becoming a toast. I had to read that description twice to get just how epic it is for me to try it out. Seeing Gavin and Michael had so much fun in the video seal the deal for me to get the game to play together with my family. After all, like Josh Bixler from Flite Test said it, “The family that plays together, stays together.”

The camera control may be a little awkward at first, but we get used to it pretty quickly. With four of us playing in front of our computer, it’s almost like playing Twister with fingers as each of us handles specific sets of button.

Winner

I am bread
I am bread on Steam
Runner Up

Do nothing
Do nothing
Require some brain power to do. Rewards may be getting an epic fun experience of toasting a simulator bread. Relatively easier to do. Rewards may be getting some clarity in your mind.
Cost $12.99 Cost $0

Both are decent choice for a weekend thing to do.

Both take time.

While doing nothing may save me $12.99 and possibly clear up my head meditatively, I prefer spending some quality time actively playing with my family. And yes, playing is much better than passively watching tv, eating out, etc. Because why? “Family that plays together, stays together.” – Josh Bixler from Flite Test

I am Bread on Steam.com Do Nothing

Steam is the best platform (probably the only platform) to download the game.

Pro tip: Make sure your computer can run the game by checking the minimum requirements of the game.

Have a good weekend.


I am Bread Part 2 by Let’s Play

I am Bread Part 3 by Let’s Play

 

How Perfect Water Temperature Can Help You Live a Better Life: Breville BKE820XL vs Cuisinart CPK-17

I drink coffee and tea every single day. This translates to a lot of variety of tea leaves and coffee beans. Each of these needs different temperature to bring up the maximum flavor / extraction of the tea and coffee. So an accurate electric water heater is necessary, or I would say, essential to my life. Most convenient appliance is the electric kettle. (There is tons of guide on what water temperature you need for each drink, I’ll put a link at the bottom.)

There are a lot of variable electric kettle, some even let you brew the tea inside the kettle, but I won’t recommend you that one because after a while the tea leaves a permanent residue inside the kettle, so no no never again.

The two we’ll be looking today is the Breville BKE820XL and the Cuisinart CPK-17. I love Breville’s industrial sleek design, those Australian sure knows about how to make design that pleases the eyes. However, as much as I love the Breville’s design, in this hot kettle contest, the Cuisinart is the clear winner. I own both products and I have to say the Breville’s button positioning is not as straightforward, not to mention the same size and look button for each function. The Cuisinart is almost 35% cheaper, and has a “Keep Hot” function which is actually useful when I want to brew the same tea over and over again.

Winner

Cuisinart CPK-17
Cuisinart CPK-17 on Amazon
Runner Up

Breville BKE820XL
Breville BKE820XL on Amazon
6 preset temperature with “Keep Hot” mode for 30 minutes. 5 preset temperature with “Hold Temp” mode for 20 minutes.
illuminated buttons on handles are easy to use. Same looking small buttons and small texts on the base is not user-friendly.
10 x 8 x 12 inches; 3.5 lbs 9.5 x 7.5 x 11 inches; 3.4 lbs
3 years warranty 1 year warranty

Both have approximate water capacity of 1.7L .

Both have steel brushed exterior.

Both kettles are detachable from base.

When you drink tea or coffee every day, your electric kettle will take a lot of beating. Heating up water to high temperature is no simple task as it takes lot of energy to do. More than aesthetics and usability, choosing a high quality kettle with great backing from reliable company will save you headache in the long-run. Both Cuisinart and Breville is reputable company, but Cuisinart offerings is better with 3-year warranty instead of Breville’s 1-year warranty.

Cuisinart CPK-17 on Amazon.com Breville BKE820XL on Amazon.com

Between Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Best Buy: Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond have the lowest price for both Cuisinart CPK-17 and Breville BKE820XL. If you have the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupon, you’ll get the best deal there: Cuisinart CPK-17 on BedBathBeyond.com

Pro tip: If you don’t have the BBB paper coupon, you can always ask the store manager at Bed Bath and Beyond if he/she can give you the 20% coupon toward your purchase. Most managers I’ve met are very friendly and accommodating to such request.

And here is my favorite tea guide as promised: Time and Temperature Chart to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea.

Cheers.


Cuisinart CPK-17 review by Whole Latte Love.

Breville BKE820XL by Breville.

Why I Love the Cuisinart CPC-600 More Than the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 (And You Should, Too!)

Out of ideas to improve your dinner menu at home? Try the pressure cooker. I think the it is one of the most underrated kitchen appliances to this date. No one I know seems to know just how amazing this thing is. Most will tell me how inconvenient it is as you need to keep watching it to make sure doesn’t blow up due to the pressure build up. Untrue. The current modern electric pressure cooker is extremely safe, and cooks food so quick while retaining its natural flavor. The color of the cooked food is so vivid you’d think that it’s photoshopped in real life. It’s amazing. You just really have to try it to believe it.

Here we have the top two pressure cooker to date, the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and the Cuisinart CPC-600. The main difference between these two electric pressure cooker is that the Instant Pot tells you the exact psi pressure when you’re cooking, whereas the Cuisinart only tells you low or high pressure cooking. This feature is important only if you take your pressure cooker to various altitudes to make food as you need to make sure of proper cooking pressure to set cooking temperature and time properly.

The other difference is that the Instant Pot uses stainless steel pot, whereas Cuisinart opt to use a non-stick pot. This, I think this is matter of preference and cooking style.

Both company makes great consumer products, but I will have to go with the Cuisinart CPC-600 as it is almost 30% cheaper with 3-year warranty instead of Instant Pot 1-year warranty. And also, I prefer non-stick over stainless steel for easier cleaning (Lazy me). While the Instant Pot exact PSI is a nice thing to have, I can’t seem to remember the last time I actually bring my pressure cooker up on a ski trip.

Winner

Cuisinart CPC-600
Cuisinart CPC-600 on Amazon
Runner Up

Instant Pot IP-DUO60
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 on Amazon

 

Non-stick pot. Stainless steel pot.
Pressure cooker function only. On top of pressure cooking, it has additional slow cooker function as well.
12.2 x 12.2 x 13.2 inches; 12.6 lbs 13 x 12.6 x 12.2 inches; 12 lbs
3-year warranty 1-year warranty

Both has low and high pressure cooking setting. The Instant Pot shows you the PSI pressure number, while the Cuisinart only shows low or high.

Both are the top latest very capable electric pressure cooker. Operating function for both are very straightforward, controls are in the front of the machine. The Cuisinart is slightly simpler to use.

Both pot capacity: 6 quarts

Regardless of which pressure cooker you get. I just can’t stress enough how underrated an electric pressure cooker is. To me, it is life-changing, I had never tasted vegetables or meat taste so natural. Food came out looks and taste very fresh.

Cuisinart CPC-600 on Amazon.com Instant Pot IP-DUO60 on Amazon.com

Amazon, Cuisinart, Rakuten and BestBuy has the same lowest price for both products.

Pro tip: Read the manual. Especially if it is the first time you use a particular appliance, e.g. electric pressure cooker.

Best for now.


Cuisinart CPC-600 by Cuisinart.

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 by Joey D.

The Best Home Coffee Grinder in History: Baratza Preciso vs Baratza Virtuoso

I go to coffee shops a lot, I mean really A LOT (Especially in my travel and road trips, but that story is for another time.)  So I know that the coffee is going to be great when the owner uses a Mazzer Commercial Grinder, brand with 4 Ms on the logo, which they pretty much make the best grinders in this world. The price tag? Entry level model starts at $700, Higher end is about $3000. Since it’s probably out of our budget for most of us here, I’ll introduce you to another brand which many great coffee shops also use: Baratza.

The Baratza Virtuoso and Baratza Preciso are the popular consumer/prosumer model which you may sometimes see in your local coffee shops. It’s not a Mazzer, but for a for a home use at a fraction of the cost, it is a workhorse. Both grind coffee well like it’s nobody’s business. They both use a high grade conical burr grinder. Both are excellent choice for a home coffee grinder with 40 grind settings.

The main difference is that the Baratza Preciso has the extra micro setting of the fineness of the grind. It adds additional 11 settings to each 40 default grind settings. It may not be particularly useful for most casual coffee drinker, but if you are a coffee geek or an aspiring coffee enthusiast who care about the subtlety of particular flavor profile, it may just make your coffee that little bit more awesome.

Winner

Baratza Preciso
Baratza Preciso on Amazon
Runner Up

Baratza Virtuoso
Baratza Virtuoso on Amazon
40 grind fineness setting, with 11 micro-adjustment for each setting. 40 grind fineness setting.
There is a holder for the portafilter. Allow for hands-free grinding into the portafilter. No portafilter holder.
13.8 x 4.7 x 6.3 inches; 8 lbs 13.8 x 4.7 x 6.3 inches; 8 lbs
1-year warranty 1-year warranty

Both use professional grade conical burr grinder.

Bean hopper capacity: 8 oz

Ground coffee bin capacity: 5 oz

Coffee grinder quality is extremely important in extracting coffee properly. It makes a huge difference in your coffee. So don’t ever, ever, ever skimp on coffee grinder.

I pull my own espresso shot at home, and the  extra micro adjustment in the Preciso is extremely helpful to pull a perfectly timed espresso. Even when not pulling an espresso shot, the micro adjustment setting is a great feature to have to experiment with different flavor profile for my pour-over. Currently, the Baratza Preciso is $70 more than the Baratza Virtuoso, and I think it’s worth it especially if you’re pulling espresso shot.

Baratza Preciso on Amazon.com Baratza Virtuoso on Amazon.com

Amazon, eBay, Seattle Coffee Gear, and Williams-Sonoma has the same lowest price (includes shipping) for both products.

Pro tip: I was about to give tip on how to grind your coffee, but realized someone else does a better job on it. Here’s my favorite: Coffee Grind Chart

Later alligator.


Baratza Virtuoso and Preciso Side-by-Side by Whole Latte Love.

 

Where am I Going With My life? Tips I Tell Myself to Keep On Cruising

What is your dreams? What do you intend to achieve? And where are you going?

The questions I often find to ask myself as I was going to sleep. As I ponder the question and gets myself more sleepy as the time ticks tocks, I (for whatever reasons) started zooming out of myself outward and outward until I see myself on the pale blue boat in the black sea of the universe, just drifting and floating around.

And wow, what a strange tranquil feeling it is to imagine to be cruising the almost empty barren space toward.. somewhere. Somewhere new perhaps, somewhere exciting maybe, no one knows. When are we going to get there? No one knows as well. It is a new perspective of how insignificant we are and probably how insignificant our questions are in comparison to the size of the cosmos. Well, my life and my questions.

Then I imagine myself zooming in back into to my room, into myself, and the questions are still there, almost like they are mocking me: So.. what is your dreams? What do you intend to achieve? And where are you going?

Well, I still don’t have a definite answer. But now one thing is for certain: We are all on the same boat, probably chasing the best parties around the deck and trying to get the most dance out of the night, that is, before the song ends (Or the last call for you drinkers). Ah.. Life.

So I tell myself this: Stay hungry, stay foolish. Don’t settle for less. Be awesome.  Be sad. Be happy. Be here because there is no where else to be. Be You because there is no one else to be.

Best for now.

Brent Haus

The Only Milk Frothers You Will Ever Need: Breville BMF600XL vs Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother

I own the Breville BMF600XL and have been impressed with the workmanship quality. I also had a chance to try the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus and have to admit, the milk frothing quality is very comparable to the Breville Milk Frother. Both does an exemplary cold or hot milk frothing at home.

The main differences is the Breville can hold almost three times the capacity of milk than Nespresso (also three times heavier). However, never once was a time when I have to froth that much of milk for my coffee. The Breville is also almost 50% more expensive than the Nespresso.

Although I personally love the sleek industrial look of Breville products, I must give the Nespresso the winning crown due to the 2-year warranty support compared to Breville’s 1-year warranty (And the fact that it is almost 50% cheaper).

Both brands has long reputable history in producing great products. Breville is based in Australia and Nespresso of Nestle is based in Switzerland.

Winner

Nespresso Aeroccino Plus
Nespresso Aeroccino Plus on Amazon
Runner Up

Breville BMF600XL
Breville BMF600XL on Amazon
Electric elements heating. Jug IS NOT dishwasher save. Induction heating. Jug IS dishwasher safe.
Max Capacity: 130 ml (for milk froth preparation), 250 ml (for hot milk preparation) Max Capacity: 350 ml (for milk froth preparation), 700 ml (for hot milk preparation)
6.7 x 4.1 x 4.1 inches; 1 lbs 10.2 x 6 x 6 inches; 3.6 lbs
2-year warranty 1-year warranty

Both can do cold or hot milk frothing within a minute. The Breville can do an additional temperature setting: Hot, Cold, or Warm instead of Nespresso’s Cold or Hot only.

Both have detachable jug or base.

Both have clear lids so you can look through as your milk froths.

Good milk frother can make a big difference in how your milk taste, ultimately affecting your coffee drinks. When done properly, it gives regular milk a lighter and sweeter flavor.

I prefer the Breville BMF600XL milk frother, well, mainly because of the looks. I’m one of those guy who like to display a good looking appliance on the counter instead of hiding it in the cabinet. The fact that the jug is dishwasher safe is also a big plus. But if I were to be honest to myself, it is definitely not the best bang for my buck. The Nespresso Aeroccino Plus can get a comparable result at almost half the price, and with a 2-year warranty support.

Get the Breville if you’re looking for the looks, and have the extra space and money for it. Otherwise, you’d get better value with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus.

Nespresso Aeroccino Plus on Amazon.com Breville BMF600XL on Amazon.com

Between eBay, Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams-Sonoma and Best Buy: Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond have the lowest price for both Nespresso Aeroccino Plus and Breville BMF600XL. If you have the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupon, you’ll get the best deal there: Breville BMF600XL on BedBathBeyond.com

Pro tip: If you don’t have the BBB paper coupon, you can always ask the store manager at Bed Bath and Beyond if he/she can give you the 20% coupon toward your purchase. Most managers I’ve met are very friendly and accommodating to such request.

Peace out.


Nespresso Aeroccino (smaller version) By Nespresso.


Breville BMF600XL by Breville.