The process that goes into making espresso

Through time, we have marveled at the mystery that is espresso. Not many people seem to know much about it in terms of how it’s prepared or even how its original taste ought to be. Andrea Illy, a famous coffee maker, once described espresso as “a miracle of chemistry in a cup.” The misinformation and the misunderstanding have even been made worse by notable coffee makers like Nespresso, Starbucks and other global brands looking to make espresso cheap and easy. Do not fall into their deceit since espresso made right is a wonderful drink; you would not want to put down your cup.

So what is espresso?

Contrary to popular belief, espresso is not a type of roast or coffee bean. Simply put, this is a process of brewing coffee. In fact, any type of coffee can be prepared or brewed using espresso even though some types may taste better than others. To make espresso, you will need to push some near boiling water through a compact puck of ground beans with some pressure exerted, usually about nine times the sea level’s atmospheric pressure. Usually you would find bags of coffee labeled espresso. This could be either because it is a blend made to bring out a balance of flavors or its contents have been pre-ground to help suit the espresso brewing and you can use for your advantage.

A delicate balance of man and machine

Making espresso is not as simple as many would want to believe, it calls for a confluence of events that combines clear mechanical precision with human judgment. Not any one of these can work independently if at all you are looking to prepare the best quality espresso. In fact, it all begins with the roaster making tough decisions. The decisions will have to do with if they will either be blending different coffee types to come up with a balance of flavors or use a single origin bean to portray and experience that will become unique to that specific variety.
The age of your beans is crucial in making espresso. Once a bag of beans is at your disposal, it will be up to you to make sure that they are fresh and that they are no more than two weeks from the day they were roasted and ground. During the preparation, you ought to be quick in your actions since there are some important aromatics that are bound to evaporate within fifteen minutes of grinding. The grind size will vary according to certain characteristics like bean variety, age and roast profile. This is still true, even for the highest level espresso making because there is no secret formula and one will have to make adjustments according to taste. Finally, the coffee will now be dosed, made compact in a portafilter or basket before meeting the mysterious espresso machine.

Heat and pressure

By now, you should know that there is no espresso without the input of heat and pressure. The only difference in terms of taste and quality will come from your judgment when making the coffee. The better your judgment, the higher the quality of espresso you will make. All espresso machines make use of boilers that contain a heating element to help bring the water to the right temperature. The pressure used to pull a shot is generated using steam power, a piston or a motor-driven pump depending on the type of machine used. For commercial machines however, a rotary pump is used to help keep constant pressure while a vibration pump would be used for smaller machines to generate pressure only while the shot is being pulled. It is important to note that stability is one of the most important aspects of any espresso machine. You do not want to experience any fluctuation in temperatures since this can drastically alter the taste of the coffee, thus making it a challenge to pull good consistent shots.

These steps are paramount when it comes to making great quality coffee. Whatever you have had at your local coffee maker or even renowned brands like Starbucks does not reflect even half of what a well-made espresso ought to taste. Freshly roasted and ground coffee coupled with a commercial machine and made with the attention it deserves, gives you the best quality espresso; rich and sweet.

Sylvania SP328 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

One of the joys of music is that it can be enjoyed anywhere at any time even if you are out and about you should still be able to relax with your favourite tunes playing away in the background, and that is where the portable Bluetooth speaker comes in. These clever devices enable the user to connect their phone or other device to the speaker without wires, and the speaker we will be looking more closely at today is the Sylvania SP328 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. We will be taking a look at the features this speaker has, what is good about it, and of course, what needs to be improved, so all you have to do is carry on reading and let us do all the  hard work for you!

So tell me what features it has?

If you had ever taken a look on Speaker Digital before you would know that the possibilities for portable Bluetooth speakers are almost endless nowadays, so what makes this one so special? Well, for starters the design of this Bluetooth speaker is so much different to that of any other one on the market today. It has been carefully designed to look like a speaker you would find a a concert, so this is a rather cool aesthetic feature. AS for the technology inside the speaker itself, the Sylvania can create huge stereo sound with the two 4-inch Hi-Fi speakers. These speakers provide good treble and bass, and the volume controls ensure that you can crank it up to the max! It is very easy to connect this speaker to your device, and all you have to do is pair it with the Bluetooth on your phone or iPod and you are done!

Tell me a little more about the positive points

One of the biggest plus points about the Sylvania is the fact that it is incredibly lightweight. This means that you can take it wherever you go without worrying about having to carry something heavy. It is a compact little unit but this does not mean that the volume isn’t there as the speaker can easily fill an 18×17 foot room!

And the negative points too

One of the biggest issues customers have had with the Sylvania is to do with the connectivity of the Bluetooth device. Some people have said that if you take your phone too far away from the speaker then the signal will drop out and cause interruptions in the music. This is obviously less than ideal but can be solved easily by leaving your phone nearer to the speaker!

What’s the Conclusion?

If you are looking for a portable speaker that stands out from the crowd a little then this is the one for you. The Sylvania looks very different to most other portable speakers, but they have not sacrificed sound quality for looks here as the bass, treble, and volume are all very good too! Let’s get the party started now!

Syma X8G Headless Quadcopter Review

Technology is moving at a startling pace and one of the most impressive pieces of tech to come out of the last few years is the drone. Even just ten or so years ago, the thought of being able to utilise a machine no bigger than a car tyre to not only get some incredible pictures from a vantage point many will never even get to see in their lives, and also to potentially deliver packages to your home, then people would never have believed it. Nevertheless, this is the stage we have reached today, and the only question remaining is which is the right drone for you? To help you out we are going to be looking at the Syma X8G Headless Quadcopter and seeing just what it can do!

So what features does it have?

This drone may not be one of the most expensive on the market, but it certainly does have a lot of features which could lead you to believe otherwise. The flagship feature the Syma has is the Intelligent Orientation Control system. Put in simple terms, this system helps the pilot learn the ropes of drone flying by making the whole process easier and a lot more stable than it is on other machines. Also included On the Syma is an 8MP camera which will not only provide you with high quality pictures, but it is also compatible with 720p video too, so you can show off the films it helps you capture!

The positive points

This is a very straightforward drone to use and you will be able to fly it straight out of the box. Even for novice pilots the Syma is incredibly easy to use, and as a bonus you even get some additional parts like bumpers and crash landing gear to avoid any accidents! The camera which sits atop of the drone is also very impressive, and it will help you to get some good snaps from the air! If you want to compare this drone to other similar ones, then take a look at the RotorCopters website to do just that!

The negative points

To make a long story short, the battery in this drone is not as good as it could have been. It takes an age to charge (at around 200 minutes) and once it has, you only get around 5 to 8 minutes of flight time so this can definitely be improved in future models. One other small point to be improved is the size of the memory card in the camera, but this can easily be changed by buying a bigger one!

Conclusion

The Syma is the perfect drone for anyone looking to ease their way into the world of aviation. It is very simple to use, and yet it has an abundance of features that will keep even the most knowledgeable drone expert happy for days. IF you are looking for a new toy to play with, and one that is a little different to all of the others, then why not take a look at the Syma and check it out properly!

Noz2Noz Sof-Krate Indoor/Outdoor Dog Crate

The Firstrax Noz2Noz Sof-Krate is an ideal crate for bringing your pet with you or keeping your pet at home. This versatile crate is designed for portability in that it can be used as a carrier for weekend trips, vacations and and trips to the groomer or veterinarian. The soft composition of the crate makes it comfortable for your pet to reside in and easy for you to bring on the go, as it folds down and reassembles in a cinch. It offers soft, warm fabric and mesh instead of hard cold steel bars. The crate is easily cleaned and offers simple setup and storage.

Safety First

Firstrax has made their Sof-Krate in five different sizes, so there’s one that’s perfectly suited to fit your dog whether it’s a chiahuahua or a german shepherd or a cat.  But no matter what the size, if it’s not totally safe for your pet and your belongings then what good is it, really?  That’s why the Noz2Noz is the ideal crate for your dog, it’s lightweight, uses non-toxic materials and doesn’t have any sharp points or edges that can hurt your pet or your home because there are only rounded corners here and soft fabric. Nothing that can scuff your walls or your vehicle interior either.

Soft and Portable So You and Your Pet will Love It

Using a tight-weave mesh and canvas fabric cover on an easily collapsible steel frame the Sof-Krate provides brings comfort and stability to the table, making it more comfortable than those typical plastic and metal crates while also keeping it entirely portable.  The mesh windows afford plenty of airflow and visibility for your pet and when it’s time to go on a trip, the couldn’t be easier to set up and collapse. Just engage the push button tabs and couplers in the steel tubes and the crate collapses down totally flat. So it’s easy to pack into just about any weekend bag or slide into the trunk of your car.

Summing Up

The Noz2Noz Sof-Krate is one of those dog crates that will make you wonder how you did without it all this time. Since it relies on canvas instead of wires to keep your pup contained it provides a softer place for your dog to rest and relax either at home or on the go. You may wonder if that makes it tougher to clean, but the wrap-around fabric is made of water resistant material and it’s machine washable. Simply remove it from the frame and throw it in with your next load of laundry. At a price of $60, it’s on the high side of affordable but there are cheaper crates out there.

WORX Robotic Landroid Lawn Mower Review

Technology has come a long way since the simple days of large entire-room computers. Today you can have automatic vacuum cleaners, automatic cars, and cell phones that can perform any function imaginable, especially with the newer applications. It is only fair to spread the knowledge and technology over into the lawn care profession. The Robotic lawn mower made its first debut a few years back when it brought a whole new meaning to cutting your grass.

Product Details and Description

From right out of the box, it is ready for easy install, with detailed instructions, and prepared to be programmed. The intelligence technology that provides this lawn mower with commands to make preferred cuts and navigate through passages that might be narrow. If there are inclines in your yard, this robotic lawn mower can easily navigate them and cut evenly up to a twenty degree slope. It can even avoid obstacles with its sensor system. When the cut is finished, it returns to the base, designed specifically for this lawn mower, and recharges itself. “The grass is greener on the other side” phrase is definitely not applicable with this lawn mower.

The Positives of the Robotic Lawn Mower

There have been a variety of robotic type equipment developed over the years, but none like the lawn mower. Consumers who have purchased this lawn mower have reported it to be a dream come true. It cuts beautifully and allows you time to complete other tasks. The noise that this mower makes is very quiet. In fact, consumers have reported that the only whisper you hear is the actual cutting of each blade of grass. Even consumers with medium type terrain, hills and dips, consumers claim that this has saved them from aches and pains.

The Negatives of the Robotic Lawn mower

As with all technology there are bugs that must be worked out. Several consumers have complained about the upgrading, as their earlier versions would not, for instance, go in a straight line but more of a curved arch. Problems with the lining wire that helps the robot learn the path it should take has also occurred with newly purchased robotic mowers. Some consumers have experienced the unit shutting down or off without any warning or being told to do so. This has been seen during the charging session. With each new session of cutting, it has to be reset, which has become an issue for a variety of consumers.

The Conclusion

Whether you need something just to cut your grass or you would like to invest into technology, this small robotic lawn mower is more power than needed for small to medium sized lawns, even with obstacles. You can commit your time to other outside chores while this little beauty works circles around your yard leaving a great cut. You can even program it to start up and stop when you want it to. There is little need to have a large mower for a small yard, but a robotic mower may be perfect for cutting a small yard.

DynastyMattress Cool Breeze Memory Foam Mattress Review

Now I know what you are all thinking. Where on earth am I going to find my reliable memory foam mattress reviews? Whilst that may not have really been the burning question on your lips, I can still inform you that you’ve come to the right place if you want to read up about  memory foam mattresses and today we will be reading about one in particular! Today’s mattress is the Dynasty Mattress Cool Breeze, and I will be talking you through the features, positives and negatives of it!

So what makes it different to the others?

The combination of different foams and gels to support you when you are sleeping are what really makes this mattress stand out from the others. It utilizes 3 inches of gel memory foam as a top layer which also includes cool sleep technology, preventing the mattress from getting too hot which is something they are famous for. Underneath the gel is 2 inches of air cool foam and then 5 inches of high density foam to create a supportive base. The different foams within this mattress should make for an extremely comfortable yet practical bed! Its other redeeming feature is the fact that it has a luxurious white cover with brown suede corners. This not only acts as a fire barrier but they are zip able and washable!

What sizes does it come in?

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to the sizes for this mattress. It comes in a whopping ten different sizes, so no matter what size your bed frame is there will be a mattress for it. They range from twin as the smallest thought to Queen right up to full XL which is bigger than a California King bed, so if you really want to spread out then you can!

What are the good points?

As we have already discussed, the differing layers of gel and foam that have been incorporated into the design of this mattress mean that it is incredibly comfortable, sturdy, and it will last you for a very long time. However, those aren’t the only good things about the DynastyMattress. It comes with a 120 day trial and a 30 year limited warranty, so if you find that it isn’t actually suitable for you then you can send it back, and it also comes with 2 free gel pillows which will match the mattress itself, so all things considered you are getting a good deal here!

What are the minus points?

There are next to no complaints about the mattress itself, but there are a couple about the customer service people have received from DynastyMattress. It could have been an unfortunate one off experience, but it is still something to bear in mind!

Let’s sum it all up

Overall, there have only really been good things said about this mattress. It is comfortable, long lasting and it will help you get a good nights sleep. It may not be one of the more well known brands in the mattress world, but it can more than pull its weight!

Brentwood Home Gel Memory Foam Mattress Review

Many people compare the comfort of a regular spring mattress to one of memory foam. However, dense foam has not been a top choice for those looking for softer, more flexible solutions. Gel memory foam is ideal for several back conditions, and an inspiration for those who have been suffering from waking up tired and feeling drained. Everyone deserves to have a great bed to sleep in each night, shouldn’t you deserve one of the best? Try out your luck with memory foam mattresses which can help prevent future back aches, or control current sleeping conditions.

Description and Dimensions

This fabulous gel infused foam mattress can be ordered in several sizes including the original twin, full, and queen. It can also be ordered in Twin XL, Full XL, Short Queen, Olympic Queen, Split Queen, King, Split California King, and the regular California King. There is a medium firmness with each mattress no matter the size. All foam that is manufactured into this mattress is flame retardant and CertiPUR certified. It is made exclusively in the United States of America and comes with a 25 year warranty, which surpasses several of its competitors.

The Strengths of the Gel Foam Mattress by Brentwood Home

Many online memory foam mattress reviews complain about how the foam does not expand back to its original shape. However, several consumers have found that not to be true when it comes to this gel mattress. Many consumers have suggested that this Brentwood foam mattress is cheaper than and just as good as the thousand dollar memory foam mattresses. Although there has been an odor mentioned regarding the unpacking of a new gel foam memory mattress, the odor is not overwhelming or unpleasant and the product is easy enough to set up for anyone.

The Weaknesses of the Gel Foam Mattress by Brentwood Home

Each product that is purchased will have someone who does not find it preferable. The same goes for mattresses whether they be regular spring mattresses, memory foam, or gel foam mattresses, people will have their preference that fits their sleep style. Many have found that this mattress is not ideal for their sleep patterns and that the foam does not have much memory capability. Some consumers have complained that around the edges is not as soft as in the very center. Others have seen the seams come undone without much usage while remaking the sheets. Some have even sewn up the end where holes were noticeable.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a an expensive but quality foam mattress and are tired of the cheaply made original foam, the gel foam mattress made by Brentwood Home may be the ideal pick for you. The gel foam gives a higher level of personalized support to each individual. Priced at roughly $550.00 and holding 4.4 stars out of a possible 5 star, this mattress seems to be worth a try, especially with the warranty. For a better comfort and a restless night, upgrade your mattress to a memory foam mattress with gel.

Want Nice Rice? Here We Discuss Three Great Rice Cookers

Rice is a favorite food of many cultures around the world, and is a staple of most diets the world over. The main difference between eastern and western cultures when it comes to rice, however, is that the west treats it almost incidentally: it’s something to put tasty food on top of, whereupon it absorbs the flavor. In the east, rice is cooked to perfection so that its own natural, earthy, sumptuous flavor is brought to the surface, complementing the rest of the meal beautifully. Amazon.com offers a wide variety of rice cookers, but many of their listings are sponsored; it’s hard to know what you’re getting in advance. We’ve tried to provide a few suggestions of Amazon rice cookers that might be just what you’re looking for, based on reviews found elsewhere online.

What We Look For in a Rice Cooker

Between sponsored ads, and organic listings not ranked by popularity, it can be hard to tell what you’re getting with a rice cooker purchased from Amazon.com… despite the website being an undeniably wise destination to look for something that is both functional, and affordable. What you need, then, is a little extra third-party information to help you decide which rice cooker is right for you. We look for rice cookers reviewed elsewhere online, with multiple reviewers supporting the statements made about them in their Amazon listings. From there, we picked a few which seemed to stand out, in terms of being particularly well-suited to a buyer in a particular situation.

Aptly-named Aroma Offers a 10-cup Bruiser

With a capacity of ten cups (dry; twenty cups cooked), the ARC-150SB is the ideal size for a large family in want of leftovers – or, perhaps, for a small country diner, perhaps paired with a twin to ensure that the rice never runs out. Aroma is the best-selling rice cooker brand in the United States, with the highest customer approval rating. Their digital rice cooker will perfectly prepare ample portions of rice every time, and keep them warm for hours. It offers no-stick, easy-clean construction, and a variety of convenient and easy-to-use programmable modes for preparing different types of rice and rice-based dishes. Fire it up and forget about it, until the rest of your meal is ready!

From Black & Decker, a Knockout 3-cup Cooker

This convenient little gem prepares three cups of dry rice, producing approximately six one-cup servings of finished, sumptuous rice-based cuisine. It can handle white rice, brown rice, and long-grain rice, as well as producing a wide variety of rice-based dishes – such as rice and beans, or chicken and rice, or rice with steamed vegetables. Not only will it handle all the cooking from start to finish – really, just toss in the ingredients and set your preferred mode – but you are guaranteed moist and sumptuous food each and every time, with the flavor and the nutrition both locked in, just waiting to be enjoyed. The RC3406 model is perfect for singles, couples, and small families – if the family doesn’t much care for leftovers!

Here Goes Hirbo; Are You Ready to Eat?

Hirbo’s offering for this list deserves a certain mention. Its major feature, and one that I personally find to be particularly satisfying, is its list of thirteen pre-programmed cooking modes specific to different food types. Whether I want to cook long-grain rice, or rice and beans, or chicken and rice, or even fish – or, perhaps I want to prepare yogurt! Hirbo’s 13-in-1 multifunctional rice cooker can deliver just about anything I might want. It’s wipe-clean, non-sticky, and built to take up as little space as possible… so, it’s convenient. With a final capacity of roughly eight one-cup servings of finished product, it’s large enough for a small family… with a little rice left over for the next day’s lunches.

All for One, and One for All!

… Or, at the very least, “something for everyone!” Whatever your situation… whether you own a small restaurant, or you’re feeding a hungry family of five every night, or it’s just you – and perhaps your spouse, just getting started on the rest of your lives together – one of the models of traditional Japanese rice cooker that we’ve discussed here is probably just right for you. Give them a look; feel free to visit our contact page, and let us know what you think of our choices; we enjoy hearing from you, and we’re always striving to provide the best of what the Web has  to offer!

Ice Boss Elite Black Portable Ice Maker Machine High Output Ice Maker Review

Ice makers have made it really convenient for people to use instead of having to run to the store each and every time you needed a bag of ice. Time and money wasted by traveling to the store for ice can be saved with the purchase of an ice maker. The Boss Elite ice maker can be more than just a stationary ice machine. It is portable and can be put in a cabin, on a boat, or even used temporarily outside.

Details and Features

This sleek ice maker is perfect with producing ice in little as six minutes. It can make three different sized ice cubs ranging from large, medium, and small. There is a CFC Free, high efficiency, compressor used inside of the machine to produce the ice. The water reservoir has a capacity of one gallon of water. It can produce approximately thirty five pounds each day of freshly made ice. There are a few accessories inside that help to make this machine work including the ice tray and the refrigerated cycles. The drip plug on the side makes it easy to drain and clean out.

Strengths

There are many strengths that this Boss unit has to offer its owner. One being easy to move with only weighing 32 pounds. The 16x14x16 unit can fit on the counter or inside of a cabinet. It can even be placed on a boat, as long as the necessary items to use it are present. Some consumers have reported that this unit is excellent and produces ice just as they had imagined. Made by Electro Boss, consumers have found this Elite machine to be just that, elite, the best in its class and decent for the amount of money that it costs compared to other similar sized units.

Weaknesses

Many consumers have found a few kinks in the manufacturing of this product. They claim that the unit spit out water instead of ice. Many have seen issues of the unit breaking within the first few weeks of being used, if even working correctly at all. Ice clumps have been reported to melt together and not produce usable ice. Other complaints include the fact that the ice tray seems to be poorly made or flimsy and cannot withstand the pressure of it being filled up with ice completely. A few of the buttons on the control panel have also been reported as going out and not coming back on.

Conclusion

Many people may shun the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for an ice making machine, but in the year or two after have noticed the dramatic decrease of price spent at the store for ice or the time consumed by filling ice trays. There will be issues that people find with defected products. Some products may have a defect in the line, but the rest come out completely functional. Portable commercial ice makers, for $140 is fairly cheap, compared to other machines, and could be the answer to all of your ice needs.

Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine

Wouldn’t it be great to have a fantastic coffee shop right on your doorstep? Well now you can go one better – bringing the coffee shop experience into your kitchen! This machine from Mr. Coffee enables you to make great coffee in the comfort of your own home – whether your beverage of choice is a revitalizing espresso, a deliciously frothy cappuccino or a creamy latte.

Features

This product is not only simple to use – making it an ideal choice for yourself or to give as a gift – but also boasts a great range of drinks and even comes with recipes! Why not try a delicious pumpkin spice latte, or if something sweeter’s more your thing, how about the gingerbread version? And speaking of lattés, this machine creates a light frothy topping – great for cappuccinos too. If you just want a straightforward coffee, it makes a rich espresso brew – just the thing to start the day. This coffee maker is also big on convenience, serving up to four shots with its Easy Pour Glass Carafe – really handy when brewing up coffee for the family first thing, or when you’ve got visitors!

Design

The black and stainless steel construction make the machine both smart-looking and hardwearing. It’s also easy to clean, with a removable froth aid, and a drip tray that’s both removable and washable, helping to keep the surrounding area clean by catching any drips. The drip free spout also helps keep your workspace neat and tidy. It also comes with cord storage, enabling the cord to be neatly stored away when not in use.

Pro’s

There’s nothing worse than getting a great new gadget only to have to spend ages wading through instruction manuals trying to figure out how it works! A great advantage of this machine is that it’s simple to operate, meaning it’s not a military operation just to get a cup of coffee! It’s also much cheaper than a lot of other coffee makers, so you’re not just saving the money you might have spent in coffee shops but also on the machine itself, making it an economical choice.

Cons

Some customers have remarked on the lack of a steaming pitcher or tamper, advising that these need to be bought separately – something to factor in. There have been a few comments about the machine leaking steam. Also, the machine produces steam at a lower pressure than one with a pump. In addition, some customers found the coffee to have a plastic taste, although this certainly doesn’t seem to be a universal view. There have also been a few reports of small explosions from the machine – understandably concerning, although it’s not clear whether this was due to any issue with the machine or whether the machine was used incorrectly. As with any appliance it’s important to ensure this is used correctly and in line with any safety instructions.

Conclusion

This product was rated with 3.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and is a number one Amazon  bestseller. Mr. Coffee, the company behind this machine, has a range of products including espresso machines, iced tea machines and single serve brewers. This concludes my review and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this product.