Venia Blog: Reviews, Musings and the Like

  • A Visit With Slayer Espresso

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Keith

    Georgetown Neighborhood, Seattle, WA.  I had the pleasure of taking a tour of Slayer Espresso's amazing digs down inside the Original Rainier Brewery building.  I think the only thing cooler than the building are the people that occupy it.  Slayer Espresso among them.

    I have long been a fan of the the technology developed by Slayer and their unique approach to espresso extraction that makes their machines different from every other machine on the market, specifically flow-rate profiling.

    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters

    A 3-group version 3 Slayer in the early stages of production.  Each machine is custom built per customer's specification.  Each machine has a boiler for each brew group, a separate steam boiler, and an additional boiler that preheats all water used in the machine.  While designed for temperature stability, a bonus of this pre-heat boiler is much of the scale that comes out of water is delivered here, adding to life of the other boilers.


    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters


    Needle valves, solenoids and other parts awaiting installation.



    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters


    Boilers await installation.



    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters


    A 3-group in a beautiful flat black.



    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters


    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters Single Group Prototype


    The long awaited single group Slayer.  While one of two prototypes in this photo, production of these is under way.



    Slayer Espresso Machine Venia Coffee Roasters Single Group Prototype


    Inside the top cover is a straight forward user interface.



    Slayer Espresso Factory


    The blue knobs adjust the needle valve, thus the flow rate in the first stage of extraction.



    Slayer Espresso_20140314_0982


    Electrical workbench.



    Venia Coffee Slayer Espresso Machine


    Pulled..and drank... lots of our espressos in short order.  Didn't sleep well that night.



    Jason Prefontaine Slayer Espresso | A Man and His Machine | Venia Coffee


    Jason Prefontaine, the founder of Slayer.  A man and his machine is a beautiful thing.


    Slayer Espresso Square Peg Espresso Venia Coffee

    Venia Coffee will be pulling shots with Slayer at the SCAA Event this upcoming April here in Seattle.  If you are in town, we would love to show off some of our awesome coffees on these great machines.


    Slayer Espresso Factory Old Rainier Brewery

    This post was posted in Uncategorized, Espresso Machine Review, News and was tagged with Slayer Espresso, Commercial Espresso Machines

  • Yama Coffee Makers | Back In Stock

    Posted on February 21, 2014 by Keith

    Just a quick heads up that most Yama coffee siphons, Yama replacement glass, an Yama replacement filters are back in stock (including the Yama Silverton CD8 Pourover Stand).

    Brew on my friends!


    Yama 2 Cup coffee Siphon



    This post was posted in News and was tagged with Yama, Vac Pot, Yama Coffee Maker

  • 20 Second Peak at a Guatemalan Coffee Wet Mill

    Posted on February 20, 2014 by Keith

    Our friends posted this video of their coffee at a wet mill in Guatemala.

    There are several methods for processing coffee, one of our favorites is wet process (aka washed, fully washed).  Shortly after being picked by hand, coffee cherries are taken to the mill where they are first sorted in water tanks, then sent through the pulper, which is what is shown here. The pulper removes the skin and much of the fruit from the coffee bean.  After this, the coffee is then sent to fermentation tanks where they will stay for about 24-48 hours.

    In the video you can see the red coffee cherries going into the mill.  In the last few seconds of the video you can watch the de-pulped coffee beans exiting the mill.  At this point they are whitish/light yellow in color and still covered in a sticky mucilage that is removed in the fermentation tanks.


    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Coffee Processing, Washed Coffee, Guatemala, Coffee Mill

  • How to Make Coffee Using a Chemex Coffee Maker

    Posted on February 10, 2014 by Keith


    Ah, the Chemex coffee maker.  As a chemestry nerd myself, I have always held a special place in my heart for my Chemex.  Invented in 1941 by chemist Peter J. Schlumbohm, Ph.D., the Chemex is one of the most capable brewing devices we know of for bringing out the best in our coffees.


    Chemex Inventor Peter  Schlumbohm


    Originally, Doctor Schlumbohm's design was made in two parts, a modified glass filtering funnel and a modified Erlenmeyer flask.  Later, the two were combined and the beautiful wooden handle added and became the Chemex we know today.


    Early Chemex Concept Early Chemex Concept


    Chemex history_christmas_03_large Chemex history_design_01_large


    Many accolades have been bestowed upon the Chemex over the years and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum, the Corning Museum, and the Smithsonian.  As impressive as these honors are, perhaps the most impressive is the resurgence of use among the nations top coffee bars.

    All of this has resulted in a bit of mystique over the Chemex.  Reality is that they are remarkably easy to use.  The filter paper used is thicker than standard drip coffee filters and produces a very clean and clear cup of coffee.  Newer metal "Kone" filters by Able are also available and allow more oils through and produce a cup with more body.

    Buy all your Chemex supplies online here:


    Chemex history_marketing_04_large

    Chemex history_tradeshow_01_large


    Chemex Useful Objects in Wartime history_marketing_07_large

    Chemex history_display_01_large

    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education, Tutorial and was tagged with Video, Chemex, Chemex Coffee Maker, How to use a Chemex Coffee Maker

  • Mazzer Mini E Grinder Mod | Super Jolly Burr Set

    Posted on February 5, 2014 by Keith


    If you have been stung by the coffee bug, chances are you are constantly looking for ways to improve the brewing process to get the most out of every bean.  Just about 20 years ago I was a poor college student and I bought my first air popcorn popper from the local Goodwill and started the adventure of learning how to roast coffee.  It was only a few weeks later that I was trying to modify the air flow to achieve a more even roast.

    Over the years, there are few coffee gadgets that have made their way to my kitchen counter that I have not tinkered with to some extent, some with quite successful results and some not so much (before doserless espresso grinders were popular I cut the plastic doser off my first burr grinder with a dremel tool...that poor little Gaggia...).

    Perhaps one of the most frequent questions I have been asked regarding grinders lately is whether or not the Mazzer Mini Electronic espresso grinder burrs can be replaced with Mazzer Super Jolly burrs (AKA Mazzer Normale).  On paper, it would seem that they would work, same dimensions, same 3-hole screw pattern.  The only difference is the more aggressive burr design.  Having heard of these being successfully installed on Mini-E's, we thought we would give it a go.  We have been very impressed with the results.

    Before swapping out the stock 189D burrs on the Mini-E, we ran several 17g doses of our Uganda Mt. Elgon Natural coffee that was dialed in for an espresso grind.  Grind time was between 20-22 seconds.  After the swap with Super Jolly 33M burrs, the same 17g dose dialed in for espresso took about 13 seconds, a impressive improvement.

    We have had about a week of use on these burrs since filming for the video and we are nothing but impressed.  Grind quality is vastly improved and extraction is routinely more uniform (viewed using La Marzocco Advanced 17g basket in a bottomless portafilter).  Cup quality is also noticeably improved with much more clarity.

    A few points to note before venturing down the path of this mod.  The Mini-E burr set is specifically designed to be less aggressive than the Supper Jolly burr set.  This is likely because the Mini-E has a lighter duty 250W motor while newer Super Jolly's have a larger 350W motor with a bigger duty cycle.  While we haven't noticed or heard any signs that the Mini-E motor is being pushed beyond its capacity, we cannot recommend this Mod for anything beyond light-duty use.  I also feel the need to note, that older Super Jolly grinders have 250W motors and have run for years with heavy and frequent use, but swapping the stock 189D Mini-E burr set with the 33M Super Jolly burr set will void any warranty, so M.A.Y.O.R. (Mod At Your Own Risk).

    This post was posted in Random Thought, News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Mazzer, Mazzer Grinders, Mazzer Mini E Burr Swap, Tutorial, Coffee Grinder Mod

  • La Spaziale S1 Dream Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

    Posted on January 24, 2014 by Keith

    We are excited to add to our line-up the La Spaziale S1 Dream espresso machine.  This is the next generation of the exceptional Vivaldi line of espresso machines.  The easy to use touch-pad controls a plethora of new options including shot volume, brew temperature, pre-infusion, and name a few.


    S1_Dream_La-Spaziale-Dual-Boiler-Espresso-MachineThe S1 Dream is available in two colors, a metallic flecked black and a sparkled Ferrari red.  Beautiful!


    S1_Dream_La-Spaziale-Dual-Boiler-Espresso-Control-PanelThe biggest upgrade from the Vivaldi II to the Dream S1 is the digital control panel that allows for a large degree of manipulation over shot and brew perimeters.



    Just like its younger brother, the S1 Dream is a dual boiler, rotary pump espresso machine.  We are always ready to answer your questions, so give us a call today!


    This post was posted in Espresso Machine Review, News and was tagged with New Product, espresso makers, La Spaziale, La Spaziale Dream S1, Pump Espresso Machine

  • Tea & Coffee Consumption of the World

    Posted on January 16, 2014 by Keith

    Tea & Coffee Consumption of the World Circa 2012 Tea & Coffee Consumption of the World Circa 2012 (Credit:


    We saw this article a few weeks back that took data from 79 countries to build this infographic on coffee and tea consumption by country.  Pew Research picked it up and have a nice synopsis found here and the Economist posted an interactive map of the data found here


    I think it is no surprise that the United States is clearly a coffee drinking nation, as are the nations building the coffee belt of Central and South America.  I would suppose that much of the East Africa would also lean this direction but no data was examined or available for this study.


    It was also no surprise that tea reigned supreme in Asian & Island countries, but what did surprise me a bit was the polarity of coffee and tea preference within countries.  Most countries lean heavily towards one or the other, with only a handful (European mostly) that were more centric in beverage preference.


    While coffee yields worldwide are about twice that of tea (by weight), when it comes to cup equivalents, about 3 cups of tea are drunk worldwide for every cup of coffee.


    While we are talking about it, just now saw this from


    Where the world's biggest coffee drinkers live.  Credit: Where the world's biggest coffee drinkers live. (Credit:


    Biggest coffee drinker title goes to the Netherlands, averaging 2.414 cups a day.  The USA averages 0.931 cups a day, while China and Nigeria only average a few drops of coffee a day.


    I would love to see this study using data on specialty coffee drinkers of the world.  If I had to guess on a per-capita basis, I would theorize that South Korea and the Scandinavian countries would be at the top of the list, with the USA chasing behind.


    This study also seems to lack data on Eastern African countries, which is disappointing as this is the birthplace of coffee and some of the most remarkable coffees are being grown here to this day.


    Coffee Consumption per Capita Coffee Consumption per Capita (Credit:

    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Infographic, Coffee & Tea Consumption

  • Black Friday Deals | Last All Week!

    Posted on November 29, 2013 by Keith

    Black Friday Deals at Venia Coffee Roasters


    We have some great deals all this week on many of our small lot coffees, brewing equipment, closeout items, and Buyer's Remorse items.  Many are first-come first-served items and once they are sold, they are gone.  We will be adding a few more items throughout the week, so check back often! CLICK HERE TO SEE THE DEALS



    This post was posted in News, On Sale and was tagged with Sale, BLACK FRIDAY

  • Blueberry Matcha Green Tea | The Real Deal

    Posted on October 24, 2013 by Keith

    Venia Coffee Roasters Blueberry Matcha Green Tea


    We are excited to announce our newest product, our Blueberry Matcha!  This is a real Japanese premium quality green tea matcha that we are in love with.  Like all of our coffees, we only offer excellence, and we worked long and hard to do the same for our tea drinking friends.  Our blueberry matcha is grown in Japan, dried and then ground to a fine powder on traditional hand hewn stone grinding wheels.  Finally, it is infused with natural blueberry!


    Venia Coffee Roasters Blueberry Matcha Green Tea Latte


    This can be served in many ways (and we are finding that there are endless possibilities), but we are in love with Blueberry Matcha Lattes, so good!  Great for an evening drink when a lot of caffeine is not wanted.

    Buy it here:  Blueberry Matcha Green Tea

    We made some Blueberry Matcha breakfast muffins, and are experimenting with a cookie recipe as well.  Let us know how you use it!


    This post was posted in What We are Drinking Now, News and was tagged with Tea, New Product, Matcha, Green Tea, Matcha Green Tea, Blueberry Matcha, Matcha Latte

  • Coffee Fest Seattle

    Posted on October 7, 2013 by Keith

    Thanks to everyone who came by to visit our booth at Coffee Fest Seattle this past weekend.  We had an awesome time meeting with so many great people.  A special thanks to all the people who came together to make it all happen.


    Coffee Fest Seattle - Venia Coffee Roasters


    We unveiled our brand new Blueberry infused Matcha Green Tea at the show.  It was a huge hit with people coming back for more throughout the weekend.  We were making Blueberry Matcha Lattes.  It was so fun to watch people's faces light up when they tasted it (see below photo).


    Blueberry Matcha Latte


    One of our Baristas, Kirsten, worked super hard all weekend pulling some of the best espresso on the show floor.  Our Square Peg Espresso was super popular.


    Pulling shots of Square Peg Espresso


    The fine gents at the Slayer Espresso Machine booth pulled our micro lot Colombia Serrania de las Minas on Sunday.




    We were honored to have a spot in their lineup.   If you missed the show and want to talk with us about becoming one of our wholesale coffee partners, please let us know.  We would love the opportunity to talk with you more about all we have to offer your business.

    This post was posted in News and was tagged with Square Peg Espresso, Coffee Fest Seattle, Blueberry Matcha Green Tea, Slayer Espresso, Wholesale Coffee

Items 1 to 10 of 72 total