Category Archives: Espresso Tea Coffee and Equipment

Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe Brewing System

Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe Brewing System

The Primula Cold Brewing System is a great size for at home cold press coffee that has less acidity for great tasting cold coffee.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

primula cold brew ft
Primula Cold Brew

Cold brew or cold press coffee is all the rage with coffee shops like Starbucks and Caribou jumping on the craze by offering a variety of drinks using cold brew as its base. Cold brew or cold press coffee is simply steeping ground coffee in cold or room temperature water which has far less acidity due to the cold water brewing.

This process usually takes at least six hours but you can leave it brewing for 24 without any ill effects to your final product. The longer you steep the coffee the stronger the brew will be but strength also comes from the type of roast the beans have.

If you use a dark roast coffee you will have a richer bolder flavor while a lighter roast gives a lighter flavor to your cold press coffee. The use of flavored beans can also make your final product different just like brewing hot coffee.

Primula has entered the cold press market with the Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe that is a 50 ounce borosilicate glass carafe with filter and mixing cores. The borosilicate carafe is a safe and sturdy glass container with a silicone base for non-slip use in the kitchen.

coffee with cream and sugar
Coffee with Cream and Sugar

The filter is a plastic core that has a stainless steel filter and flip up handle that locks into the carafe just like the mixing core does. The mixing core allows you to easily mix sugar or flavorings to your brew while both cores can be used in a variety of Primula pitchers.

I found cold brew coffee brewers a few years ago but the mess of a large system did not make for convenient at home cold brew coffee. The system I reviewed previously used a pound of coffee and did not have an easy or fast way to remove the grounds from the brew.

The Primula filter core has a screw off bottom for easy cleaning and the size just makes it more convenient to make a small batch of cold brew coffee. It’s also a very easy system to clean with the glass, silicone rubber bottom and plastic pour spout all being dishwasher safe.

To brew coffee you simply use a grind of your choosing and fill the filter basket with coffee, lock it in place in the carafe and fill with water to the top of the coffee grounds. You screw on the lid and set the carafe out of the way or in the refrigerator till your brew is finished depending on taste for 6 to 24 hours.

I like strong coffee using dark roast beans and when using the Primula Cold Brew System have no problems using a medium to fine grind which contradicts what several other reviewers like. The fine silk I get in the bottom of the carafe I leave there and wash out so I don’t have a problem with any grounds in my brew.

I have been using the Primula Cold Brew for a month now right through the hot months of summer and have enjoyed cold press coffee at work on a daily basis. I simply make the brew the night before and pour my thermos with a few cubes of ice and some sugar in the morning and enjoy cold refreshing coffee at work all day long.

using the primula cold brew to make tea
Using the Primula Cold Brew to make Tea

During the review I got a cold and had to skip a couple days of work which brings up the other use of the Primula Cold Press System as a tea brewing system. The large filter basket makes a perfect tea brewer and the hot teas you get in a few minutes are just perfect.

If you occasionally enjoy tea instead of coffee or like me found a time when tea was a part of your getting better routine for a cold the Primula cold brew worked perfectly making a pot of tea. I really enjoyed being able to brew up a pot with the same easy cleanup in the carafe for a variety to cold press coffee on some days.

I highly recommend the Primula Cold Brew Glass Carafe Brewing System for both coffee and as a tea pot to make your favorite blends. The Primula Cold Brew system costs about $30 and is available at Amazon, bed bath and beyond as well as the Primula website.

Primula Cold Brew system

Primula Cold Brew system @ Amazon

Pros
Easy system that has removable filter core
Easy Clean up
Sturdy borosilicate glass carafe
Stainless Steel Filter

Cons
None

Capresso Coffee TEAM PRO Glass

The Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO is an attempt at a combination machine that grinds your beans and drip brews coffee that Capresso has a history with.

Ease of Use/Performance: 2/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 2/5
How much I enjoy 3/5

Total: 2/5

The Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO is a glass or thermal carafe drip brew coffee machine that also grinds the beans as part of the brewing process. The CoffeeTEAM PRO also has a setting to brew ground coffee without the grinder as well as a setting for the coarseness of the grind.

The previous grind and brew machine I reviewed was called the Capresso 455 CoffeeTEAM Therm which worked well but also missed the mark on design. Models to follow got rid of clunky mechanics but it seems the company is intent on perfecting this corner of the coffee brewing market.

The latest release is yet another near miss with its burr grinder just not handling the finer grinds and dark roast beans but the machine does work for light and medium roast coffees. The Coffee TEAM PRO comes in two versions with a glass carafe and warming element or a thermal carafe without the bottom heating platform.

Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass
Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO Glass

 

The Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO is a unique burr grinder that grinds whole beans right through the machine into a brewing basket and then drip brews your coffee. The CoffeeTEAM PRO has the usual removable 12 cup water tank with a charcoal filter that is easy to install.

The CoffeeTEAM PRO has a course, medium and fine setting for the top mounted burr grinder with a removable bean container. The burr grinder seems to be out of adjustment but this is more a design flaw than an assembly defect as I received two machines that have the same exact problem.

Customers who purchased the machine at Amazon also complain about the same things with clogging and not working as designed. I am disappointed and really do not understand why they released this with such an obvious design flaw as the company does have some really good products.

Whats in the Box
Whats in the Box

 

The burr grinder grinds medium and light roast beans just fine on course but if you try medium or fine you may get the machine to jamb up on you. I could not grind any dark or flavored beans which clog up the burr grinder every time I tried no matter the bean kind or distributor.

I tried whole beans from Gevalia and Starbucks as well as cheaper varieties like Cameron’s and Java Delight but could not find a dark roast bean that would work in the brewer. I also purchased some dark and light roast beans from a local roaster called Dunn Brothers and had the same issue of light roast working fine while the dark roast clogs the grinder.

water tank and bean container
Water Tank and Bean Container

 

You can set the brewer up on a timer and brew coffee in the morning while getting things all set up the night before as well as brewing the coffee from pre ground coffee. The front panel has an oily bean setting which adds some time to the final grind cycle hoping to clear out the grinder and chute but this really doesn’t work.

I had the first machine for about a month and the second for another month but just could not get things working well. On the up side the burr grinder is easy to clean and removing the upper burr only takes a few seconds while cleaning out the chute is pretty easy as well.

bean container
Bean Container

 

I just should not have to worry about doing this after every cycle and could not grind any dark roast beans without it jamming up and stopping the machine. Grinding to a halt is what the machine does with loud clacking sounds when the burr stops because of the too fine ground beans.

The CoffeeTEAM PRO does work well for light and medium beans if you use the course grind but even on medium grind with beans Capresso sent me it clogged. The Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO is just a miss and really not worth bothering with as it does not work well enough.

filter basker and carafe
Filter Basket and Glass Carafe

 

I would just look elsewhere for a grind and brew coffee machine as the Capresso CoffeeTEAM PRO just does not work well enough for what it was made for.

CoffeeTEAM PRO @ Capresso

CoffeeTEAM PRO @ Amazon

Pros
Works well with light and medium roast beans
Brews fresher coffee
Removable water tank and bean container

Cons
Clogs using medium beans on medium or fine setting
Clogs if I used any dark roast beans
Clogs when using many flavored beans

Bialetti Venus Moka Pot Review

Bialetti Venus Moka Pot Review

The Bialetti Venus is a stainless steel moka pot for brewing coffee that is stronger than traditional coffee but not quite like espresso.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

The Bialetti Venus is a 4 or 6 cup moka pot that brews great coffee quickly and without problems that I have seen with other pots. The Bialetti Venus is made from stainless steel with a silicone rubber gasket and Bakelite handles that are the only parts not steel.

To brew in the Bialetti Venus fill the bottom with water up to the safety release valve that is in the side of the bottom of the pot. After you fill water the filter is placed in the bottom of the pot and filled with fine ground coffee of your choice.

Bialetti Venus Moka Pot
Bialetti Venus Moka Pot

The Top with its filter and rubber gasket is screwed on the bottom and you heat the pot on a gas, electric or induction burner. You could even use natural fire like a camp fire to heat the moka pot but this of course would discolor the moka pot which would be a shame.

The Bialetti Moka Pot will heat the water and create steam which is forced through the coffee grounds in the filter and up the post inside the top of the pot. The post has a unique design with the two holes being slanted downward so that the coffee coming out does not sputter toward the top of the pot.

This is one feature I truly appreciate because a couple of other moka pots I have sputter and spray coffee all over the place when getting near the end of brewing. I would have to keep careful watch on my brewing and shut the pot off at the critical moment when the coffee was done.

Venus on Induction Cooktop
Venus on Induction Cooktop

The Bialetti Venus does not spill or sputter coffee out the top but you should still watch your brewing because you want the best tasting coffee. The Bialetti Venus is a four or six cup moka pot which will brew about 8 or 10 ounces of coffee but this is not exactly espresso.

Moka pot coffee is more like very strong and rich coffee because the higher pressure that is a signature of espresso is not achieved with a moka pot. The pressure that is used does make the coffee stronger and extracts more flavor and caffeine than a drip coffee maker.

Brewing coffee in a moka pot is a different way to brew coffee and has its own unique flavor and taste that sits between coffee and espresso. I truly enjoy coffee from a moka pot and now without the mess from my previous moka pot I can truly enjoy my Bialetti Venus and brewing my coffee.

Moka Pot Comparison
Moka Pot Comparison

I highly recommend the Bialetti Venus as an excellent way to brew moka pot coffee for full flavor and without the mess. The Bialetti Venus costs about $40 for the 4 cup version and is available online and at stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Bialetti Venus @ Bialetti

Bialetti Venus @ Amazon

Pros

Fast and delicious moka pot coffee
Can be used on induction cooktops
All stainless steel body

Inside posts points coffee toward bottom
Did I mention fast and mess free?

Cons
None

Crio Bru Ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box Review

Crio Bru Ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box Review

Crio Bru is a unique drink that is made from cocoa beans that are roasted then ground so you can brew them like coffee but the drink is not like anything else.

Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Creativity: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Just how good is it: 4/5

Recommendation: 4/5

Chocolate Lovers Gift Set
Crio Bru Chocolate Lovers Gift Set

Crio Bru is not coffee and it is not hot chocolate, it is 100 percent cocoa beans ground for a unique drink that is like nothing else on the market. The cocoa beans are grown in a variety of locations and just like coffee beans both location and growing conditions dictate a unique flavor.

Each variety has a unique and distinct flavor with an additional enhancement in some of the Crio Bru flavors by adding things like lime zest and spearmint leaf. The Mojito Crio Bru is a unique and tasty treat that has a hint of mint and lime due to the addition of the dried ingredients added to the cocoa.

Crio Bru buys cocoa beans, or also called cacao, roasts them to perfection along with grinding them for brewing like you brew coffee. Do not think Crio Bru is like coffee or even hot chocolate as the beans do not brew like coffee beans nor do they dissolve in hot water like processed hot chocolate powder.

Brewing Cocoa with French Press
Crio Bru with Bodum French Press

You can brew Crio Bru just like coffee but for the full flavor of cocoa a French Press is the best but you can also try the other ways to brew coffee for some variety. I tried both a regular coffee pot and a moka pot and found that the Crio Bru just does not have enough time in either to make a decent brew.

The best way to brew cocoa for drinking is with a French Press because soaking the beans allows the most flavor and oils to release into the water. It takes time to bring the full flavor out of the beans and that is the biggest difference between coffee and cocoa brewing.

Crio Bru is an interesting drink and does have the variety in the Ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box which contains 8 varieties of Crio Bru brewed cocoa and a Bodum 34 ounce French Press. The Chocolate Lover’s gift set contains a 12 ounce bag of Cavalla Crio Bru, Coca River Crio Bru and Maya Crio Bru along with an eight ounce bag of chocolate covered Crio Bru cocoa beans.

Chocolate Covered Cocoa Beans
Crio Bru Cocoa Beans

The gift set also includes the five ounce bags of Maracaibo Crio Bru, Vega Real Crio Bru and Cavalla French Roast along with a 2.5 ounce bag of the Mojito Crio Bru. All the Crio Bru varieties have a distinct flavor and are great with a specific taste like the Maracaibo with its hint of caramel and cherry.

Some of the Crio Bru are better than others but this will depend on your taste but overall they are alright but I was a bit disappointed with the overall flavor. This is mostly due to the taste expectations that people have when trying the brew after spending years drinking coffee and hot chocolate.

I had tried another brand of roasted ground cocoa and found after doing some research that mixing brewing cocoa with coffee was an even better way to enjoy the drink. After a little experimentation I found that mixing about 1/3 roasted cocoa and 2/3 espresso ground coffee and brewing the mix in a moka pot just like espresso that tastes excellent.

Brewing Cocoa Experimenting
Crio Bru Experimenting

Getting the subtle notes of each Crio Bru while still enjoying my usual cup of espresso is the perfect way to really enjoy brewing cocoa. I have really enjoyed sampling the Crio Bru blends and can easily recommend Crio Bru for an excellent take on a hot beverage whether you take it plain or brewed with coffee.

Crio Bru Website

Crio Bru Chocolate Lover’s Gift Set

Vacuum Insulated 1.2 liter Thermos Bottle

Vacuum Insulated 1.2 liter Thermos Bottle

The Vacuum Insulated Thermos Bottle is a 1.2 liter or 40 ounce vacuum bottle that is perfect to carry a half pot of coffee, tea or other beverages.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Bottle has been a staple of coffee drinkers since the early 1900’s with the company now being synonymous with keeping beverages hot or cold. The 1.2 liter vacuum insulated Thermos bottle can hold about five 8 ounce cups of coffee or other beverage.

The 40 ounce Thermos Bottle features a lid that acts as a serving cup, a sealing stopper and handy carry handle that can help strap the Thermos down. The Thermos bottle has a vacuum insulation between stainless steel to keep liquids hot or cold.

The vacuum bottle can keep hot liquids hot or cold for up to a day without losing much of the heat or cold with only about five degrees being lost in 24 hours. I tested both hot and cold beverages and saw only about five degrees change for both.

Thermos Bottle w/ Stopper & Cup
Thermos Bottle w/ Stopper & Cup

I used water that was boiling from a tea kettle that brought the water up to 200 degrees and waited 24 hours to test the temperature which only lost 5 degrees. I used cold water that was 35 degrees straight from the freezer for a few hours and tested the water the next day with only about five degrees of warming.

The vacuum bottle insulates by the vacuum inside the stainless steel walls that insulate against changes in temperature. The stainless steel ensures your beverages do not take on any flavors from the container and protects the bottle from damage.

The 1.2 liter Thermos bottle has a stainless steel and plastic cup that helps to insulate your drink while you’re using the serving cup. The cup is nice for use in the field and is handy for protecting the top of the vacuum bottle as well as keeping it with the bottle when not in use.

The serving cup screws on the top of the vacuum bottle and has a rounded lip for comfortable drinking with the insulated serving cup. The stopper has a rubber sealing ring with two side spaces for pouring without having to remove the stopper.

Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles
Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles

Pouring without the stopper is smooth and has a nice single stream of liquid but using the stopper in place and only unscrewed some means an unsteady stream. It still pours somewhat well but the stream is hitting at least some of the stopper so it does break it up a bit.

Without the stopper in the bottle the stream is nice and smooth so I have usually just removed the stopper to prevent any spills when pouring. The stopper when fully seated is air and liquid tight so the stopper does work well to keep your beverages in the vacuum bottle.

You can purchase the 40 ounce Thermos Vacuum Bottle at the Thermos website or Amazon as well as locally at Walmart for about $27. The 40 ounce Thermos Bottle is the perfect bottle to take hot or cold beverages with you whether it’s the field for camping or to work.

I highly recommend the Thermos 40 ounce vacuum bottle as the perfect vacuum bottle for more than a few drinks of your favorite beverage.

40 oz Vacuum bottle @ Thermos

Thermos 40 oz Vacuum bottle @ Amazon

Pros
Keeps beverages hot or cold for 24 hours
Solid built from stainless steel
Non coated stainless steel interior for ease of cleaning
Lid doubles as serving cup

Cons
Twist and pour stopper does not have a clean pouring stream

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle

The Thermos 24 ounce Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle is the perfect take along stainless steel thermos for beverages both hot and cold.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 5/5

Thermos is often the word used when referring to those vacuum flasks used to keep hot beverages hot and cold drinks cold. Thermos has been a popular brand in the vacuum flask products since 1904 and has been leading the field in keeping hot things hot and cold things cold.

Thermos has a wide range of containers for beverages and food in the single serving size and larger that center on vacuum insulation to keep things hot or cold. Thermos is also well known for its plaid lunch boxes and containers that go back to the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Today Thermos has continued to keep up with the times as well as continuing to bring cold and hot to the appropriate beverage and food. The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle comes in black, blue and cranberry red for the 24 ounce size.

24 oz Drink Bottle
24 oz Drink Bottle

The 24 ounce Drink Bottle has a locking lid that can be opened with a single hand by flipping the small locking ring down and pushing the button. The lid has a large rubber lid that seals the vent and drinking hole closed and tight from leaking.

The lid screws on and has another large sealing ring that ensures the lid seals tight to the all steel vacuum bottle from the inside. The brand Thermos is well known for the stainless steel vacuum bottles that have a vacuum space between the inner and outer walls that insulate the drink bottle.

The Thermos Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle is advertised as being able to keep cold beverages cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 18 hours. I tested this out for cold and hot and found it easily keeps hot and cold for that time and was very impressed with both.

Inside Bottle & Lid
Inside Bottle & Lid

The cold keeps cold beverages nice and cold for a day or more without using ice packs or anything else other than the vacuum insulation. The thermos vacuum insulated drink bottle also keeps hot beverages hot for at least 18 hours or more.

I was very impressed with the Thermos Vacuum Insulated Drink Bottle when I made tea and the next day it was still piping hot with steam coming off the cup when I poured. The Thermos Vacuum insulated Drink Bottle easily keeps hot liquids hot enough for a good length of time whether you’re out and about or at home.

The Thermos 24 ounce drink bottle has a smooth lip so drinking is comfortable while the easy to flip closed lid keeps your drink hot or cold. I really like the size and the insulation ability to keep my drink at the temperature I want for hours on end.

Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles
Thermos 24 oz & 40 oz Bottles

The stainless steel metal body inside and out means a tough and durable drink bottle that will take years of abuse without problems. The metal body makes it a highly reliable drink bottle for job sites but its good looks make it nice enough for an office.

The Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle costs about $25 and is available at Thermos and other online sites as well as locally. I did find the Thermos 24 ounce drink bottle locally at Bed Bath & Beyond so you can save yourself shipping costs.

I highly recommend the Thermos Vacuum Insulated 24 oz Matte Black Drink Bottle as an excellent hot or cold beverage bottle that is tough.

24 Ounce Drink Bottle @ Thermos

24 Ounce Drink Bottle @ Amazon

Pros
Keeps beverages hot or cold for hours
Tough stainless steel body
Lid does not leak

Cons
None

Libre Tea 9 oz and 14 oz Travel Tea Glass Infuser

Libre Tea 9 oz and 14 oz Travel Tea Glass Infuser

The Libre Tea Glass Infuser in both 9 and 14 ounce sizes are nice glass and poly Tritan travel mugs that include a stainless steel filter for loose leaf tea.

Ease of Use/Performance: 2/5
Quality/Craftsmenship 2/5
Appearance/Design 2/5
How much I enjoy 2/5

Total: 2/5

Libre Tea Glasses

The Libre Tea Glass Tumbler in the 9 and 14 ounce sizes are both glass with poly Tritan tumblers that feature a stainless steel filter for loose leaf tea. The Libre Tea Infuser can be used in a few different ways with the filter to keep the loose leaf tea in the glass or in the basket.

You can brew tea in the filter basket by filling the glass with hot water and then screwing the filter portion of the lid on the glass and adding tea to the filter. You then screw the lid on the filter section and invert the glass to brew the tea to your desired strength.

Once the tea is brewed you turn the glass over and carefully remove both sections to enjoy your tea without any tea leaves in the water. The filter section and lid section have a thin metal outer cover which can dent easily and the tops of both glasses have a decorative insert.

9 & 14 Ounce Libre Tea Glasses

Using either the in glass tea brewing or in the filter was a good option but I did find the filter only holds so much tea so you are limited in strength. I would prefer a slightly larger filter for the 14 ounce glass as it just does not hold enough for my taste and strength of herbal teas that I enjoy.

Brewing tea was easy in both glasses and the poly Tritan outer shell of the glasses really is tough but the same cannot be said of the metal covered lids. The first time I took the 14 ounce Libre Tea glass on the road my wife dented the lid when she bumped it with her seatbelt.

A week or so later I dropped the lid when taking a drink and further dented the lid so now it has dents all over the top lid of the larger Libre glass. The smaller one has not seen as much use so it has survived relatively intact but the lid is the same thin metal which will dent easily.

Libre Tea 9 Ounce

Another issue I found is the filter is such a closed weave that it holds water as well as tea so pouring water through it can be an exercise in slow pouring. You really do need to pour the water in the glass then add the filter lid with the tea so the water is not poured through the stainless steel filter.

The Libre tea glasses work well for the most part but even cross threading the lids are a risk you have to watch out for when screwing them on. If you get the lid on wrong hot water can leak out when you tipped the glass over to brew and you run the risk of burning yourself.

I was rather surprised about the quality not being equal to the price with the 9 ounce costing $24 and the 14 ounce costing $29. Other reviews on Amazon also mention the thinner metal lids and water leaking out when tipping the glasses over so I am not alone in my views.

Libre Tea 14 Ounce

When using the Libre tea glasses and inverting them I found they leaked unless I did make sure the lids were screwed on properly every time. I just thought that a price tag of $24 and $29 for the two glasses would warrant a bit better quality and attention to design.

While the Libre Tea glasses worked fairly well I just thought the price demanded a better quality overall and just cannot recommend the glasses.

Libre Tea Website

Libre Tea @ Amazon

Pros
Poly Tritan exterior protects glass interior
Stainless steel filter for loose leaf tea
Easy to use

Cons
Thin metal on lids dents easily
Water can leak from lids if not screwed on properly
Stainless steel filter could be larger
Pricey

 

 

SRAM RockShox High Pressure High Volume Convertible Air Pump

SRAM RockShox High Pressure High Volume Convertible Air Pump

The RockShox High Pressure High Volume Convertible Air Pump works for both bicycle air shocks and for tires as an all-around pump that includes a frame clip with Velcro strap.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Recommendation: 5/5

RockShox Convertible

I was in a dilemma and needed a high pressure air pump to help with another review so I asked around and receive the SRAM RockShox Convertible Air Pump. The RockShox Convertible Air Pump is a high pressure and high volume air pump that includes a frame clip with a Velcro strap to secure the pump on your bicycle.

The RockShox Air Pump has a small locking tab at the handle end that is used to lock the inner cylinder into the body which is for use as a high volume pump. To use the RockShox Convertible you swing the t handle out and use the smaller rod for high pressure and low volume.

High pressure and low volume is for things like shocks which is what I wanted for a hand espresso maker that needs to be pumped to about 200 psi. The low pressure and high volume cylinder twists to lock into position for use in high pressure and unlocks by twisting to use it for high volume pumping.

You simply unlock the inner cylinder and hold it while pumping the t handle so that the larger cylinder is pumping the air instead of the smaller cylinder. There is a small groove between the plastic inner cylinders top that the t handle clips on when you put it into the stored position.

RockShox High Pressure High Volume Air Pump

The hose has a small indent near the end to secure it in place when stored but is kind of loose near the end when not secured using the frame clip and Velcro strap. The frame clip has two screws and mounts on a bike frame using the two holes most bikes have for a frame pump or water bottle.

The Velcro strap simply secures the pump in place and ensures you don’t lose the pump when rough riding but the pressure gauge does come off. The air gauge on the pump has a seal and a keyed end to secure it in place on the pump that can be used facing in either side of the pump.

The end of the RockShox air pump has a rubber cap for when you don’t have the gauge on the pump and you can use the pump without the gauge in place. When the gauge is removed a valve closes to seal off where the gauge connects and pushes open when you install the gauge.

The rubber hose is pretty thick and I am not sure if it has steel cables reinforcing it but the crimped ends are pretty tough. The seals and other connections are pretty well designed and do not leak at all when using either high pressure or high volume pumping.

RockShox Components

I bought a cheaper pump and the hose leaks and the seals are too small for the connections so adding slightly larger seals helped but design and quality manufacturing make a difference. The RockShox also includes an air release button and the Schrader valve works just fine for that type of shock or tire connection.

The RockShox Convertible does include an adapter to fit Presta valves so the pump is good for either of the main types of valves. You can use the RockShox Convertible to pump up tires as well as shocks but you may have to pump a few more times to fill a regular mountain bike tire.

I emptied a tire on my mountain bike and used the RockShox to fill it for a test and it took about forty or fifty pumps to get the tire up to pressure. For high pressure and low volume shocks it will take much less to bring the shock up to pressure but the RockShox can be used for tires as well.

I have not tried the RockShox pump on a shock but I have been using it quite often for my Handpresso espresso maker and it works well to get the 200 psi easily. I highly recommend the RockShox Convertible Air Pump for a high quality pump for bicycles and more.

RockShox Convertible Video

RockShox Air Pump @ SRAM

RockShox Convertible @ Amazon

Pros
High Quality easy to use pump
Schrader Valve with Presta Adapter
Can be used for high pressure and high volume
Gauge removes and can be used on either side

Cons
None

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle

The Kalorik Glass Water Kettle model JK 39380 is an electric water kettle that has a separate base and simply heats water to boiling in about 8 minutes.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle

The Kalorik Glass Water Kettle comes in black or grey and is a great way to heat water for tea, hot chocolate or other uses like instant oatmeal. The Kalorik Water Kettle has a separate base that plugs into your power outlet and is a simple way to heat water in about eight minutes.

The Kalorik Glass Water Kettle has a set of blue LEDs inside the water kettle around the bottom to light up your water as it comes to a boil. The on/off switch is on the bottom of the handle with a button on the top to open the spring loaded lid.

Base and Spout Filter

The glass water kettle with plastic and stainless steel accents pours well and includes a small screen that fits into the pour spout. I did a comparison and timed the water kettle which took almost exactly eight minutes to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

This kettle does take about a minute longer to come to a boil than the previous two kettles I reviewed because it holds more water. The Kalorik Water Kettle holds 1.7 liters or 58 fluid ounce which is 7 full 8 ounce cups plus a little more.

Kalorik Water Kettle

While the Kalorik Glass Water Kettle does take a bit more time to come to a boil but it also holds more water than my previous water kettle reviews. The Kalorik Water Kettle works well and is easy to use with its simple design and nice easy pouring.

The Kalorik Water Kettle does have the flat bottom without anything on it so you can set the kettle on a table or counter directly. The bottom has a hole with the contacts for the base which has a safety connection without exposed contacts.

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle at Full Boil

The base of the kettle is hard plastic on the bottom with a stainless steel band and does not get hot at all so it is safe to place on a table or counter. The handle does have a plastic strip to prevent your knuckles from coming into contact with the tempered glass of the kettle.

The only downside of the Kalorik Water Kettle I could find was the hard plastic bottom that may be a bit rough on your surfaces. Another water kettle I reviewed has foam rubber feet that I find I like a bit on my new countertop but the Kalorik kettle has not left any scratches on any surfaces.

I really like the simplicity of the Kalorik Glass Water Kettle and can easily recommend it for a stylish and simple electric water kettle.

Video of Kalorik Kettle

Kalorik Glass Water Kettle Website

Kalorik Water Kettle @ Amazon

Pros
Heats water to boiling quickly
Holds 58 ounces

Nice Pouring

Screen on pour spout

Cons
Hard plastic bottom

Travesso The Prima Kit Review

Travesso The Prima Kit Review

Espresso on the go has a couple of unique obstacles to great taste and Travesso The Prima Kit has everything you need for great tasting espresso wherever you find yourself.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Total: 4/5

Travesso Prima Kit

Travesso started as a desire to never be without espresso and keeping things small and lightweight is part of that idea. The Prima Kit includes everything you need to make great tasting espresso but does require electricity to heat water.

The Travesso Prima Kit includes the Travesso Prima, immersion heater, CO2 charger, CO2 cartridges, double walled Bodum espresso cup, Oxo heater rest, tread lube and ESE pods. The Prima Kit also comes with a travel case to carry everything in with enough room for a shock absorber pump and a small thermos.

The Prima Kit has a great machine at its center with the Travesso Prima that uses air from a pump to force the hot water through the espresso grounds. Using either ground espresso and a filter paper or an E.S.E. pod you can make fresh espresso with plenty of crema.

whats in the box

The Travesso Prima has a sealed chamber for the water, grounds and gas used to force the water through the grounds and out the valve. The pressure comes from a pump or cartridge with a common Schrader valve and a gauge for charging the Travesso Prima.

To make espresso you first heat water using the included immersion heater or any other method and fill the black reservoir about 3/4 full. Next you either put grounds in the water then a filter paper or set an E.S.E. pod on top of the reservoir.

The lid is screwed on to the reservoir and you turn the unit over to soak the water into the grounds or pod for 8 seconds. Gas from either a pump like a high pressure shock absorber pump, a CO2 or NO2 cartridge is used to pressurize the Travesso Prima.

inside the prima

The gas is force into the Schrader valve and when the unit is pressurized to about 200 psi you can remove the cartridge or pump. The Schrader valve ensures you do not lose pressure while taking the pump or cartridge off the prima.

You can use the included Bodum double walled espresso cup to enjoy your espresso and the kit includes a sampling of great tasting pods. The valve at the outlet controls how much espresso is released which also partially controls the amount of crema.

Once you empty the gas from the Prima after getting your shot of espresso you simply rinse it out and ensure the screw threads get some lubrication. The large screw threads on the lid and reservoir ensure a tight seal but some lube is included to make sure you have an easy time both tightening and maintaining a seal.

Prima Gauge & Valve

The Prima offers a unique way to bring espresso wherever you go and the kit has just about everything you need including an easy way to boil water. The immersion heater works just fine but you can just as easily boil water in a tea kettle or on a fire with a pot or other handy cookware.

Like other espresso devices I found that warming up the Prima and the cup helps to make a smoother and less bitter espresso. I have not really had a bitter espresso with the Prima as it does not really overheat the grounds but you can use too long an extraction as well.

I found the half minute or slightly less is about perfect and warming the cup and Prima helps to get a hot shot of espresso. The Travesso Prima is a great way to make espresso on the go and would make an excellent camping or on the go espresso maker.

Travesso Prima

I highly recommend the Travesso Prima as an excellent espresso maker that works well and is easy to use while the Prima Kit has everything you need for fresh espresso.

Travesso Prima website

Pros
Easy to make espresso
On the go portability
Simple kit

Cons
Makes better espresso with ESE Pods