Know Your Espresso Machine
The Breville BES860XL Barista Express™ — all that’s needed to make the perfect espresso drinks in one compact station.
We know that espresso lovers will go to great lengths to refine the art of making espresso. They will experiment with flavors and adjust the grind of the beans and the tamp in search of the perfect espresso.
With the Breville Barista Express™ and its integrated coffee grinder, making that perfect fresh espresso has never been simpler. You can be the barista and explore the art of espresso at home.
|A. FILTER SIZE button – select between SINGLE or DOUBLE SHOT.||B. SINGLE or DOUBLE SHOT lights – illuminates to indicate whether a single so double shot filter is selected.|
|C. GRIND SIZE Dial – Select the preset DUAL: WALL setting when usi9ng Dual Wall Filters or adjust the grind to a finer setting when using the Single Wall Filters.||D. POWER Button – Surround illuminates when the button is pressed to ‘On’.|
|E. Integrated/Removable Tamper – for expert tamping control.||F. GRIND AMOUNT Dial – controls the amount of freshly ground espresso dispensed into the filter. Select the DUAL WALL setting when using Dual Wall Filters.|
|G. Hands Free Grinding Cradle – Push portafilter into cradle and freshly ground espresso will be dispensed directly into the filter.||H. Cup Warming Tray.|
|I. CLEAN ME Light – indicates when a cleaning cycle is required.||J. STEAM Light – illuminates to indicate that the steam function is selected.|
|K. Group Head.||L. Forged Portafilter – commercial style with extended outlets, holds the selected filter in place.|
|M. Removable Drip Tray – with coffee grinds separator.||N. Drip Tray Full Indicator.|
|O. Removable 67 oz. Water Tank – with water filtration system.||P. Sealed Bean Hopper: 7 oz. Capacity – hopper locking system allows removal of hopper without removing beans.|
|Q. Integrated Conical Burr Grinder – adjustable to achieve your perfect grind.||R. Espresso Pressure Gauge – Monitors extraction pressure, guiding you towards the ideal espresso.|
|S. PROGRAM Button – personalize the shot size to suit your preference.||T. Steam Dial – selector control for steam.|
|U. Preset Shot Size – Single (1oz.) or Double (2oz.), approximately.||V. Swivel Steam Wand with Frothing Attachment – easily adjusts to perfect positioning for steaming and frothing milk.|
|Storage Tray – located behind the drip tray for storage of accessories including:
Cleaning Tool, Cleaning Brush, Cleaning Tablets, 54mm Cleaning Disc, Coffee Scoop, Allen Key (for removal of the shower head for cleaning and maintenance).
Dual Wall Filters 2 are included, 1 Single Shot and 1 Double Shot.
Single Wall Filters 2 are included, 1 Single Shot and 1 Double Shot.
Stainless Steel Frothing Jug
- Integrated Conical Burr Grinder – The integrated conical burr grinder allows each espresso produced from the Barista Express™ to be created using freshly ground beans – the key to achieving your ideal espresso.
- Preset or Adjustable Grind Size – The GRIND SIZE dial accurately adjusts the fineness or coarseness of the espresso grind for optimal espresso extraction. For a fast and easy espresso, or novice espresso machine users, set the GRIND SIZE to DUAL WALL and use the included DUAL WALL FILTERS. For more experienced espresso machine users, or those interested in perfecting their espresso making skills, use the included SINGLE WALL FILTERS.
- Preset or Adjustable Grind Amount – The GRIND AMOUNT dial accurately adjusts the quantity of beans that will be ground and dispensed into the filter, ready for extraction. This quantity should be adjusted according to the fineness or coarseness selected on the GRIND SIZE dial.
- Hands Free, Direct Grinding – The Barista Express™ features an integrated grinding cradle located below the integrated conical burr grinder which fully supports the portafilter. The ‘hands free’ grinding feature allows you to continue with other preparations while the portafilter is being filled with the selected amount of freshly ground coffee beans.
- Integrated/Removable Tamper – Tamping is the application of even and consistent pressure to the espresso grinds. The tamper is conveniently located ‘on board’ the machine and can be used both in the ‘on board’ position or whilst removed depending on your preference.
- Energy Saving Features – The Barista Express™ will enter the ‘Power Save Mode’ if not used for 30 minutes, and will automatically switch off if not used for a further 2 hours. The ‘Power Save Mode’ uses 50% less power than when the machine is in ‘Stand By’ Mode. During ‘Power Saver Mode’ only the POWER button surround will flash slowly. All other button light surrounds will not be illuminated. To re-activate the machine during ‘Power Save Mode’ simply press any button except POWER. The POWER button surround will then illuminate and flash while the machine quickly reheats to operational temperature. When the correct temperature has been reached, all the button surrounds on the control panel will be illuminated.
Setting up your Barista Express™ Espresso Machine is quick and easy.
- Set the storage try in the drip tray area and place the unused accessories inside. Slide the tray to the back of the opening.
- Insert the ‘Empty Me!’ indicator into the drip tray and place the Coffee Grounds Separator on top. Place the grill on top of the separator and slide the drip tray into position in the base of the machine in front of the storage tray.
- Remove the resin water filter from the plastic bag and soak in a cup of water for 5 minutes. Rinse the filter under cold running water for 5 seconds. Wash the stainless steel mesh in the plastic filter holder with water and assemble. Set the date dial to 2 months ahead and insert the resin filter into the underside of the filter holder. Attach the holder to the section holding the mesh and place this securely into the water tank.
- Fill the water tank with fresh cold water up to the MAX line. We recommend using filtered water, not distilled, demineralized, or mineral water.
- Insert the hopper into position and turn the lock 90° until it clicks, securing the bean hopper into place.
- Fill the hopper with a cup or two of beans and secure the lid on.
Before First Use
- Safely and carefully remove all packaging materials and promotional labels and tags. Make sure you look through the packaging materials and remove all accessories before discarding.
- Wash the Drip Tray, Water Tank, Coffee Separator, Portafilter, Stainless Steel Filters (all four), bean hopper, bean hopper lid, and tamper with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly before attaching anything to the machine.
- Wipe the outer housing with a soft damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
- Do not immerse the outer housing, power cord or power plug in water.
All Breville® products have at least a one-year limited product warranty, valid from the date of purchase. Should your Breville® product have a defect in product material or workmanship within the Warranty period, Breville® will arrange to have your original product returned to us, and either deliver an identical or comparable replacement to you, free of charge, or apply such other remedy as described below. Some models may have longer warranty periods on the product or specific components so please consult the individual product warranty for complete terms and conditions.
DO NOT RETURN PRODUCT TO THE STORE*
Please follow these instructions, subject to the terms of the Warranty, to receive faster service:
1. Write down the product model number, batch code (this is a 3 or 4 digit number) and/or serial number. These can be found on a sticker or molded into the product housing and are typically located underneath or on the back of the product
2. Have the original or a copy of the sales receipt.
3. Contact Breville®. Please see Breville® USA contact information below.
4. If the product, or one of its parts, qualifies for replacement or service under the Warranty, Breville® will send a pre-paid shipping label via email so that the product may be sent to Breville® at no cost to you. Upon receipt of the product, Breville® may ship the replacement or contact you with further information regarding repair of the product. Typical turnaround time to address Warranty claims is up to 10 business days, plus shipping, depending on your geographical location and type of damage or Warranty claim.
5. For additional protection of the product and and to ensure secure handling while a product is being returned for any Warranty repair, Breville® recommends that you use Breville’s shipping label or a traceable, insured delivery service. Breville® is not responsible for any damage while a product is in transit.
For the complete terms of warranty, see the warranty PDF:
One-Year Limited Product Warranty.pdf
* California residents – please see paragraph entitled “Warranty Notice to California Residents Only” on page 4.
Care and Use
- Check the water level in the tank before each use and replace the water daily. The water tank should be refilled with fresh cold filtered water before each use. Do not use mineral water or distilled water. Do not use any other liquid in the machine.
- To stop the Auto Grinding midway through a grinding cycle, push the portafilter once or press the FILTER SIZE button.
- Tamping between measures can create a layer in the ground espresso that can impede full extraction.
- When a preset shot size is selected, the machine will initially pump water for a moment, followed by a pause, then continue to pump water through the grounds in the portafilter. This initial water release is called pre-infusion, used to allow the grounds to swell slightly, giving the extraction water more surface to pull oils and flavor from the grounds. This also results in higher pressure build up in the filter allowing for more créma.
- Pressing the 1 Cup or 2 Cup button during an extraction will immediately stop the pour.
- When the espresso machine creates steam, a pumping noise can be heard. This is the normal operation of the 15 bar pump.
- After 5 minutes of continuous steaming, the machine will automatically disable the steam function. The Steam Light will flash. When this occurs, return the steam dial to the ‘STAND BY’ position.
- When steaming milk, milk should not be allowed to run over the top of the frothing attachment, otherwise it will not function properly. To avoid splattering of hot milk, do not lift the end of the frothing attachment above the surface of the milk while frothing.
- Always ensure that, if you are using the frothing attachment, it is firmly pushed onto the steam wand and connects with the rubber surround.
- Always wipe the filter and portafilter dry before preparing the espresso as moisture can encourage ‘drilling’ – this is when water bypasses the ground espresso coffee during extraction. The tighter the packed espresso, the more steady pressure all around that must be exerted in order to get the liquid through it. If ‘drilling’ occurs, small wet or damp areas will be present, offering the water a ‘path of least resistance’; instead of the needed steady all around pressure, the pressure will push the water through the easier to move through channels, resulting in an under-extraction.
Your Barista Express is a quality appliance. The best materials were used in making it, and it was carefully engineered to let you enjoy your espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes for years to come. However, as with any machine, it needs your care in order to operate as it is intended to. Please follow our care tips below.
- With no coffee in the portafilter, lock it into place under the group head and place an empty mug beneath it. Press and release the 1 Cup button and allow the water to flow into the cup. This will flush out any loose residual grounds that might be in the group head as well as flushing out any oils that might be in the filters or portafilter. This should be done before any extractions are pulled to pre-heat the portafilter, mug or coffee cup, and the group head. This should be done after all extractions are done for the day to aid in keeping the group head, portafilter and filters clean of any coffee residue or possible blockages.
- Remove the Frothing Enhancer and run warm water through both ends to clean away any milk left on the enhancer. Take a soft damp cloth and wipe the Steam Wand. It is very important that all milk be removed from the Steam Wand, clean thoroughly. Turn the Steam Dial to ‘STEAM’ to flush out any milk that may be inside the tip. If the tip seems clogged, use the pin end of the Cleaning Tool to poke through the fine holes at the end of the Steam Wand then turn the steam on again to flush out anything that may be remaining in the holes. If the blockage is persistent, use the opening in the center of the Cleaning Tool to remove the tip of the Steam Wand and soak the tip overnight.
- If the filter seems clogged when running water through it, the pin end of the cleaning tool can be used to poke through the holes in the filter, clearing any blockages.
- Use a soft damp cloth to wipe the inside of the brew head clear of any coffee grounds that may be remaining on the Shower Head.
Cleaning The Conical Burr Grinder
- The grinder cleaning cycle will help to remove any oil or coffee beans left in the machine.
- Unlock the hopper and empty out the beans. Replace the hopper, lock into place, and replace the lid.
- Run the grinder empty for 5 or 10 seconds.
- Unlock and remove the hopper.
- Unlock the Upper Burr and remove it.
- Using the provided Cleaning Brush, brush off the Upper Burr, making sure to clean very carefully around the burr teeth. Clean the area above the burrs with the brush as well. Sliding the brush into the other grinding surface, clean the lower burr and the chute surrounding it.
- Replace the Upper Burr, making sure to lock securely in place. Replace the hopper and lock into place. Replace the beans and the lid.
- The Barista Express™ is equipped with a feature that allows for a dryer puck when it is removed after extraction. There is a small valve in the group head that sucks up a bit of the excess water. Unfortunately, with that water is coffee oils and possible grounds. In order to keep this valve working correctly and optimally, it is required it be cleaned periodically. The CLEAN ME light that comes on indicates when it is time to run this cleaning cycle.
- Empty the Drip Tray and fill the Water Tank.
- Insert the 54mm Cleaning Disc into the Dual Wall Single Shot filter and press this into the portafilter until it clicks in place.
- Remove one of the provided cleaning tablets and set that in the center of the cleaning disc. Lock the portafilter into the machine as if extracting a shot.
- Turn OFF the power to the machine.
- Press and hold both the 1 Cup and 2 Cup buttons at the same time. While holding them both, press the power button.
- If the ‘CLEAN ME’ light is flashing and the pump engages, the cleaning cycle has started. If, however, the light remains on solid, then a shot is being brewed and you will need to press and release either the 1 Cup or 2 Cup button to stop the shot, turn the machine off, and try again with pressing and holding the buttons.
- The cleaning cycle is a 5 minute cycle and there should be no water coming out of the machine. The water should be flushing in and out of the group head, dissolving the tablet to clean the valve.
Every 2 to 3 Months
Replacing the Water Filter.
- Every two months you should replace the resin water filter in the water tank.
- Pull up on the handle using the ring hole.
- Unclip the bottom mesh section and remove the used water filter. Discard safely.
- Pull out a new resin filter and soak in a cup of water for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove the filter and hold it under cold running water for 5 seconds.
- Place the filter on the mesh and clip the top handle onto the holder until it clicks.
- Replace the holder assembly back into the holder location in the water tank.
Decalcifying the Barista Express™
- Fill the water tank 1/2 full of white vinegar and fill it the rest of the way with cold water.
- Remove the portafilter and place the most often used filter in it. Do NOT add coffee. Lock the portafilter back in place. Remove the Frothing Enhancer
- Turn the machine on and place a large empty container beneath the portafilter. Once the machine has reached extraction temperature and the button surrounds are all illuminated, press and hold either the 1 Cup or 2 Cup button to commence manual pour. Release the button when about half of the mixture has been emptied from the water tank.
- Place an empty container beneath the Steam Wand and turn the Steal Dial to the ‘STEAM’ position. Allow the steam to flow for approximately 2 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to remain in the machine for one to two hours.
- Empty the remaining solution from the water tank and wash with warm soapy water then rinse thoroughly.
- Fill the water tank with fresh cold water and replace in the machine.
- Place another large empty container beneath the portafilter and press and hold either the 1 Cup or 2 Cup button to commence manual pour.
- Release the button once half of the water is out of the tank.
- Turn the Steam Dial to ‘STEAM’ and allow the steam to flow for approximately 2 minutes to clear the solution from the piping.
The taste of your espresso will, of course, depend on personal preference and on many other factors such as the type and freshness of the coffee bean used, the coarseness or fineness of the grind, and the tamping pressure. We recommend you experiment by varying these factors to achieve the espresso taste you prefer.
The GRIND SIZE dial accurately adjusts the fineness or coarseness of the espresso grind for optimal espresso extraction.
The grind size should be fine but not too fine or powdery. The grind will affect the rate at which the water flows through the ground espresso in the filter, which affects the taste of the espresso.
- If the grind looks like powder and feels like flour when rubbed between fingers, it is too fine and the water will not flow through the ground espresso even when under pressure. The resulting espresso will be over-extracted, too dark and bitter, with a mottled and uneven créma on top.
- If the grind is too coarse, the water will flow through the ground espresso too quickly. This will result in an under-extracted espresso, lacking in flavor, and without the thick créma on top.
If you’ve just ground your coffee, your Filter is already filled. If you’re using pre-ground coffee, ensure that the Filter and Portafilter are completely dry before using the Coffee Spoon provided to fill the Filter.
- Single Shot Filter (makes 1 oz. espresso) – 1 flat scoop
- Double Shot Filter (makes 2 oz. espresso) – 2 flat scoops NOTE: Do not tamp between scoops.
The dual wall technology of Breville espresso machines helps even beginners achieve an especially rich créma. Best results are achieved using freshly ground coffee and the right grind setting. Another key to the best espresso is knowing how to tamp the coffee.
A single shot of espresso is made from about 7 grams of ground coffee (or a pod) in the Filter. Brewing time (from the moment you start the pump) is approximately 20 seconds and produces a shot glass-worth of 1 ounce (30ml) of espresso. A double shot of espresso is made from 14 grams of ground coffee, takes 20 to 25 seconds to brew, and should yield about 2-2.5 ounces (60-74ml) of espresso.
In most cases when the espresso tastes weak, it is due to over-brewing or using a coarse grind.
In proper brewing, a single shot (1 ounce) of espresso is made from about 7 grams of ground coffee in the Filter. One level scoop using your Coffee Spoon is 7 grams. Brewing time (from the moment you start the pump) is approximately 20 seconds.
A double shot (2-2.5 ounces) of espresso is made from 14 grams (two level scoops) of ground coffee and takes 20 to 25 seconds to brew. Once that volume has been reached, the grounds will be fully extracted, and any further brewing can affect the quality of the espresso.
Weak or watery espresso results from using a coffee grind that is too coarse. When purchasing pre-ground coffee, use a grind suitable for espresso machines. ‘Espresso Blend’ only refers to the flavor and roast of the bean; ‘Espresso Grind’ refers to the fine grind needed for espresso.
If there is not enough coffee in the Filter, you’ll get a weak espresso: You should use 7 grams for a single shot and 14 grams for a double shot. Please use the Coffee Spoon that came with the machine.
Weak espresso results when the coffee is not tamped firmly enough. Use the Tamper to press the ground espresso a little more firmly before brewing.
Brewing time (from the moment you start the pump) should be approximately 20 seconds for a single shot and 20-25 seconds for a double shot of espresso.
Check whether the coffee grind is too coarse.
Also check that there’s enough coffee in the Filter. You should use 7 grams for a single shot or 14 grams for a double shot. Using the Coffee Spoon that came with the machine, one level scoop is 7 grams.
Finally, if the coffee is not tamped firmly enough, the water will run through it too quickly. Use the back of your Measuring/Tamping Spoon to press down the espresso a little more prior to brewing.
A good créma results from fresh coffee, the right grind, proper tamping, and a clear Filter.
If the coffee isn’t fresh, the créma is not the best. Ideally, the coffee is ground immediately before extracting a shot. Pre-ground coffee should not be kept longer than a week, and coffee beans should be used within a month. Both are best stored in an air-tight container kept in a cool, dark place.
When the coffee grind is too coarse, the créma suffers.
When the coffee is not tamped firmly enough, you lose créma. Try a firmer pressure, using the Tamper.
If the Filter holes are blocked, you’ll get a poor créma.
It’s important to clean your Filter after each extraction. Used grounds should be thrown away with domestic waste. Discarding used grounds in the sink can cause the drain to become blocked.
- The Portafilter and Filter – When the espresso is brewed, the temperature of the liquid coming out of the machine, before it hits the coffee, is around 200°F (generally between 195°F and 205°F). While some heat loss is expected and even desired to get the espresso to a comfortable drinking temperature, too much can alter the flavor of the coffee. If the espresso is cooled too much during brewing, the flavor can be sharper or a bit bitter. To help in preventing this, we recommend that the portafilter, with the metal filter inserted, be locked into the brew head with no coffee in it and a single shot be run through it. This will heat up the metal to a temperature much closer to the water brewing temperature and prevent that sour flavor. Once the water is through, remove the portafilter, dry it thoroughly, and add in the coffee to begin the shot.
- The Cup – Once the water leaves the portafilter, it is falling down and into the cup. If the cup is cold it can greatly reduce the temperature of the espresso prior to drinking. Between 160°F and 180°F is considered a comfortable drinking temperature. However, the hot espresso entering a cup that is significantly lower in temperature then the water brewing temperature of around 200°F can cause the liquid to drop below that comfortable level. This can cause the espresso to taste off and not be at all appetizing. We recommend that when the portafilter is being pre-heated with a single shot with no coffee, the water falls into the cup to be used for the drink. Let the water stay in the cup, heating it, until immediately before extracting the shot.
- Other Temperatures – If the cup has been warmed as well as the portafilter and filter, please note that it is also vitally important to descale the espresso machine. Mineral deposits can build up along the thermo-coil heater and prevent the full transfer of heat to the water. We recommend that, with regular once a day use, the espresso machine be descaled every 2 to 3 months. If hard water is being used or the espresso machine is being used more often, the time can be lessened to every 1 to 2 months between descalings.
- The Roast – The darker the roast, the glossier the surface of the beans will be. This means that the oils have been roasted to the surface and these will need to be used fairly quickly to prevent evaporation of the oils. Letting glossy beans wait in unsealed containers will dry them out and, when brewed, will produce a result that is lacking in the normal, rich créma.
- Freshness of Grind – Pre-ground coffee will also allow more of the oils to evaporate before they can be used. The results of using pre-ground espresso that has a roasted on date that is very much in the past is that the espresso will be lacking the full créma, may be less aromatic, and may come out watery, thin. Keeping pre-ground espresso in an air-tight container and making sure that it is finely ground to provide the most surface area for the water to pull out the remaining oils can help with these issues for pre-ground espresso.
- Coarseness – The grind of the coffee is very important. Twenty coffee beans ground on a very coarse setting will take up more room then twenty beans ground on an incredibly fine setting. If darker, oilier beans are used, the grind will need to be fine to make sure that the highest amount of oils are utilized during extraction. Milder roasts will not need to be as fine in order to get the same quantities of oil and flavor intensity. If the beans are older, the grind, again, will need to be a bit finer in order to make sure the most oils possible are extracted. However, too fine of a grind can cause the water to only drip out during extraction, making the espresso taste a bit burnt. Too coarse and the water will flow out too quickly, leaving the espresso weak.
- Tamping Depth – The tamping of the grounds is the next coffee factor. Depending on the coarseness of the grind being used, more or less coffee may need to be added to the portafilter. A general guide is that, once tamped, the coffee grounds should be about 1/8th of an inch below the top edge of the portafilter. For a visual, that’s about this long _. It should be roughly this low to allow the coffee to be close enough to where the water comes out so that a good pressure seal can be created easily but far enough away that the grounds are not pressing up into the shower head that the water is coming out of, effectively blocking them. The tamp of the grounds should force the grounds down that 1/8th of an inch below the top edge of the portafilter. If the coffee is pressed too far down, the water will just flow through it quickly. If it is too close to the shower head, it will barely drip out.
- Tamping Pressure – Tamping pressure is also a factor in the extraction. Packing down the grounds as hard as possible will not allow enough room for the water to flow through. Not packing down the grounds tight enough will produce weak results as the water will flow through too quickly. The general idea is to put around 30 lbs of pressure on the grounds when tamping. Getting the entire section of ground coffee compressed with just a tamp is impossible, however, 30 lbs of pressure will compact the upper portion enough to force the water to around 9 bars of pressure to get the fluid through the grounds. While the upper portion provides the initial resistance to make good créma, it’s the slightly looser grounds at the bottom that keep the flavor pressure up. Once water hits the grounds, they expand and while the upper portion is the initial resistance, once the bottom portion expands with moisture, it, too, provides similar resistance and pressure. 30 lbs will compact the upper section of grounds to make the rich aromatic créma generally sought.
- Non-Fat Milk – When frothing milk, the lower the fat content, the ‘bigger’ the foam. The results will be a lot of foam with larger bubbles in it. Non-fat milk is best at this. Due to a lack of fats, the liquid is able to create and maintain larger fluffier froth/bubbles. If the goal is ‘microfoam’, the smaller-bubbles, more silky textured foam then fat is needed. If the froth is not the consistency that is desired, using a higher fat content milk is suggested.
- Low-Fat Milk – The higher the fat content of the milk, the higher the temperature will need to be in order to create the foam. Low-Fat or 2% Milk is s mixture of the silky fat enhanced milk and the bubblier non-fat milk. It will take longer to get the quality and volume that is intended with a higher fat content but the results will be closer to the silky texture
- Whole Milk – Whole Milk is about 4% fat content and will take a higher temperature and longer heating/frothing time in order to reach the resulting silky foam. The volume of the milk will increase as the steam is added but it will take a bit of time before that silky textured foam results.
Lack of Steam
- If the steam wand is not producing steam or not enough steam, it’s important to make sure that the heating light is not lit while turning on the steam.
- Make sure that the steam wand tip is not clogged. Using the needle end of the cleaning tool, slide the needle into the hole at the tip of the steam wand, breaking through any clog that may be there. Once done, turn on the steam and allow it to run for 10 seconds.
- To prevent the steam wand from being clogged, after each use, turn the steam on and allow it to run for 10 seconds, steaming into the drip tray to clear any milk that may be inside the tip from the last frothing done.
- It is important to note that when the steam is initially started each time, a small amount of water will drip out. The water that remains in the steam wand after steaming will cool and condense back from steam into water and this will be forced out before the steam comes out.
- When descaling the espresso machine, make sure to run some of the solution through the steam wand. Since steam and water do come out of the wand, it, too, will have mineral deposits and the descaling will help in preventing clogs.
The grinder on the Barista Express™ is the first step to making a great shot of espresso. Sometimes, however, that first step can be a bit awkward. If the resulting grinds are not what were expected, there can be some fixes put in place to help.If the grinder is not producing any grinds or very few, the following should be checked:
- Clean the bean hopper. – When espresso beans are ground into smaller particles, they create.. well smaller particles. All burr grinders have nooks and crannies that are necessary for the movement of the parts in the machine. However, they can attract those small particles and cause clogs. Those particles can get up into the base of the bean hopper, causing the beans to stick together and stick to the hopper itself; not allowing any beans to fall through to the burrs to be ground. Empty the hopper and wipe it with a damp cloth, drying thoroughly afterwards.
- Clean the burrs. – Those same smaller particulates can get into tight spaces on the burrs and create the same type of clogs, only this time internally. Also, oilier beans tend to cause a lot of clogs. Because the oils are on the surface and that is what first comes in contact with the burrs, they tend to attract little bits and pieces of the beans faster, clogging more frequently. Remove any beans from the bean hopper and remove the bean hopper. Using the provided cleaning brush, brush at the particles on the top of the outer burr, removing the larger ones. The best and most thorough way of cleaning the burrs at home is to get a vacuum with a hose attachment and vacuum up any particles on the top of the outer burr. This can be done alternating between the cleaning brush and vacuum to make sure that all particles are loosened and removed. This is just one burr, though. Grip the ring on the top of the outer burr and turn counter clockwise to loosen, then remove the outer burr. Repeat the brushing and vacuuming on the inner burr. This one can not be removed but the stiff bristles of the cleaning brush and the suction from the vacuum will get the majority if not all of the loose particles out. Replace the outer burr and bean hopper and try running the beans again.
- Cleaning the coffee chute. – The coffee chute gets just as many bean pieces and oily bean build ups as the rest of the grinder so it is very important to clean this thoroughly. Slide the cleaning brush from the bottom of the chute up into the grinder, moving it around and pushing it in and out. Once this is done, try running the grinder empty for a few seconds to remove any grinds that might still be loose inside.
Important to note for cleaning
- It is important to note that the grinder should be thoroughly cleaned every time the bean type is changed or the residual flavors may color the new beans taste. This is true when running different roasts, different brands, or even different flavors (such as vanilla flavored or hazelnut flavored coffees though these are not recommended for espresso or for this machine.) Thoroughly clean the grinder then run just a few beans of the new batch through, this will help push out any remaining grounds.
- There are some suggestions that processing uncooked white rice through the grinder will assist with cleaning. This is somewhat true. However, please remember, when white rice is being run through a grinder to help remove small ground up particles that may be stuck in hard to reach places, what is actually being done…is grinding up a hard food item into small particles and running it through the burr grinder. The exact thing that is being cleaned. The rice can attract oils and is smaller then the espresso beans but the same function that created the bean particles will create the rice particles. White rice can be used but it is suggested that it be used sparingly at best.
Using the right water is essential to achieving the best flavor from coffee and making sure the machine operates without interruption. We do not recommend using highly filtered or demineralized water such as reverse osmosis, ultra filtered, demineralized or zero-filtered waters. The machine is not designed to operate with these kinds of filtered water as there is too little or no mineral content which is required for the sensors within the machine to operate. These types of waters can also alter the taste of the coffee from what one would normally expect.
If these types are waters must be used, we recommend adding in a small bottle (6oz) of spring or tap water when filling the water tank to provide the minimal content of minerals required for the machine to operate without hassle.