Know Your Espresso Machine
The Breville ESP6SXL Café Modena Espresso Machine — The perfect introduction to at-home espresso drinks. Makes delicious cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and more. Includes stainless steel frothing pitcher and café-inspired cup and saucer for a coffee-house experience in your kitchen.
|A. Power On/Off Switch.||B. ‘Power On’ Light (Red) – Illuminates when the machine is turned on.|
|C. 15 Bar Pump.||D. Thermoblock Heating System.|
|E. Selector Control – For Espresso and Steam.||F. Removable Drip Tray and Grid.|
|G. ‘Heating’ Light (Orange) – Illuminates to indicate that the machine is heating and will turn off when the correct temperature has been reached. This light will cycle on and off during operation to indicate the machine is maintaining the correct temperature.||H. Removable 40 fl.oz. (1.2 Liter) Water Tank.|
|I. Water Level Indicator.||J. External Water Window.|
|K. Steam Wand with Froth Enhancer.||L. Steam Baffle.|
The Café Modena Espresso Machine comes with some special features.
- Three filters come with the Café Modena; a 1 Cup Dual Wall filter, a 2 Cup Dual Wall filter, and an ESE Espresso Pod filter.
- A porcelain cup and matching saucer.
- A Cup warming plate located on top of the machine for pre-warming the espresso cups.
- A Breville Assist™ Plug.
- Auto-Purge – automatically purges the water in the thermo-block after steaming so that the water used for the next espresso is at optimal temperature and not any warmer so as not to burn the espresso.
|Pump||15 Bar Italian made pump.|
|Materials||Stainless steel body.
Stainless steel warming tray.
|Water Capacity||40 fl.oz. (1.2 liter)|
|Innovations||Dual-wall crema system.
Triple Prime™ Feature.
|Accessories||Porcelain espresso cup and saucer set.
Stainless steel frothing pitcher.
Tamping tool/measuring spoon.
|Dimensions||9.25″(L) x 9″(W) x 11.75″(H)|
Setting up the Café Modena is quick and easy.
- Lift up the water tank lid and remove the water tank. Fill with cold filtered water and replace in the machine, pressing down firmly so that the water valve opens. Close the tank lid.
- Preheat the machine by plugging it in and waiting for the heating light (orange) to turn off. Place the portafilter in the group head with no coffee in it and place an empty mug underneath it on the drip tray grid. Turn the Selector Control to the ‘ESPRESSO’ position and run a small amount of water through the brew head and out of the portafilter.
- Remove the portafilter and wipe dry thoroughly.
- Place cups on the cup warming plate to allow them to pre-warm.
- Select the type of filter needed; single shot for a 1 Cup espresso (1 fl.oz of espresso), double shot for a 2 Cup espresso (2 fl.oz.) or the ESE Pod filter. Please note; Standard ESE pods have about 7 grams of espresso which is appropriate for a single shot, 1 Cup espresso extraction.
- Fill the filter with the appropriate amount of espresso (1 level scoop or 1 ESE pod for a single shot and 2 level scoops for a double shot.
- Lock the portafilter into the brew head by aligning the handle with the ‘INSERT’ graphic on the group head then lift up and turn to the right, counter clockwise, to lock.
Before First Use
- Carefully remove all packaging material and promotional tags and labels.
- Remove the water tank, the three filters, the portafilter, the drip tray, the drip tray grid and the cup warming tray grill and wash with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
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:
* California residents – please see paragraph entitled “Warranty Notice to California Residents Only” on page 4.
Care and Use
- The water tank should be filled with fresh cold water before each use. Check the water level before use and replace the water daily. Do not use mineral water, distilled water or demineralized water.
- The machine remains ready for brewing and maintains a constant heating temperature as long as the Power switch is left in the ‘On’ position. If the temperature should drop, the orange control light will illuminate and the heater will automatically heat up to the correct temperature.
- Always ensure that the frothing attachment has been firmly pushed onto the steam want.
- For best results with steaming milk, always use fresh cold milk, light milk will froth easier.
- If brewing coffee straight after using the steam function, set the Selector Control to the ‘ESPRESSO’ position to run a small amount of water through the brewing head for a few seconds without the filter holder in place. This will prepare the system for optimal brewing temperature.
Caring for your Café Modena is simply but does require some time.
After each use.
- The Steam Wand and Froth Enhancer should always be cleaned immediately after frothing milk.
- Remove the Froth Enhancer and rinse under warm water.
- Wipe the Steam Wand with a soft damp cloth, making sure that no milk residue remains.
- Turn the Selector Control to ‘STEAM’ briefly, for just a few seconds. This will purge out any milk that may be in the tip of the Steam Wand.
- If the steam does not come evenly out of the Steam Wand or if it seems blocked, use the Cleaning Tool’s pin end and slide the pin into the openings on the end of the Steam Wand to remove any blockage. The tip of the Steam Wand can also be removed with the center opening of the Cleaning Tool to soak if the blockage is persistent.
- The outer housing can be cleaned with a soft damp cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or cloths which can scratch the surfaces of the housing and cup warming tray.
- Directly after use, remove used coffee ground by tapping the portafilter on the edge of a trash bin or by doing so on one of Breville’s Knock Boxes. Rinse the filter under water then remove the filter and rinse the portafilter.
- Lock the portafilter back onto the machine and brew water with no coffee through it for 10 to 15 seconds to flush out any coffee residue.
- Should the filters become clogged, the pin end of the Cleaning Tool can be used to poke through each of the holes on the interior of the filter and the single hole on the bottom exterior to clear out any blockage.
- Remove the drip tray, empty it and rinse it and the drip tray grid off under warm water.
Every 3 months.
Every 3 months or so, the machine will need to be decalcified.
- In the water tank, mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water, about half and half for the tank.
- Turn the machine ‘On’ and let it heat up to the appropriate temperature.
- Place a large container under the Group Head and the Steam Wand
- When the brewing temperature is reached, set the Selector Control to ‘ESPRESSO’ and let half of the decalcifying solution run through the group head.
- Turn the Selector Control to ‘STEAM’ for about 20 to 30 seconds then set the Selector Control to the ‘STANDBY’ position.
- Allow the solution to remain in the machine for an hour or two.
- Turn the Selector Control to ‘STEAM’ again for another 20 to 30 seconds, flushing out the Steam Wand.
- Turn the Selector Control to ‘ESPRESSO’ again and let the rest of the decalcifying liquid run out of the Group Head.
- Once no more liquid will come through, turn the Selector Control to ‘STANDBY’ and remove the water tank.
- Wash the water tank with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Refill the water tank with fresh clean water and replace it back into the machine.
- Repeat the previous steps, letting about 1/2 of the tank of fresh water run out of the Group Head and the remaining fresh water come out of the Steam Wand.
Don’t just rely on the coffee maker to do all the work. Making a good cup of espresso is an art.
- Water Flow – In making an espresso, make sure that the water flows through the coffee filter at the correct rate. If it’s too slow, the coffee will be over-extracted – too dark and bitter, with a mottled and uneven crema on top. If it flows too quickly, the coffee will be under-extracted – the proper flavor won’t have time to develop and the coffee will appear and taste watered down. The easiest way to adjust the water flow is with tamping pressure, pressing down a bit lighter will allow for more room between the grounds so that water can flow a bit more easily or tamping down a bit more firmly will offer enough resistance that the water picks up the oils and flavor of the grounds.
- The Coffee – It is recommended that the beans are ground just before the extraction is pulled. Ground coffee can keep it’s flavor for a long time if stored in an air tight container. However, to make sure that the optimal amount of oils are released, freshly ground is best.
- The Grind – If using pre-ground coffee, ensure it is purchased as an espresso grind for espresso or cappuccino machines. If grinding your own beans, the coffee needs to be not too fine and not too coarse. This can take a little practice and is also subject to preference and taste. Be prepared to use up a little coffee in getting the grind just right.
Another important aspect is frothing the milk.
- Frothing Attachment – The Café Modena comes with a Frothing Attachment to aid in getting rich, thick froth in the milk. This, however, is not a requirement to steam milk. If less thick froth, more of a silky milk texture, is preferred, simply remove the Frothing Attachment.
- Frothing Jug – Fill the stainless steel frothing jug about 1/3 full of cold milk. This should be just under the beginning of the spout. It’s important to keep the milk level seemingly low as the steam will add quite a bit of volume to the milk while heating it.
- Aiming the Steam – Hold the frothing jug at an angle so that the Frothing Attachment or Steam Want tip is just at or just below the surface of the milk and to one side of the jug. The milk will begin swirling and shortly the volume will begin to increase.
- Timing is Everything – The time to get the froth into the milk is while it is still cold. This is why steaming starts off with the steam wand at the surface, or just beneath the surface, of the milk.
- Bubbles – If the milk ends up with larger bubbles then intended in it, tap the stainless steel frothing jug on the counter gently to remove the larger bubbles.
- 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, if the heating light is not on, 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 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-block 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.
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.