When you make the decision to purchase an espresso machine, you should start by reading your manual. Each machine is different and it is best to be aware of how each of your machines work. This will help you become familiar with your commercial coffee or espresso maker so when a small problem arises you will know how to fix something minor.
However, it may feel a little overwhelming when working with such an expensive piece of machinery. When it comes to the actual mechanics of your system or it is making a strange noise, it is best to call in the professionals. That’s when you call The Bean Doctor, your concierge repair service. Here are a couple of troubleshooting ideas for when something small is happening:
Espresso Too Cold
- If your coffee tastes bitter it is because the machine is cold. Run a shot without coffee and the taste will improve.
- It may help to warm your cup. A cold cup can bring down the temperature of the espresso. Espresso is best when served between 70-80 degrees Celsius.
- Descale your machine. This is one of The Bean Doctor’s fortes, and is a pertinent part of keeping your commercial espresso machine functioning properly. If you have not had your machine properly descaled recently then your espresso machine could reduce the temperature of your coffee.
- You can also preheat the portafilter before brewing the espresso. Let the water stay in the cup for some time so the water can gently heat up the cup
Coffee Beans Too Dry
- When purchasing coffee beans for espresso, you want to look for a dark, oily bean. These are the types of coffee which produce a rich foam and cream. You need to keep these beans in an air-tight container to maintain the oil. If they are left out, the beans become dry and lose a good deal of their depth of flavor.
- Because the beans have so much rich oil content, they must be finely ground. The coarseness of your beans is going to dictate the type of coffee your customers enjoy. With the proper coarseness, you should be able to extract the proper flavor from your beans.
- Also be aware of tamping your espresso to death. The grounds should be approximately 10% from the top of the portafilter. This way the water does not flow through too quickly. When you keep the beans near the top of the portafilter it will cause them to drip out.
- You have to apply just the right tamping pressure. If you push too hard, the beans cannot allow the water to flow out. If you press too light, too much water will flow out. The extraction of our espresso should take approximately 30 seconds.
- Typically, when you are grinding beans, they are going to stick to the bean hopper. As the oil begins to build up, your grinder will start to not work as well. By cleaning the hopper, you should be able to resolve this problem.
- The same can occur with the burr grinders. Taking the time to clean the burrs can, again, prevent any clogging.
- Another place to look out for in the cleaning of your grinder, is the chute. It is necessary to clean the chute where the coffee comes out to dispose of any particles. You should also run the grinder on empty to remove particles that may be stuck or difficult to remove.
Problems with Your Steam Wand
- If your steam wand stops producing heat, you should first double check that the heat light is on.
- Double check that the end of the steam wand is not clogged with old milk. If it is, use the needle end of a cleaning tool to loosen and clean out the milk. You should then run the steam wand a couple of times to ensure it is working properly.
- If you run your steam wand without milk after each use, it should help to guarantee your steam wand stays unclogged.
- If there is water dripping from your steam wand then you probably have something stuck up in the wand. At this point you should perform a thorough cleaning on your steam wand. You want to make sure whatever particle is stuck in the wand gets removed.
- When The Bean Doctor’s come to do a thorough descaling and maintenance check of your machine, we will run the solution through the steam wand to remove mineral contents and prevent clogs.
When looking over this list you should note these are all relatively small issues you may run into. Again, when it comes to the bigger issues, such as something electrical or maintenance with your commercial espresso machine, you should contact The Bean Doctor first. We are looking forward to working with your company. Contact us today!