Problems Caused by the Incorrect Use of the Espresso Machine

I know it sounds paranoid, but have you read the Disclaimer? If not, please do so before reading on.


SYMPTOM

CAUSE

SOLUTION

Light Crema picture Light "crema" (coffee comes out of spout too fast).
  1. Water temp. below 194 Degrees F (90 C)
  2. Pump pressure above 132 psi (9 atm.)
  3. Diffusers blocked
  4. Filter holes worn (too big)
  1. Increase boiler pressure by adjusting pressure regulator
  2. Reduce pump pressure
  3. Check and clean diffuser with a blank filter, replace if necessary
  4. Check and replace filter basket
Dark crema picture Dark "crema" (coffee drips through spout)
  1. Water temp. above 203 F (95 C)
  2. Pump pressure below 132 psi (9 atm.)
  3. Diffusers blocked
  4. Filter basket and/or filter holder blocked
  1. Reduce boiler pressure by adjusting pressure regulator
  2. Increase pump pressure
  3. Check and clean diffuser with blank filter, replace if necessary
  4. Check and clean filter holder, check/replace filter basket
Grounds in cup picture Coffee grounds in the cup
  1. Pump pressure above 132 psi (9 atm.)
  2. Filter holes too big
  3. Diffuser partially blocked
  1. Reduce pump pressure
  2. Check or replace filter basket(s)
  3. Clean or replace diffuser
Leaky filter holder Coffee sprays out of spout (sparse crema) or drips over sides of filter holder
  1. Filter holder spout blocked
  2. Leaky gasket
  3. Filter holder not tightened enough
  1. Clean filter holder
  2. Replace gaskets
  3. Tighten filter holder further on head
Hollows in coffee grounds Hollows in coffee grounds in the filter holder
  1. Diffuser partially blocked
  1. Clean or replace diffuser
Crema not holding sugar "Crema" does not hold sprinkled sugar
  1. Prolonged extraction due to blocked filter basket (and/or holder)
  2. Uneven extraction due to blocked diffuser
  3. Water temp. too high
  1. Clean or replace filter basket, clean filter holder
  2. Clean or replace diffuser
  3. Reduce boiler pressure by adjusting pressure regulator


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