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Breville Barista Express Grinder Problems & Solutions

The Breville Barista Express is a popular coffee machine for the home. Of course, since it is so popular, consumers do report problems with it as they find it during its lifespan. One of the problems often refers to the express grinder. Today, we take a closer look at the reported problems with the express grinder and how to remedy them.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel, Large

What are the common grinder problems with this device?

This device has been around for a while, so most problems that have been reported already have their dedicated fixes. When a problem is reported, it usually refers to the device clogging up. In most cases, this is due to improper maintenance. So, the issues with this device are totally preventable.

How to remedy Barista Express Grinder problems?

The Barista Express has an effective grinder, enabling you to make ground coffee with the greatest of ease. As you use the Barista Express, it is recommended to perform proper Breville machine cleaning, otherwise your grinder and overall grind size could become affected.

To make sure the accessories of the Barista Express stay in mint condition, please execute these maintenance task to avoid common Breville Barista Express grinder problems.

Bean hopper maintenance

To avoid some of the most common Breville Barista Express grinder problems, it is essential to keep the bean hopper as clean as possible. Remember, espresso requires a really fine grind, so it is easy for that fine grind to get into the small hooks and crannies of your coffee machine.

In case of the bean hopping, little parts of the beans can get stuck around the base. In other words, this will prevent the beans from falling through the hopper and may clog up the coffee machine completely. To remedy this, simply empty the hopper and wipe it down completely with a damp microfiber cloth. However, make sure you dry the hopper well before placing it back in the coffee machine.

Clean the burrs

Another common cause of Breville Barista Express grinder problems is improper burr maintenance. Like the hopper, the burrs can get clogged with the residue of your coffee beans. If you tend to use darker roasts, you need to be especially careful when you make another grind, as the oil in darker roasts can cause your coffee machine to clog a lot faster.

When you receive your coffee machine, you will get an accompanying cleaning brush. Use this brush to clean the outer burr and keep it free from particles. For the inside of the burrs, you can use a vacuum cleaner. However, always make sure that you clean the burrs with the correct attachment and strength. Cleaning the burr with a suction that is too strong, or with an incorrect attachment, could lead to damage.

You may also have to remove the outer burr by turning it clockwise. Then, repeat the cleaning process on the inner burr. While you may not get it spotless and completely free of the residue of your coffee beans, the brush will easily remove any blockages that may be present.

Coffee chute maintenance

You should also spend some time cleaning the coffee chute. Since many pieces of the beans and their accompanying oil ends up there, a thorough clean from time to time is the best remedy for the Breville grinder issues.

To clean the chute, use the accompanying brush and push it in and out of the chute. Then, run the grinder until it is completely empty of coffee beans. Any remaining beans can then come through and ensure your grinder is completely clean again.

How do I clean my Breville Barista Express grinder?

We already mentioned in some detail how you clean this espresso machine and avoid common grinder problems that have been reported. However, here are some additional tips that could prove useful to prevent further grinder problems and make your espresso machine as effective as it can be.

To ensure the taste of your espresso remains unaffected by the use of new coffee beans in the grinder, it is recommended to clean the grinder every time you add new beans to the grinder. This is especially the case if you have used coffee with additional flavors such as vanilla or hazelnut.

To ensure the grinder remains clear, be sure to clean it and then add a small amount of the new beans you want to brew. Put them through the grinder as normal; this will remove any of the other grounds from the previous beans.

Some people will use some white rice to clean their espresso grinder. While there is some benefit to using white rice, it is important to know that this could also cause a blockage in your Breville Barista Express and any remaining rice could soak up the oil from espresso or dark roast coffee beans. So, if you do decide to use white rice in your espresso machine, do not use too much of it.

There are other small maintenance tasks you need to perform on your device to prevent issues in the future. One of those issues is the taste of your coffee being influenced by a scale build-up. If you area is known to provide hard water, special attention needs to be paid to this step.

Fortunately, this device is equipped with a filter that will prevent scale build-up in the water. However, this filter will need to be replaced every two months. Not only will it prevent issues, it will save you effort as you will not have to descale the device as often.

To replace the water filter, take the new filter and place it in a cup of water for approximately five minutes. Then, rinse it under the cold tap for five seconds. Be sure to also wash the plastic filter compartments with some clear water. Move the dial on the filter to two months in the future and simply push it down into its place.

Replacement filters for this device can be ordered online, including from Amazon. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, you can also get these filters from the manufacturer directly.

To ensure your coffee keeps its optimal flavor, we also suggest running some water through the device without any coffee grounds. By pushing through some clear water, any residual grounds are washed away from the portafilter. Unfortunately, this is a step that many people skip, even though it could prevent so many issues.

We must also mention that this device has its own cleaning cycle. If you do not like extensive manual maintenance, you can use this cleaning cycle. While manual maintenance can prove really beneficial sometimes, the automatic clean cycle does provide an easier alternative.

To do a cleaning cycle and to get your device back to the way you like it, keep an eye out for the flashing clean light. When the light flashes, it means that the device requires a clean and a descale. Then, empty the drip tray and fill the water tank with clear water. Add the cleaning disk and the filter basket in the portafilter. And the dedicated cleaning tablet for this device on the top of the filter. Then, lock the portafilter. Before heading to the next step, be sure to turn the device off.

In order to start the maintenance, you need to hold the power button and the all the cup buttons in simultaneously. This will start the cleaning cycle and should last for approximately five minutes. When you remove the portafilter after the maintenance, the tablet should be dissolved completely. You should also hear three beeps that signal the maintenance has ended.

There are some instances where the tablet does not dissolve completely. When this occurs, repeat the steps. Turn off the device, push in the relevant buttons and wait until you hear the beeps.

If you encounter some serious issues with the maintenance of your device, or the cleaning process is not executed as expected, you can find a solution in the troubleshooting guide provided by the manufacturer. If the issue remains, you can also get in touch with the manufacturer for additional help.

How do you reset a Breville Barista Express?

The specific instructions to reset the coffee maker can be found in the BES870 instruction manual. If you do not have the manual at hand, we have described the instructions below as well.

When you want to reset the default volumes and the espresso water temperature of this device, simply press and hold the “program” button. Wait until the device beeps three times before releasing the button. Now, your device has returned to its default settings.

Once your device has returned to the original settings, you will get the standard 1 cup and 2 cup shots. The quantities for one cup is 30 ml and two cups 60 ml.

Preventable Problems

As you have seen in this article, the problems that have been reported with the Barista Express always come down to improper maintenance. If you like to keep your machine in pristine condition, you are unlikely to encounter grinder problems. However, if you know you don’t clean the machine as often as you should, it may be time to switch your maintenance methods.

Also, if you’ve got the budget, keep a separate burr grinder handy!

Last update on 2021-04-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.