Category Archives: Q&A

Superautomatics: No Love for the Oily Bean

One of the most common issues we see in our repair shop is a Superautomatic machine (such as a Saeco, DeLonghi or Jura Capresso) with a non-functional grinder. Often, the ‘Out of Beans’ light will be on, regardless of how many beans are in the hopper, and the grinder will cease functioning properly.

The cause? Those super dark roasted, oily beans! Superautomatics require a very dry bean, as the oilier beans leave too much moisture in the hopper and the grinder, eventually building up and clogging the machine. We really recommend that you try a lighter, drier roast, but if you just can’t break your addiction to oily beans, here are a couple of tips to keep your machine from breaking down over time:

  1. Each time you refill your hopper, thoroughly wipe out the entire accessible area with a highly absorbent paper towel
  2. Super fine grinds + oily beans = coffee cement, so dial your grinder in to the coarsest possible setting and you’ll mitigate some of the issue
  3. Regular maintenance & cleaning of your superautomatic will reduce the build-up from oily beans

How to Brew & Steam: Rancilio Silvia

One of our most popular machines, the Semi-Automatic Rancilio Silvia is an excellent value for its functionality and class. Featuring all brass components and a traditional steam wand (unique in this price range and essential to making latte art), the Silvia is a durable, mid-class home espresso machine.

If you are new to using a Rancilio Silvia, it’s well worth the time to follow our step-by-step guide on how to use the machine to get the best possible results. Learning the basics will improve the overall taste and presentation of your drinks — and you’ll impress your friends and family with your professional style!

Brew Tip: E61 Brew Group

Do you have a machine with an E61 brew group (such as models made by Rocket, Quick Mill or Izzo) that sometimes pulls bitter or burnt shots? It could be that you’ve left the machine on for an extended period of time and that the temperature is too high to pull an ideal shot.

We recommend pulling the lever and letting some water run through for a few seconds before you place your portafilter in the brew group, which will release some of the steam pressure and cool the temperature down a bit. If the machine has been sitting unused for more than 10 minutes, be sure to do this and your shots will taste great every time.

(E61 diagram courtesy of HomeBarista.com)

It Starts with Great Coffee

Coffee Cherry Plant
Coffee is the second highest traded commodity in the world — with oil being number one. These delicious beans come to us from gorgeous little cherries grown on coffee plantations around the world and can vary in flavor from smooth chocolate to spicy loam. You can learn a lot more about the history, agriculture, processing, science and tastes of coffee in our article It Starts with Great Coffee. Educate yourself on the diverse delicacy of this delectable bean and we promise your favorite java will never taste the same way again!