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I own a Breville Barista Express™ BES860XL. Here are some notes of mine, some from Breville manuals.
Decalcifying the Barista Express™
- Fill the water tank 1/2 full of white vinegar and fill it the rest of the way with cold water.
- Remove the portafilter and place the most often used filter in it. Do NOT add coffee. Lock the portafilter back in place. Remove the Frothing Enhancer
- Turn the machine on and place a large empty container beneath the portafilter. Once the machine has reached extraction temperature and the button surrounds are all illuminated, press and hold either the 1 Cup or 2 Cup button to commence manual pour. Release the button when about half of the mixture has been emptied from the water tank.
- Place an empty container beneath the Steam Wand and turn the Steal Dial to the ‘STEAM’ position. Allow the steam to flow for approximately 2 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to remain in the machine for one to two hours.
- Empty the remaining solution from the water tank and wash with warm soapy water then rinse thoroughly.
- Fill the water tank with fresh cold water and replace in the machine.
- Place another large empty container beneath the portafilter and press and hold either the 1 Cup or 2 Cup button to commence manual pour.
- Release the button once half of the water is out of the tank.
- Turn the Steam Dial to ‘STEAM’ and allow the steam to flow for approximately 2 minutes to clear the solution from the piping.
Poor results from the Grinder
The grinder on the Barista Express™ is the first step to making a great shot of espresso. Sometimes, however, that first step can be a bit awkward. If the resulting grinds are not what were expected, there can be some fixes put in place to help.If the grinder is not producing any grinds or very few, the following should be checked:
- Clean the bean hopper. – When espresso beans are ground into smaller particles, they create.. well smaller particles. All burr grinders have nooks and crannies that are necessary for the movement of the parts in the machine. However, they can attract those small particles and cause clogs. Those particles can get up into the base of the bean hopper, causing the beans to stick together and stick to the hopper itself; not allowing any beans to fall through to the burrs to be ground. Empty the hopper and wipe it with a damp cloth, drying thoroughly afterwards.
- Clean the burrs. – Those same smaller particulates can get into tight spaces on the burrs and create the same type of clogs, only this time internally. Also, oilier beans tend to cause a lot of clogs. Because the oils are on the surface and that is what first comes in contact with the burrs, they tend to attract little bits and pieces of the beans faster, clogging more frequently. Remove any beans from the bean hopper and remove the bean hopper. Using the provided cleaning brush, brush at the particles on the top of the outer burr, removing the larger ones. The best and most thorough way of cleaning the burrs at home is to get a vacuum with a hose attachment and vacuum up any particles on the top of the outer burr. This can be done alternating between the cleaning brush and vacuum to make sure that all particles are loosened and removed. This is just one burr, though. Grip the ring on the top of the outer burr and turn counter clockwise to loosen, then remove the outer burr. Repeat the brushing and vacuuming on the inner burr. This one can not be removed but the stiff bristles of the cleaning brush and the suction from the vacuum will get the majority if not all of the loose particles out. Replace the outer burr and bean hopper and try running the beans again.
- Cleaning the coffee chute. – The coffee chute gets just as many bean pieces and oily bean build ups as the rest of the grinder so it is very important to clean this thoroughly. Slide the cleaning brush from the bottom of the chute up into the grinder, moving it around and pushing it in and out. Once this is done, try running the grinder empty for a few seconds to remove any grinds that might still be loose inside.