Espresso Machine Troubleshooting – Barista Tips

NB: This guide is reproduced with kind permission of Brasilia, renowned manufacturer of espresso machines.
Although the problems and solutions provided relate 100% to Brasilia machines, most are also relevant to all other brands of traditional espresso machine.


Problem Possible Cause Solution
Stop button light on touch pad flashing Water turned off at mains Ensure water is turned on at mains
Too much water drawn off at one time from the hot water tap Turn machine off at on/off switch. Wait 10 seconds then turn to position 1 (on). Ensure the boiler fills by checking the water level gauge. If the stop lights flash on the touch pad repeat the procedure. When the boiler fill light goes out, turn the on/off switch to position 2 (element symbol) and wait 15-20 minutes for the machine to reach temperature (needle on right hand side of gauge in red band).
Unable to froth milk Steam pressure is low or slow Check boiler pressure is at 1.0 bar (needle on right hand side of gauge in red band).

Check machine is switched to to position 2 (element symbol) on on/off switch.

Steam nozzle blocked Remove and clean
Milk quality Try a new batch of milk
Attempted to re-froth boiled milk Discard contents of milk jug, wash thoroughly and refroth with fresh milk.
Cold Coffee Machine not up to operating temperature Ensure machine is switched to to position 2 (element symbol). Wait 15-20 minutes for machine to reach temperature 1.0 bar (needle on right hand side of gauge in red band).
Filter holders not hot Lock filter holders into brewing group heads and flush hot water through by pressing the jug button for 1 minute, press the stop button. Always leave the filter holders locked into brewing group heads after coffee has been made to maintain temperature.
Cold cups Ensure pre-heated cups are always used.
Coffee dispenses too slowly Blocked brewing group head Use filter holder with blind filter basket and clean as per daily cleaning.
Too much coffee in filter holder Check correct filter basket in filter holder. ie. single filter basket for one measure of coffee in single filter holder, double filter basket for two measures of coffee in double filter holder.
Check operating pump pressure is at 9 bar Run water through brewing group head with the filter holder containing coffee and check needle on left hand side of gauge reads 9.0 bar (in blue band)
Grind set too fine Change grinder setting
Coffee in filter holder is over compressed (tamped) Discard coffee from filter holder, replenish from grinder and tamp with correct pressure.
Coffee dispenses too quickly Not enough coffee in filter holder Check correct filter basket in filter holder. ie. single filter basket for one measure of coffee in single filter holder, double filter basket for two measures of coffee in double filter holder.
Grind set too coarse Change grinder setting
Coffee in filter holder is not compressed (tamped) enough Discard coffee from filter holder, replenish from grinder and tamp with correct pressure.
Filter holder is difficult to load into brewing group head Too much coffee on filter holder Check correct filter basket in filter holder. ie. single filter basket for one measure of coffee in single filter holder, double filter basket for two measures of coffee in double filter holder.
Group gasket damaged Gasket needs replacing

Call service helpline on 0845 4500500

Coffee leaking from brewing group head / filter holder Coffee build up on gasket Use filter holder with blind filter basket and clean as per daily cleaning.
Filter basket damaged Filter basket needs replacing

Call service helpline on 0845 4500500

Group gasket damaged Gasket needs replacing

Call service helpline on 0845 4500500

Leaking from front of the machine under drip tray / grill Waste pipe / box blocked Lift off drip tray and clean out waste box and waste pipe. Remove any coffee deposits with a damp cloth, run hot water into the box until the flow is clear.
Boiler overflow Turn on/off switch on machine to off position. Call service helpline on

0845 4500500

Leaking from back of machine Boiler overflow Turn on/off switch on machine to off position

Call service helpline on 0845 4500500

Incorrect coffee level in cup Incorrect dose set on touch pad Touch pad needs resetting.

Call service helpline on 0845 4500500

Incorrect button on touch pad selected Check touch pad diagram to ensure correct use of buttons

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