Superautomatic Espresso Machines and Oily Coffee Beans

Superautomatic Espresso Machines and Oily Coffee Beans

Gail shows us the perils of using oily, dark-roasted coffee beans in a superautomatic espresso machine.


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25 Responses to Superautomatic Espresso Machines and Oily Coffee Beans

  1. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    It’s both, actually; the´╗┐ chute is a short term issue and the grinder is a long term issue. – Kat

  2. charlesflaum October 7, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    I have a similar Saeco Automatic espresso machine and also have a lot of problems with oily beans. But the problem is not due to grinder getting clogged up. It is due to the clogging of the tunnel between the grinder and the ground´╗┐ coffee chamber. I have to use a wire (bent wire hanger wire) or a bamboo skewer to clean unclog the tunnel. I open the ground coffee chamber door (in the top of the brewing chamber, just above the brew unit) and insert the wire trough the open door from the left.

  3. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Great´╗┐ tip! – Kat

  4. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    Probably´╗┐ not, but I might take the grind up a bit coarser than usual so you don’t have any grinder back up, etc. – Kat

  5. pauldve October 7, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    I like oily beans sometimes so I grind them in a cheap grinder I have and use the´╗┐ by-pass so the’re not ground in machine.

  6. Eduardo Jim├ęnez October 7, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    I got a bag of beans at a local retailer, and when I opened it I realized the beans are EXTREMELY oily. I imagine that the issues described in the video here happen after prolonged use. Do you think its a problem if I just run through this bag and then switch back to dry´╗┐ roasts?

  7. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    You´╗┐ want to make sure that it indicates a medium roast; anything that is an espresso blend that is a lighter roast will work well. You can check out our blog for a table on common roast names and what shade they correlate to – Kat

  8. mauibuilt50 October 7, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    so what type of beans do you recommend that i can get´╗┐ from a local grocery store….or do you suggest buying online?

  9. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    Yes, this is exactly the symptom´╗┐ of the grind being too fine. – Kat

  10. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    This is why I feel there is another sensor in there doing something I don’t understand. I’ll try the Kenya beans again next week and see if with the coarsest setting I get it to work. Anyway I’m sure that it’ll affect´╗┐ the flavor a lot. Sorry for making so many questions, but Saeco would tell me just to try another coffee. And thanks again ;) – Rodrigo.

  11. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    I feel I didn’t explain one thing correctly:´╗┐ When it goes wrong, the error (red light) turns on immediately after the grinder stops. I’d say, in the less-than-half-a-second it takes to stop spinning. Way before the brew group moves the ground coffee to the metal “brew head”. Grinder stops, red light on, brew group moves only to discard the puck (totally dry ground coffee). Brew group does not stop at “brew position”, water pump never starts, it never tries to brew.

  12. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    What the sensor is sensing is that it can’t force water through the grounds and it sees´╗┐ it as empty or not able to be activated, so just kicks the puck out. I’m sorry I can’t be more precise than this, but if you’re seeing it with some coffees and not others, it would lead me to believe that messing with the grind on the coffees that are erroring could be the answer. Let me know how it goes :) – Kat

  13. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    yes, the machine will build up coffee in the chute, so if you change your grind, you will need to run a few shots through before you see the results. I think´╗┐ that the issue you’re seeing is the fineness of the grind, which does need to be changed depending on the coffee that your using. Even beans that are a medium or light roast can have more natural fat/oil, be moister and, therefore, require a coarser grind. Play around with coarser with your beans that are being ejected – Kat

  14. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    And thanks´╗┐ again. – Rodrigo. (p.s. read the three messages from bottom to top).

  15. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    (…), this means that only a tiny amount of coffee was going to the brew group. And it was not showing the error (red light, discard), so I’m sure the “too oily coffee” is not technically the issue. This (grinder clogged with ground coffee) never happened with the Kenya beans, and they do activate this error. I’ve been using Moka beans bought in another store, I don’t enjoy them so much but with them the machine´╗┐ never failed.

  16. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    I wanted to add another thing: Sometimes when cleaning the machine I noticed that some amount of ground coffee stayed stuck in the exit tube of the grinder, so I thought that might be the problem (a sensor detecting stuck coffee in there). But then, once, I put some Tribute Blend beans (the one that works better than the Kenya) and after brewing some coffees I noticed that the hole on the upper part of the machine (outside)´╗┐ was full of ground coffee (…)

  17. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Thank you Kat. I’ve been trying to figure what is causing the problem and I can tell one thing: The error light turns on as soon as the grinder stops, it doesn’t even try to brew it, and the grind seems to be fine (visually compared to other lighter coffees that work OK). So the problem starts in the grinder. Do you know what is this related to? I mean, what is happening inside? Which “sensor” can cause this? I’m just´╗┐ curious lol.

  18. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Usually grinding and discarding the puck means you are grinding too fine for the coffee you’re using and the machine can’t actually force water through the puck. Try going coarser — with´╗┐ all dark roasts, you should be in the medium or higher level of coarseness to ensure the grinder and brew group do not clog. Hope that helps! – Kat

  19. rsilves October 7, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    First of all thanks for all the information you are publishing to everyone!
    Last week I got a Saeco Xsmall machine and I’m having a hard time choosing the right beans and grind setting. The machine grinds the coffee but then throws it without brewing it.
    I tried with different beans, now it’s going´╗┐ OK with the Starbucks Tribute blend. The one I want and doesn’t work well is “Kenya”, also from Sbux. Any recommendation with it?

  20. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Some that you might be able to source locally would be illy or Lavazza; I’m not sure if they have an espresso blend, but Dunkin Donuts’ roast is nice and medium-hued. If you check out our blog, we have a post called Roast Shades,´╗┐ Names and Flavors and that will give you a good idea, also, of what a name means, color-wise, before you pop the bag open and find out. Hope this helps! – Kat

  21. drstoeb October 7, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    A few months ago we purchased a Saeco Royal Coffee Bar for our office at work. We have been trying various beans to find one that is not oily. Man has that been tough. I’m wondering if you could recommend a few brands that offer a dryer bean. We would prefer to´╗┐ find one in the local grocery store, because we have a business charge account there, but will buy online if that is the only option. Thank you in advance for your time and thank you for these videos. They’re great!

  22. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    You’re welcome! Let me know if you´╗┐ need anything else. – Kat

  23. pureEVA October 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    wow, such´╗┐ a speedy reply! thanks Kat, that answers my question perfectly

  24. SeattleCoffeeGear October 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    You can use them there a bit easier as you’re not going to have the same issues like you do with the grinder — build up of oily residue. You don’t want to grind it for that at a traditional espresso grind — it needs to be a bit more coarse than what you might expect so that it works well with the brew group. If you want to stick with using oily/dark roast beans in the grinder, you can do so but just be prepared for a´╗┐ little more tech-assisted maintenance on the machines. – Kat

  25. pureEVA October 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Ahh I would never have known about this unless I had seen this! We just got a new superautomatic (Saeco Syntia) and my husband loves dark beans. Are oily beans ever a problem in bypass dosers? We´╗┐ really love your videos btw :) Thanks for posting!

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