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How Can You Extend the Life of Your Coffee Maker?

If you've ever wondered 'how do I clean my coffee maker', 'what is the most durable coffee maker?' or 'how long will my coffee machine last?' Then you've come to the right place, because I'm about to give you a pretty detailed guide on these questions and more, covering as wide a range of coffee makers and machines as possible.

Coffee machines and manual coffee brewers will all vary when it comes to lifespan, in part depending on how well you take care of them.

Filter Coffee Machines

How Long Should It Take?

The classic filter coffee machine, also known as the drip coffee machine, is a very popular coffee machine. As long as you enjoy filter coffee, it's simple and easy to use and makes delicious coffee. Filter machines can vary widely in their lifetime due to their design and construction. An inexpensive, mostly plastic filter coffee maker with a glass pitcher can usually last up to 5 years as long as you don't drop the pitcher.

How to Maintain

Your filter coffee machine will protect you well, just like any other coffee machine, but when properly maintained.

It is important to keep the machine clean and to avoid spilling coffee on the hotplate or to clean it quickly when this happens. The filter basket, lid and jug should be washed regularly using warm soapy water or in the dishwasher (if the manufacturer states it is safe).

Using bottled water (but check TDS levels, especially Calcium and Magnesium) can extend the life of your drip machine, as limescale is one of the most common causes of machine failure.

If you are using tap water, descale your coffee machine using a vinegar/water solution or a descaling solution, depending on the water hardness.

It's worth checking your water hardness using test strips, because while descaling is very important, it also damages the inside of the machine, so ideally you only want to descale it as often as you absolutely have to.

It may be a good idea to use a water filter, but while this is more for the taste and safety of the user than for the coffee machine, since most household water filters don't really filter out most of the limescale-causing minerals they usually filter out bacteria and other debris which is fine for us of course, but minerals (i.e. Calcium and Magnesium) that damage coffee machines.

Depending on TDS levels, or more specifically Calcium and Magnesium levels, you may also need to descale if you're using bottled water, so if you're using bottled water, choose carefully - that's all. Very different when it comes to TDS levels.

Which Parts Cause the Most Problems?

The kettle and water pump often cause the most problems with the filter coffee machine. Better quality machines tend to use more durable parts that are less prone to breakage. Scale buildup in water pipes causes pumps to fail, increasing the importance of descaling.

Espresso Machine

How Long Should It Take?

Generally speaking, bean-to-cup espresso machines should last 5-10 years, possibly even 15 years or more if properly maintained. Manual espresso machines, especially older style machines, Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia etc, have been known to last over 10 years, possibly 20 years or more, depending on how well maintained they are.

How long machines can last really depends on how complex they are, availability of parts and cost effectiveness of repair.

Some of the newest, lower-cost espresso machines, including the Sage or Breville Bambino, Bambino Plus, Barista Express, Barista pro, and the like, have the ability to last longer than they will probably because they're only likely to occur within 3-5 years of use. The cost of repairing malfunctions will likely be prohibitively expensive.

Old-style espresso machines are no less likely to cause problems over several years of use, but the availability of parts and people to fit them for you means this is often a financially viable option. It repairs and maintains an older school machine, whereas with some of the more modern entry-level espresso machines this is usually not the case.

How to Maintain

Every day you should clean the outside of your machine and brush off any loose coffee grounds. Clean the portafilter after each use and regularly backwash your machine to keep the shower strainer and brew path and solenoid valve (if equipped) clean.

While most espresso machine brands recommend the occasional detergent backwash, it's good practice to do a water-only backwash on a much more regular basis, once a day.

For most espresso machines, it is necessary to occasionally remove the shower curtain and clean it properly.Providing k is also helpful (and very quick and easy).

It is very important to keep the steam wand clean as well. After each use, steam the tip of the wand and wipe it - you can also soak the tip in water mixed with a portafilter cleaner such as Puly caff.

As with filter coffee machines, it is important to descale your machine as regularly as necessary, depending on the hardness of the water you use. It is the biggest destroyer of the espresso machine, just talk to any espresso machine engineer and they will probably agree with you.

It's also important to keep an eye on things like pump pressure and water temperature and to see if anything is wrong.

Sometimes minor issues are symptoms internally of problems that are currently insignificant and will be minor if promptly addressed, but can quickly develop into much more serious problems if left.

A good example of this is an internal water pipe that is leaking due to an O-ring that has deteriorated and needs to be simply replaced.

This is an incredibly fast, simple, and inexpensive problem to fix - but if left unchecked, it can lead to much more expensive and even potentially dangerous problems.

It's a good idea to regularly service your machine, depending on how often you use it. Depending on how much your machine is used, anywhere from quarterly to annually may be appropriate.

If you don't have the talent, time, or inclination to do this on your own, it's worth poking around to find someone to do it for you.

Which Parts Cause the Most Problems?

This depends on the type of espresso machine. In bean-to-cup espresso machines, LCD displays, PCBs, brew unit gears, grind motors, etc. There may be a number of potential areas of interest, such as: In manual espresso machines, it still depends on the machine, but the parts that fail most often are the pump, thermoblocks (on cheaper machines without a brewing pan), boiler elements, and valves.

The most common parts to wear are gaskets/gaskets and O-rings and this is something that can only be picked up during routine service and easily fixed, but as I mentioned earlier, not replacing seemingly insignificant parts like this when worn can lead to. to more important matters

Manual Arm Espresso Machine

How Long Should It Take?

Manual lever espresso machines are old-fashioned espresso machines and may require a bit more of a learning curve than using a semi-automatic traditional espresso machine. This is because instead of a pump that automatically applies pressure, the user does it manually and skill is at work.

However, once you complete the learning curve, leverage machines can provide the most enjoyable espresso making experience, and many believe that leverage machines produce among the best espresso. Well-built (and maintained) manual espresso machines can also last a lifetime and can therefore be a great investment.

How to Maintain

It depends on the machine, some of the more modern lever machines include more modern technology, which may mean dealing with more moving parts. However, in older type lever machines it is mainly a matter of checking the seals/gaskets, not allowing the boiler to run dry and keeping it on top of descaling.

Which Parts Cause the Most Problems?

Again it depends on the machine, newer lever machine designs may have more complex parts - but there really isn't much to go wrong with older style machines. These machines are very simple engineering, some wiring, a few fuses, a heating element, a boiler, a group head and the lever itself.

How Long Should It Take?

A spill-over coffee maker like a Chemex, Hario V60 or Kalita Wave can last for several years or even decades. With glass coffeemakers like the Chemex and glass versions of the V60, it will of course last until you accidentally smash it, so be careful.

How to Maintain

It is very important to keep the device clean. Wash and rinse thoroughly after each use.

Which Parts Cause the Most Problems?

There are no parts with manual coffee drippers. In the case of Chemex, it is a glass jug with an insulated collar with a neck shaped to receive a filter. With other drippers, including the V60 and Kalita, these are one-piece devices that only hold a filter, so it will depend on the material you choose, for example a plastic or metal device is likely to last longer than glass.

Moka Cookware / Stove Top / Bialetti

How Long Should It Take?

The moka pot is a beautiful and simple design that should, in theory, last for decades - you can usually get all the necessary parts like gaskets, especially if you're buying a well-known brand like Bialetti.

However, most of these coffee machines are mainly made of Aluminum, and in recent years there has been a long period of use from such appliances, especially the inside of the pot, causing deterioration.


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