Starbucks Barista Troubleshooting

Coffee is not creamy enough ¶ 

Your coffee seems to have a coarse texture, or spouts out too quickly.

Grind the coffee more finely ¶ 

If the texture of your coffee doesn't seem right, it may not be an issue with the barista. Simply grind the coffee beans more finely.

Coffee spouts out too slowly ¶ 

Your barista is taking too long to make your drink.

Grind the coffee more coarsely ¶ 

If your coffee is spouting out more slowly than expected, it may be due to the coffee beans used. Try grinding the coffee beans more coarsely.

Ready light won't turn on ¶ 

The green ready light is not signalling that the machine is ready.

Power cord is not plugged in ¶ 

Make sure that your barista is securely plugged into a power outlet.

Not heating up ¶ 

If the machine does not achieve its optimal heat, it will not signal that it is ready for brewing. If you haven't used an anti-scaling agent within the last 3 months, there may be calcium buildup on the boiler. Run an anti-scaling agent through the water hose. The amount of time and anti-scaling agent necessary will vary depending on what kind of agent you use. (Avoid using alternative remedies as your anti-scaling agent. First try using a proper descaling agent.) This should help clear the boiler of calcium buildup.

Water won't flow through hose ¶ 

There seems to be a blockage inside the machine preventing the water from flowing.

Bent hose ¶ 

The water hose, located inside the machine, may be crimped or bent, blocking flow. In order to undo this, you will need to remove the outer casing of the machine. The water hose is clear and is one of the bigger tubes. Straighten the water hose that goes into water tank.

Pump needs priming ¶ 

If the pump has been idle for a while it may become "airlocked" and not work.

  • With the pump running alternatively turn the steam knob on and off.
  • You can use a turkey baster/ear bulb or similar item to force the pump to prime. Fill the bulb with water and insert it into the water hose. With the pump running, squeeze water into the hose until the water flows easily. Then turn off the pump and place the hose into the filled water tank and resume priming.

Clogged steam wand ¶ 

If your steam wand seems to be clogged, the water flow may be blocked within the steam wand itself. Try the following:

  • Using a needle, poke through the end of the steam wand to unclog it.
  • Using a crescent wrench, remove the steam wand and clean off any residue or obstruction that would cause it to clog.

GFI switch shorts out ¶ 

You plugged the machine in and tried turning it on, but the GFI switch on the wall blew out.

Power cord damage ¶ 

Visible deformities on your barista's power cord may be responsible for damage to the cable that caused the GFI switch to short. If the cord is damaged, it may need to be replaced.

Faulty outlet ¶ 

This may be an issue not concerning the barista, but rather the outlet the power cord is plugged into. Try plugging in your machine into a different power outlet, or into an outlet at your neighbor's house, as the issue may be inadequate electrical service at your residence.

Boiler shorted ¶ 

It's possible that your barista overheated and caused the internal heating element to rupture, which causes the boiler to short. To assess if this is the cause, remove the casing of the machine and check for continuity between the two heating contacts (the two prongs sticking out at 90 degree angles). If there is no continuity between the prongs, the boiler needs to be replaced.

It should be noted that this machine has a "pressurized" porta-filter that has an issue of locking up and not letting the coffee through. I just pulled that device out and it works fine!

Thank you!

Ron - Antwort

Mine was working.. then started tripping the gfci. I did the connectivity check and there is connectivity. So what could it be? TIA

Ramen Sarap - Antwort

my shots are super bitter with this machine

is it the portafilter.

i bought a baritza grinder, changed the shower screen, spring and gasket, I use bottled spring water and locally roasted beans,

what could it be?

i see a lot of comments with the non-pressurized portafilters? is this better? i already took apart the pressurized portafilter and cleaned it, no change???

angelahortega - Antwort

Ron, how do you remove "that device" you speak of?

Blondie - Antwort

Had my Barista (the espresso machine, not the guy who makes my coffee) upside down and dry for about 2 years and had a helluva time priming the pump. Had to hold the feeder tube high above the machine, constantly shooting water into it from a large syringe/baster while alternating between the steam pipe and the coffee pathway. Took a good 40 min and about 50 alternations (and lots of swearing) but finally got enough water into the pump to prime it and am now good to go. So, if the pump is vibrating and making sounds don't give up too soon on it!

Michael Bradley - Antwort

Tried the “Pump needs priming” suggestion on my Starbucks Barista machine that had not worked and had sat for over 2 years. Voila we are back in business. I was actually looking at used or refurbished Starbucks Barista machines and they are more than what we originally paid. Thanks for the help.

Ahh, now for some espresso

Ronald Gryn Sr. - Antwort

After taking off the back cover and disassembling the pump I ran across this site and decided to give the priming a try. Sounds gross but I filled my mouth with water and pushed the water through the fill pipe under pressure alternating the steam on and off. Did the trick. Very well built machine, except that it does need to be primed when coming out of storage. I was worried about burning out the pump, however, it is an induction manual type, so it shouldn’t ever burn out. I marvel at the fact that you could buy such a quality machine at the time…

RenéandNoelle Ténière - Antwort

My wife and i used a Ketchup dispenser, it fits on the pump tube perfectly, filled it up with water and was able to easily apply enough pressure to initiate the prime.

Dan Roessler - Antwort

You commented that there could be a problem that the pump needs to be primed. Well, mine sounded just like that: lots of dry-ish noise, but no hot water despite plenty of water in the reservoir. This was after months of not using it. I removed the reservoir and turned it upside down for a while (surely less than 15 minutes), and when I flipped it back again, it worked perfectly. It seems like that primed the pump.

Rob Goldston - Antwort

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