Five coffee issues and the quick fix solutions


Because you don’t want to stand between a tired customer and their coffee.

Offering fresh, barista-made coffee at your venue is an incredibly important asset to your business. Coffee is the great equaliser: regardless of age, location, or taste in food, people will travel far and wide for a good coffee.

But having a coffee machine on site can come with it’s fair share of challenges. From keeping the beans fresh, to troubleshooting issues with the machine, if something goes wrong then you run the risk of some very unhappy customers who potentially will not return.

So we’ve compiled the top five most common coffee-making issues, along with the quick fixes that will get you back on track quickly. After all, you don’t want to stand between a tired customer and their coffee!

1. Thin espresso

If you notice that your machine is producing thin, oily, or watery shots; something is not right. Firstly, check the production date on the coffee beans – if they were roasted and sealed over three weeks prior, it will lack viscosity. Also check the level of your coffee, and the temperature of the machine, as both can contribute to thin espresso.

2. No crema

A good indication that something is not right with your machine is a very thin, very bubbly, or non-existent layer of crema. This can be because the coffee is too fresh – allow the beans a few day to settle after roasting. Just remember that the use by date must be no longer than 21 days past roasting.

3. Slow production

Are your customers complaining of long waits for their coffee? Anything beyond five minutes is far too long for a customer to be waiting for a take-away order. This all comes down to staff training: ensure you have committed time daily or weekly to new starters to teach them how to make coffee that’s high quality, fast.

4. Water filter issues

Did you know that more problems are caused by dirty machines than actual broken parts? The build-up of scale in coffee machines is an expensive problem, and will require replacements. Make sure you are using the correct type of filtered water in your machine to avoid these problems.

5. Stale or expired coffee

As tempting as it can be to store your coffee beans in clear displays, the sunlight will compromise the taste of your coffee. Preserve your beans in a cool, dark place in an airtight container to prevent them from souring.

Always keep the number of your coffee machine manufacturer and roaster handy for last minute emergencies. Also, ensure your staff know to call you at any time if there is an issue – panicking and trying to fix the machine can often cause more damage than good.

Happy brewing!