Yes, fully-automatic espresso machines are factory calibrated for a water hardness level of 3, but they can be recalibrated depending on the type of water in your area. To determine the hardness of your water, (0 = very soft, 1 = soft, 2 = slightly hard, 3 = hard, 4 = very hard) dip one of the paper test strips provided with your device into your water for one second, then wait 1 minute for the result or contact your water provider.
It is advisable to adjust the appliance according to the hardness of the water used. This can be determined using the stick provided with the device or by contacting your water provider. To optimise the taste and increase the life of your machine, we recommend using the Claris-Aqua Filter System cartridge. This cartridge should be screwed onto the bottom of the tank and the settings selected. Plug in the appliance but do not turn it on. Open the service hatch. Calibrate the appliance depending on the water hardness. Adjust the coffee temperature. Adjust the automatic power supply cut-off mechanism Close the service hatch. Remove, fill and replace the water tank. Put coffee into the container provided for this purpose. Run a brew cycle with water only to rinse. Adjust the coffee grinding fineness.
Follow the instructions in your personal instruction manual for descaling your machine as techniques vary according to the model you own. We recommend using the descaling product provided by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you may use 2 tablespoons of tartaric or citric acid (both sold in pharmacies and drug stores) diluted in a half-litre of lukewarm water; pour this mixture into the water tank. For a daily average usage of 4 cups and if the water is hard, we recommend descaling your machine at least every 3 months. If you live in an area where the water is very hard, you may wish to descale more often.
Your device will notify you when the Claris Aqua Filter cartridge should be replaced. The Claris cartridge must be replaced approximately every 50 litres of water or at least every 2 months. Set the water hardness to level 0 if you are using a Claris cartridge.
Scale deposits naturally form in your coffee maker. Regular descaling helps protect your coffee maker and ensures it a longer life. It will also help maintain a quality of coffee that remains constant over time.
How often you descale your coffee maker depends on the hardness of the water and on how often you use your coffee maker. The following are tell-tell signs of scaling: the coffee making cycle takes longer, the appliance produces lots of steam, makes much more noise at the end of the cycle or stops during the cycle, this means that scale has built up in your coffee maker. You should descale your coffee maker between every 20 to 40 cycles or once a month depending on the hardness of the water.
This can be due to a number of factors: • There is no water in the tank; fill the tank, • Your tank is not correctly installed; press firmly on the tank, • The filter is blocked; the ground coffee is too fine. Clean the filter holder and try a less finely ground coffee, • The pump is unprimed; refer to the instructions on how to prime it, • Your appliance has scaled up; descale it, • The Claris filter cartridge has been changed but not primed; refer to the instructions on how to prime it.
Make sure the steam nozzle is not blocked. After turning off your appliance and letting it cool: clean and unclog all the orifices of the nozzle with needle provided. Unclog the orifice of the steam nozzle support pipe with a needle. Remove the Claris cartridge.
Remove the water filter if your machine uses one. If this does not solve your problem, turn the fineness of grind button to the right to obtain a coarser grind (may depend on the type of coffee used). Run one or several rinsing cycles.
Check that the coffee bean container has coffee in it and that it is dispensing correctly. Avoid using oily, caramelised or flavoured coffee. Reduce the volume of coffee selected using the rotary knob. Select the coffee button. Turn the grinding fineness button to the left to obtain more finely ground coffee. Make the drink in two cycles by using the 2 cups function.
Check the temperature setting of the selected coffee and change it if necessary. Heat the cups by rinsing them in hot water to avoid creating "thermal shock" with cold cups. The coffee quality obtained will be even better.
Make sure that the tube inserted into the milk is not clogged. Ensure that the flexible tube is inserted properly into the accessory to avoid air intake. After turning off your appliance and allowing it to cool, unblock the outlet of the Auto-Cappuccino accessory.
Most of the noise produced by the machine comes from the mill. A bit of noise is therefore normal when the coffee is grinding. Sometimes a foreign body finds its way into the grinder. In this case, empty the coffee bean container and vacuum out the interior near the grinder. We recommend using good quality coffee beans to preserve the life of the integrated grinding wheels of the coffee grinder.
Arabica beans give the best flavour and are naturally low in caffeine. Experiment with the different varieties, blends and degrees of roasting to find what suits your taste best. Generally speaking, the darker the roast, the stronger the coffee flavour. Light roasting brings out the full complement of aromas and results in a coffee that is both mild and full of flavour — that of the true connoisseur! Great coffees should only ever be lightly roasted to bring out their true richness, subtlety and complexity. Avoid very dark roasted beans as these tend to be more oily and can clog the machines. Check for any tiny stones mixed up with the beans which may also damage the machine.
The sign of a true Espresso is the froth which is created by pressure within the machine whilst the coffee is being made. The pressure is measured in bars (from 1.5 to 19) so the higher the bar pressure the richer and thicker the froth.
An expresso has a stronger aroma than a "normal" coffee. In fact, an expresso can be distinguished by its rich aroma and the creamy foam on the surface of the cup. This requires a pressure of 15 bar (achieved only by espresso machines), water heated to 90-92°C and finely ground and measured coffee (7 g per cup).