Breville Espresso Machine Error: Decoding Error Messages and Fixing Common Problems

Owning a great quality espresso machine can be a true luxury, especially for coffee aficionados. When it starts experiencing issues, it can also be frustrating to know how to fix it.

Breville is a top brand in the world of espresso machines, and their machines are known for their high-quality performance. Just like any other espresso machine, however, Breville machines can encounter error messages, breakdowns, or other common issues. Understanding these issues and how to troubleshoot them can help you avoid future problems.

This article is designed to help you understand the common issues that can plague Breville espresso machines, what they mean, and how to fix them. From decoding error messages to tackling common problems, this article provides a comprehensive guide that will help you keep your Breville espresso machine in optimal working condition.

Most Common Sage/Breville Espresso Machine Issues
Key Takeaways
Regular cleaning can prevent common problems with Breville espresso machines.
Understanding the anatomy of your machine can help you troubleshoot issues.
Using high-quality, fresh coffee and appropriate grind size can improve espresso quality.
Following manufacturer’s instructions is crucial for maintaining the lifespan of your machine.
If issues persist, consider seeking professional help.

Understanding Your Breville Espresso Machine

The Anatomy of a Breville Espresso Machine

Before we dive into understanding the common issues and error messages on Breville espresso machines, it’s important to understand the anatomy of these machines.

Breville espresso machines come in different types, such as manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic. But regardless of the type, all Breville espresso machines have the same basic components – the group head, the steam wand, the water reservoir, the drip tray, and the portafilter.

Group HeadThe part of the machine where water and coffee come together to extract the espresso shot.
Steam WandA nozzle used to froth milk for cappuccinos or lattes.
Water ReservoirThe part of the machine that holds the water used to make espresso.
Drip TrayThe tray below the group head that catches any excess water or milk.
PortafilterThe part that connects to the group head and holds the coffee grounds.

The table above summarizes the key components of a Breville espresso machine and provides a brief description of each component. Understanding the function of each component can help you better understand how your machine works and how to address any potential issues.

Key Components of the Breville Espresso Machine

The group head is one of the most important parts of your Breville espresso machine. It is where the water and coffee come together to extract the espresso shot. The steam wand, on the other hand, is used to froth milk for cappuccinos or lattes. 

The water reservoir holds the water that is needed to make your espresso, while the drip tray catches any excess water or milk. Lastly, the portafilter is the part that connects to the group head and holds the coffee grounds.

Building a support system after experiencing grief and loss can be difficult, but finding strength in community can make a big difference. Check out our guide on building a support system after a loss to learn more about the benefits of community during times of grief.

How Does A Breville Espresso Machine Work?

When you press the button to brew your espresso, your Breville espresso machine will use an internal pump to push water from the water reservoir into the group head. The water is heated by a heating element, and then passed through the coffee grounds in the portafilter. The brewed espresso then flows out of the spouts and into your cup.

Common Error Messages on Breville Espresso Machine

No Water in the Tank

One common problem that can occur with a Breville espresso machine is if there is no water in the tank. This error message will show up on the LCD screen of your machine. To fix this issue, simply refill the water tank with fresh water and ensure it is properly secured.

Grinder Blocked

If your Breville espresso machine is displaying the error message ‘Grinder Blocked’, it may be because there’s a blockage in the grinder. This can be caused by coffee beans that are too oily or beans that have been ground too finely. First, make sure the machine is disconnected from power. Then, clean the grinder by removing the beans from the hopper and using a brush to clean the burrs.

Cooking with an Instant Pot is versatile and saves time, but like any appliance, it is not immune to performance issues. Bookmark this comprehensive guide to troubleshooting your Instant Pot to help you identify and solve common problems.

Too Much Coffee In Filter

If you notice your espresso machine displaying the ‘Too Much Coffee In Filter’ error message, it may be because you have overfilled the portafilter. This can cause the machine to become clogged and result in low coffee extraction. Remove some of the coffee and try again.

Low Coffee Extraction

If your Breville espresso machine is not extracting enough coffee or you are not getting a full shot, it might be due to low coffee extraction. This could be caused by several factors, including tamping too hard or too little, an incorrect grind level, or dirty group heads. Try adjusting your tamping pressure, switching to a coarser grind, or cleaning the group heads.

Low Coffee Extraction

Possible Causes and Solutions

Tamping too hardDecrease tamping pressure
Tamping too littleIncrease tamping pressure
Incorrect grind levelAdjust the grind level
Dirty group headsClean the group heads
Use of stale coffeeUse freshly roasted coffee
Poor quality waterUse high quality water or a water filter
Underfilled portafilterFill the portafilter with the correct amount of coffee

Extraction is Too Slow

If you are experiencing slow extraction times on your Breville espresso machine, it may be due to a clog in the machine. This can be caused by using coffee that is too fine or compacting the coffee too densely. 

You may also need to clean the shower screen or replace the filter basket. Try using a coarser grind and adjusting your tamping pressure. If the issue persists, seek professional help.

No Crema

Crema is the light layer of foam that forms on top of a shot of espresso. If you’re not getting any crema, it may be due to old or stale coffee, or coffee that has not been ground finely enough. Try using freshly roasted beans or grinding your coffee finer to see if it helps improve your espresso shot.

Smoothies, soups, and sauces are easier to make using a blender, but issues with your Ninja Blender can leave you disappointed. Our guide on understanding and fixing common Ninja Blender problems offers easy-to-follow solutions to keep your blender working well.


A common issue with espresso machines is leaks. This can be caused by a worn out sealing ring, a loose water line, or a faulty valve. Check the seals and water lines to ensure that everything is secure and tight. If necessary, replace the O-ring and valve or seek help from a professional.


Possible Causes and Solutions

Worn out sealing ringReplace the sealing ring
Loose water lineTighten the water line
Faulty valveReplace the valve
Improperly inserted water reservoirEnsure the water reservoir is seated properly
Damaged O-ringReplace the O-ring
Clogged filter basketClean the filter basket or replace it
Cracked or damaged portafilterReplace the portafilter

Troubleshooting Breville Espresso Machine Common Problems

No Water in the Tank

If you are experiencing the ‘No Water in the Tank’ error message, check the water tank and ensure it is properly inserted into the machine. The water tank may have been inadvertently removed or may not be seated correctly. If the water tank is full and properly inserted, ensure that the power cord is plugged in and that the power switch is turned on.

Grinder Blocked

If the grinder is blocked, first, unplug the machine and remove the hopper. Clean the hopper and the burrs with a brush. Remove any lodged coffee beans and then put back the hopper and plug back the power cord.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or new to the world of stand mixers, it’s frustrating when your KitchenAid mixer doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. But don’t worry, our tips and tricks for mastering KitchenAid mixer troubleshooting will help you fix the most common problems.

Too Much Coffee In Filter

If you are experiencing the ‘Too Much Coffee In Filter’ error message, remove some of the coffee from the portafilter and then re-attempt making the espresso.

Low Coffee Extraction

To improve coffee extraction, ensure that you’re using fresh coffee and that the coffee beans have been ground consistently. Check the temperature of the water, and ensure that it is within the recommended range. If this does not work, clean the machine thoroughly, including the group head, shower screen, and portafilter.

Extraction is Too Slow

When your espresso extraction is too slow, it’s often due to too high of a grind fineness or an excessive amount of coffee. Try using a coarser grind and reducing the amount of coffee in the portafilter.

No Crema

To get crema when making your espresso, ensure that you’re using freshly roasted coffee beans and that they are ground consistently. Check the water temperature, and ensure that it is within the recommended range. Also, ensure that the filter basket and portafilter are clean and that the coffee is tamped correctly.


If you notice a leak, first, unplug the machine and find the source of the leak. Check the water reservoir and ensure it is securely in place. Check the water lines and ensure they are connected as needed. Lastly, check the O-ring and valve and ensure that they are properly installed.

With so many flooring options to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your home. Our guide on different types of flooring explains the pros and cons of various flooring types to help you choose the perfect option for your space.


Overall, taking care of your Breville espresso machine doesn’t have to be complicated. Understanding the anatomy of your machine and common issues can simplify the maintenance process. In addition, taking care of your machine based on the manufacturer’s instructions can go a long way in ensuring that it continues to work efficiently. 

By following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you can fix common problems and enjoy your delicious espresso with ease. Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance can help your Breville espresso machine last for years to come.

Further Reading

For more information on troubleshooting and repairing your Breville espresso machine, check out some of these resources:

Best Espresso Coffee: A comprehensive guide on how to troubleshoot and repair common problems with your Breville espresso machine.

Jontic: A troubleshooting guide specifically for the Breville Sage Barista Pro espresso machine, including solutions for common errors and issues.

Coffee Technicians Guild: Top 10 tips for troubleshooting espresso machines, including Breville machines.


What should I do if my Breville espresso machine displays an error message?

First, check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website to understand what the error message means. You can then follow the troubleshooting steps provided to solve the issue or consult with a professional if necessary.

How often should I clean my Breville espresso machine?

It is recommended that you clean your machine after each use to ensure that it is in optimal condition. For regular cleaning, cleaning the group head, portafilter, and steam wand after every use is ideal. A more thorough deep clean should be done every 1-3 months, depending on usage.

What can I do if my Breville espresso machine is leaking?

Check the water reservoir, water lines, and O-ring and valve to ensure that everything is properly connected and tightened. If necessary, replace the faulty part or seek help from a professional.

What should I use to descale my Breville espresso machine?

It is recommended that you use a certified descaling solution for your Breville espresso machine to avoid any damage to the machine. Follow the instructions included with the descaling solution to ensure that you are using it correctly.

How can I ensure that I am getting the best possible espresso shot from my Breville espresso machine?

To get the best possible espresso shot, use freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them consistently. Ensure that the water temperature is within the recommended range and that the filter basket and portafilter are clean and properly tamped. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help your machine continue to produce high-quality espresso shots.