The portafilter attaches to the top of the machine (the grouphead) and holds the coffee grounds which will produce your espresso.
The basket sits in the portafilter and holds the ground coffee.
Once ground coffee is in the basket, the basket cap should be placed just above the coffee and helps to keep it in place throughout the brewing process.
The chimney ensures that the steam generated inside the upper boiler is channeled away safety, whilst catching any water droplets and returning them to the upper boiler.
The grouphead is the section at the top of the machine to which the portafilter attaches.
Heat exchanger coil
The job of the heat exchanger coil is to cool the water from the boiler from 179ºC to 100ºC. It does this because it’s surrounded by boiling water, which is much cooler than the water in the boiler. After passing through the heat exchanger coil the water then passes through the fin heat exchanger, which further cools it to 93ºC, at which point it comes into contact with the coffee grounds.
The boiler o-ring seals the water into the boiler, which allows it to build up pressure. When it reaches sufficient pressure, the valve pin in the machine opens and the water moves up into the heat exchanger coil.
Without the boiler o-ring the machine wont build up sufficient pressure to open the valve. To preserve the o-ring, be sure to press the pressure release tab on the safety valve before unscrewing the boiler, once the machine has cooled down after brewing.
The boiler is the base of the machine, where you put the water for your coffee.
As the name suggests, the safety valve is a safety device which prevents the machine from running at excess pressure. If water isn’t able to flow out of the boiler, either because the machine has been heated too quickly or because there’s a blockage in the flow path, the safety valve will open and release the pressure from inside the machine. The safety valve is positioned on the boiler. If you think you have an issue with your safety valve, this article will help.
Another safety device, the safety ring is the golden ring which forms part of the safety valve. If the machine is left on the heat without any water in the boiler, most commonly after a brewing cycle, the safety ring will activate. When it does this the small silver dot, which is solder, will melt and prevent the machine from building up pressure. If this happens, you simply need to replace the safety ring.
Pressure release tab
The pressure release tab is part of the safety valve, and provides a way to neutralise the pressure which remains in the boiler after brewing. This makes the boiler much easier to unscrew and also protects the boiler o-ring, so once the machine has cooled down, be sure to lift or pull it after each cycle.
Please note, the machine will be extremely hot after brewing, although the handles will be cool. You can either leave the machine to cool naturally, or hold the handles and run it under cold water to cool it down quickly. Only once it’s cool should you lift the pressure release tab.
Heat transfer plate and induction plate
The heat transfer plate, and the induction plate (if using an induction stove) help to ensure that heat is transferred efficiently to the machine from the stove. Each plate is required when using, respectively, a gas or induction stove. The heat transfer plate is also required if you’re struggling to make your machine work on another type of stove. Be sure to leave the plate to cool naturally after brewing, and never leave on the heat without the 9Barista. Cooling with water or pre-heating may cause damage, rendering the plate ineffective.
The heating time is the time your machine takes to start producing espresso, from the time it’s put on the heat to the time that espresso begins to appear in the portafilter. The heating time needs to be between 3 and 6 minutes. The most important thing to note is that the machine mustn’t be left on the heat for more than 8 minutes, even if it’s not produced coffee. If this is happening, our troubleshooting section has information on how to resolve it.
The extraction time is the time it takes for espresso to fill the portafilter, from the time it first appears to when it stops flowing. We recommend an extraction time of 25 – 30 seconds. If it’s faster than that, you’ll need to grind your coffee more finely and if it’s slower you’ll need to grind more coarsely.