Breville Barista Express Under Extraction: How to Fix It?

Drinking coffee and making coffee both are fun until the coffee is not under extraction. Who doesn’t like Barista Express? Have you ever encountered the condition when your coffee is under extraction?

How do you come out of this situation? Do you know how to fix the under-extracted coffee? If you are not, no worries, this blog post has detailed information to better deal with this situation.

Let’s begin with what is Breville?

What is Breville?

Breville is a brand, straight from Australia, consisting of small home appliances, and it was founded in 1932, Sydney.  It is famous for home appliances, coffee machines, blenders, toasters, kettles, microwaves, and toaster ovens.

As of 2016, the company also produces Nespresso coffee machines, such as the “creates,” and distributes other Nespresso goods in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, including the Inissia, Vertuo, and Citiz series of machines.

Breville sells its products in more than 70 countries, including China, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, and Israel. Firstly, Breville was introduced in Canada and the United States in 2002. The brand was relaunched in 2010 in the UK under the name “Sage by Heston Blumenthal.”

Initially promoted by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, but later rebranded as “Sage” and sold in European countries. This company makes kettles, contact grills, pressure cookers, and food processors, etc.

●    Breville Barista Express

The Barista Express permits you to grind the beans right before extraction for maximum flavor and precise temperature control that delivers the best espresso possible extraction. With manual microfoam milk texturing, you can be as hands-on as a barista and produce authentic café-style results in no time.

Breville barista express has other useful functions as well. It allows precise espresso extraction because digital temperature control supplies water at precisely the right temperature.


Let’s dive into the essence of the topic: how to fix Barista Express.

Ways to Fix Breville Barista Express Under Extraction

So, it appears that your taste buds and coffee machine are both haunted by a disappointingly weak cup of coffee. What choices do you have to deal with it? The following are the best strategies to avoid under extraction in your next cup of coffee:

●    Consider a Finer Grind

It’s conceivable that your coffee grinds are too coarse, allowing water to seep through the cracks. It’s not even a friendly visit to learn about the bean flavor. Rude! Increase the fineness of the grind to test if it provides the intended impact.

●    Hotter Brew

If the water isn’t hot enough, the flavors won’t be extracted adequately, leaving you with hot water that tastes like it’s been in the proximity of coffee grounds. The more accessible and more complete the flavor extraction is when the water is heated. However, don’t use hot water because it will extract too rapidly and spoil the flavor.

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●    Brew For a Longer Time

It’s possible to have the perfect grind and water temperature and still have a disappointing cup of coffee. You’ll be left with a coffee that doesn’t taste well if the water leaves before it has completed its task of dissolving all of the flavors. To allow the water to absorb flavors thoroughly, try brewing for a longer time.

Please don’t keep it in for too long, or you’ll over-extract it, which can cause a whole other set of issues.

●    Use Fewer Coffee Grounds

Your problem may stem from the fact that you have so many coffee grounds packed into one space that you’re choking out the water, causing it to half-dissolve rather than fully dissolve the correct amount of grounds.

The golden ratio of ground coffee is one to two tablespoons to every six ounces of water, and while it can be adjusted to suit your tastes, you must be careful not to add too much or too little.

●    Clean Your Filters And Coffee Machine Parts And Use Fresh Water where Applicable

If your equipment and water aren’t up to snuff, your coffee will suffer. Cleaning and descale instructions are usually included with coffee equipment and how often these tasks must be completed. It’s best to use fresh, filtered water for water.

Allow a few seconds for the water to run before using it for coffee if you’re using the tap.

Basics of Espresso Extraction

Espresso extraction is a delicate balancing act in which you aim to bring out the flavors that emerge between over and under-extraction.

So you need to know what exactly happens when you extract espresso?

By dissolving acids and fats first, waterworks as a solvent to extract flavor from coffee beans. Coffee’s sour aromas come from acids, while fats and oils give it body. The water then dissolves sugars in the beans, which gives coffee its sweetness.

Finally, the coffee bean’s plant fibers dissolve and give bitterness. The idea is to find the sweet spot, where you get precisely the proper amount of flavor out of the beans to make a syrupy, sweet-tasting espresso.

However, before you can extract a perfect shot of espresso, you need to know the difference between the two extractions you should avoid. These include;

Over- Extraction

When you extract too many tastes from your coffee, it becomes harsh and bitter, with a balanced flavor profile on the palate. The dry texture of over-extracted espresso is similar to that of drinking unsweetened black iced tea.  So, what could be the reasons for this?

  • Your grind may be too coarse. As a result, the water will flow through the coffee more quickly than is desirable for proper extraction.
  • Your extraction time may be too long. When water is poured through coffee for longer than it should, more plant fibers that cause bitterness are extracted.
  • You’re not drinking nearly enough coffee. If you take your dose too low, it will cause an imbalance in your body.
  • There is a possibility that the water you added can be too hot, and it can burn your coffee and make it bitter in the end.


When you don’t get enough flavor out of your coffee, it tastes sour and lacks the sweetness you expect in an espresso. The tastes you extract will also fade fast rather than lasting as they would in a well-crafted shot.

People frequently mix up under extraction with the acidity they seek in espresso. However, rather than bringing out brightness, inadequate extraction causes a lip-puckering sensation. So, what could be causing this?

  • Your grind may be too fine. Water moves slowly through the coffee, causing uneven extraction.
  • It’s possible that your extraction time is insufficient, or you pulled the shot too quickly. In either case, you’ll end up with a sour shot since you won’t be able to extract the coffee’s fats and sugars.
  • Maybe you’re consuming far too much caffeine. If your dose is too high, the water-to-coffee ratio becomes unbalanced.
  • Your water is too cold to drink. It will prevent the coffee from fully extracting.
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What Causes an Espresso Shot to Extract Unevenly?

If you don’t evenly distribute the coffee in your portafilter, the extraction will be uneven. It can happen in many different ways, such as;

  • You used an uneven tamping technique. It allows excess water to collect on one side of the grounds, extracting one-half more water than the other.
  • You have an uneven distribution of water. If you think about pour-over methods, if you leave half of the grounds dry after pouring water on the other half, you’ll get a lousy cup of coffee. The same can be said about espresso. It’s essential to have even water distribution to get the most out of your coffee.
  • You’ve agitated the ground, and even if you tamp your espresso properly, hitting it on something or tapping its side with your tamper before tamping can damage the grounds within the portafilter. Broken or agitated grounds can retain water in the coffee’s cracks, causing certain areas to be extracted more than others.

What are the Ways to Adjust Espresso Extraction?

When it comes to changing the extraction of your espresso, you have a lot of alternatives. That might be overwhelming, especially during hectic times of the day when you don’t have much time to dial in a shot that isn’t cooperating.

Here are some ways through you can start making changes to help speed up the process:

Grind to Your Desired Consistency

When making an espresso shot, finely grind your coffee. Grind and discard a few ounces of coffee in small installments, then cleanse the throat of your grinder between each adjustment. This method will allow your grinder to adjust while also clearing off any previously ground coffee.

Adjust Extraction Time

Let’s suppose you pull a 22-second espresso shot, and it comes out under-extracted. Increasing your espresso’s extraction time to 23 or 24 seconds will drastically alter the flavor. The same can be said about reducing the extraction time.

Increase or Decrease the Dosage

The time it takes for water to flow through the grounds and extract the coffee is directly proportional to the amount of coffee you use. If your dose is too high, the coffee will be under-extracted, resulting in a sour shot.

Adjusting the amount in small increments can drastically transform the flavor profile of your espresso, whether you want to remedy an under-extracted or over-extracted shot.

If none of these minor adjustments improve your espresso extraction, it’s time to hunt for a new espresso machine. Here’s what you should do next:

Adjust the temperature of the water

Water temperatures between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for producing a well-crafted shot of espresso. If the temperature of your water is higher than this, your espresso will over-extract and taste burnt.

If your water is too cold, your espresso will be under-extracted. Check your espresso machine’s temperature indicator to see if your water temperature is outside this ideal range. Your boilers didn’t heat up because you haven’t used your machine recently, there’s a problem with your boilers, or someone mistakenly modified your machine’s water temperature.

Most higher-end espresso machines allow you to adjust the temperature on your own. Because each machine is a little different, see the handbook for quickly altering the water temperature.

Adjust the Water Pressure

When it comes to espresso extraction, water pressure is crucial, and espresso machines work best with nine bars of pressure. It is equivalent to the weight of air at sea level, 130 PSI more significant than the pressure in car or bicycle tyres, or 10% of the pressure exerted by a standard pressure washer.

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You must know which way to set the water pressure in your espresso machine because it will either make your shot extract faster or slower. It will be tough to pull off a good shot if the angle is too low or high. Stop changing the water pressure on your espresso machine when it hits nine bars.

Check the Roast Date on Your Coffee

Have you had a slower-than-usual period in recent weeks? If this is the case, your coffee may sit for longer than usual. Older coffee may begin to extract differently than new coffee, losing its sweetness and well-rounded flavor.

The same can be said about coffee that has been roasted within the past five days. Coffee that is too fresh will continue to off-gas, making it difficult to make a shot that is as flavorful and rich as you want. These shots will usually land flat on the tongue.

If you still have any queries popping up in your mind, you can jump on the frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

●    What is an Espresso Taste Like?

Properly extracted espresso will have a sweet, rich flavor, a big body, complex acidity, and a long finish. You can only make a balanced and pleasant shot by evenly removing coffee’s acids, fats, and sugars.

The specific flavor notes can vary depending on the coffee used, but even the best coffee might taste bad if extracted wrongly.

●    Is There Any Use For Coffee That Hasn’t Been Fully Extracted?

Perhaps your efforts to make the perfect cup have resulted in a slew of less-than-ideal coffees, and you’re at a loss on what to do. Sure, you could flush them down the toilet, but that’s a massive waste that’s also quite upsetting to see, especially when there are methods to utilize these off-kilter beverages instead of throwing them out.

  • Don’t throw anything out, and try using half the amount of water you used previously on the same beans. In some circumstances, if you increase the time it brews, you may extract the rest of the taste.

If you’re using an electric brewer, this is the solid or another similar-sounding setting. To see if it helps, taste them separately and then together.

  • Make ice cubes for iced coffee by freezing them. Rather than watering down your iced coffee with water-based ice cubes, store your under-extracted coffee in ice trays for later use and eliminate that watery coffee.
  • Blended drinks, such as a frappé, can be made using it. The other ingredients may help balance out the coffee’s flavor, and the blending or whipping will offer an airy sense.

Extra flavors, such as Frappe, serve to balance out the coffee flavor.

  • If that’s your thing, add more milk, sugar, and flavored coffee creamer. For those who enjoy a little something extra in the coffee, the sourness of under-extracted coffee can be combated by adding more of whatever you usually do.

Cut the sweetness of a coffee that is too sweet. If you or your barista underestimated the amount of sweetness to add to your coffee and it came out too sweet, consider adding some under-extracted coffee to balance it out.

It is excellent for brewing a hot cup of coffee in a coffee maker or pour-over.

Our Summary

Even coffee experts are often stuck in an odd situation of under-extraction coffee and find no way to come out of this.

Therefore, this article has shed light on the ways of fixing the under-extraction coffee. So, from now on, instead of getting panicked or wasting the Barista Express coffee, you can use the ways mentioned above and make your coffee-making process successful.

It would help if you didn’t go without a cup of coffee craving; so, follow the ways and cheer up the yummiest cup of Barista Express.