A Guide to Coffee Machine Lifespans and When to Upgrade

According to a recent study, the typical lifetime of a coffee machine is between 6 and 10 years depending on your make and model.

While the standard drip filter coffee machine averages the lowest lifespan at 6 years, the fully-automatic espresso machine vastly outweighs the competition with a life expectancy of a decade.

Now we know what your thinking, ten years is a ridiculously long time to keep a coffee machine, but if you’re needing a replacement after only a year, you may be going wrong somewhere.

Most brands won’t guarantee warranty any higher than 2 years, which means you can easily end up spending a fortune on new machines over time, especially if your not looking after them properly.

Nobody wants to spend hundreds of pounds on a state of the art mocha machine only for it to break down a couple of days after it’s warranty!

If you’re looking to get some miles out of your purchase, make sure to read the tips in this guide and avoid some common coffee machine mistakes!

Extending Your Coffee Machine’s Lifespan

There are several ways in which you can improve how long your coffee machine is with you, and many of them are as simple as basic maintenance.

Cleaning

If you didn’t know coffee machines need to be cleaned…

Surprise!

We just hope we’ve alerted you sooner rather than later.

Gunk, dust and nasty bacteria can easily build up in your coffee machine which can cause problems like overheating, calcium deposits and mould! Unsurprisingly, if you’re not doing a deep clean at least once a month, your machine isn’t going to last very long.

Make sure to read the cleaning instructions for your specific model to learn the best way to go about it.

Read Daily Espresso’s guide for cleaning and descaling bean-to-cups here.

Switching off

If you’re regularly leaving your coffee machine on all day, it’s not just energy that’s wasting away.

Continual electricity flow can have a damaging effect on your machine’s mechanics and wear them out in double-quick time!

Everyone’s guilty of doing it, especially when chugging a last-minute coffee is the last thing you do before darting out the house.

Most newly-released coffee machines include automatic shut-down features to stop the issue, but if you’re rocking an older model, make sure to keep an eye on the switch!

Using the wrong grind

Different coffee machines require different grinds, and if you’re habitually using the wrong ones, you’re going to do some hefty damage.

Not only can using the wrong grind ruin your coffee flavour but if you’re shoving a huge, chunky mixture into a machine when it’s designed for an ultra-fine grind, it’s naturally going to struggle to perform at an optimum level.

Make sure to look into what grind is best for your machine type.

ground coffee using the right grind in coffee machines

Oily beans

While your coffee beans might not look or feel oily when you pop them in the machine, ALL coffee beans have a level of oil within them.

Usually, the darker a batch of beans, the oilier they are. They may also have a richer, shinier coating than a lighter, drier bean.

When they are roasted, this oil rises to the surface and for some espresso machines, this can wreak havoc with their internal systems.

Excess oil residue can become sticky and gummy over time and can cause damage to common machine components such as the bean hopper and brew unit.

To avoid such issues, look into what level of oil and roast type best works with your individual coffee maker.

If you like the flavour of a dark, oilier bean but discover your machine works better with the opposite, don’t expect to get too much use out of your investment.

Capsule Cramming

We’ve all done it. You spend a ton of money on a pack of posh coffee capsules, you go to pop them in the machine and… they don’t fit.

Whatever you do – FIGHT the temptation to cram them in.

If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. Far too many people break their machines these days by using the wrong sized pods.

Certain pods not being compatible with your machine is always a pain, but would you rather waste £12 quid on a pack of capsules or hundreds of pounds when you suddenly need a new coffee machine?

Not enough in the tank

Your coffee machine might be smart, but unfortunately, some are brighter than others and they can’t always tell how much water they’ve got in the tank.

If your machine is dehydrated and you go ahead and push its buttons, it’s still going to try and pump the tank for a preset amount of time. But with not enough water inside, the pump will draw air into the system instead, creating air pressure inside the machine’s mechanics.

If you do this enough times, it’s only a matter of time before your going to run into some problems.

When To Upgrade Your Current Machine

If all of the above isn’t news to you, then you’ve likely gotten some life out of your faithful machine.

And if your coffee machine really is the pride and joy of your home then you’ve probably kept it running for a good five years or more.

But when is it time to part ways with the old flame, and make way for a new exciting machine in your life?

It can be hard to say goodbye to a trusted servant, but if you’re running into any of the problems below, it might be time to finally say goodbye.

It’s broken…

Ahem.

We don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but if your coffee machine is noticeably struggling or malfunctioning over the most basic of tasks – it may be time to get rid.

Everyone’s been guilty of hanging onto a broken appliance a little too long, but you don’t need to be a genius to realise these problems will get worse in no time at all.

Leaks become floods, cracks become crevices and pumps dry up faster than the Sahara if you push back an upgrade. Sooner or later, everyone’s going to stop coming round for a cuppa!

Unless your machine is still in warranty or incredibly expensive, it’s probably not worth seeking a repair.

Some coffee machine repair services can cost between £60 and £250 depending on your model and so it might end up being cheaper to just buy another!

It’s outdated

Congratulations! Your rigorous maintenance schedule has helped your coffee machine survive a whole decade.

But while extending the lifespan of your machine is incredibly important, after a certain amount of time, you might start to notice your model is MILES behind the competition.

These days the world wants to know how their coffee was grown, processed, roasted and brewed as caffeine cravers chase the ultimate speciality coffee.

Everyone is finetuning their personal preferences as technology advances and you need to make sure you can accommodate everyone’s fancy orders.

If your coffee maker doesn’t cut the mustard when Grandma starts asking for Macchiato’s and Cortado’s, you’ll know it’s time to make the change.

Your coffee is colder

Ice-cool coffee is pretty popular these days but if your machine can’t serve a standard hot coffee anymore, can it really be any good?

The heating elements of a coffee machine can wear out over time and you can begin to spot this early if your model is churning out weak, under-extracted brews with a sour taste.

Pod problems

The rise of the pod machine has seen millions of people ditch beans for the convenience of the capsule over the last decade.

However, if you’ve had your pod machine for an especially long time, you might find that getting the right pods for your machine is getting more and more difficult. Nespresso has recently discontinued four of their single-origin blends for instance.

That’s because most coffee brands are constantly updating and discontinuing types of pods to make way for new ones. So in the blink of an eye, you may be unable to purchase your favourite selection.

To avoid this problem, we’d suggest ditching a pod machine altogether and going for a more reliable bean to cup machine.

You’re in demand

While your old single-serve coffee machine might be fantastic when you fancy a quick brew, it can quickly become a real pain if you’re the dinner party type.

If your guests all fancy a cuppa at once, getting the best out of your faithful caffeine servant can be a huge time consumer and no one likes a host who spends the whole night in the kitchen.

Plenty of coffee machines these days allow you to serve up to two at once and making the switch might encourage you to stop avoiding the tea and coffee rounds!

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