We have had our Gaggia Brera for over 2 years and loved it until now. When we turn on the espresso machine, it runs normally until we press one of the buttons to brew coffee. It sounds like it is grinding the beans, then the red warning light comes on saying the bean hopper is empty and the process stops. We can brew pre-ground coffee just fine, the steamer works and we can get hot water. We have cleaned the brew group quite well and lubricate it as suggested. Any ideas what to do? We miss our machine!!!
With the symptoms you've reported, I suspect there is either a clog in/around the grinder, or that the beans are simply unable to make their way into the grinder from the hopper. At the most basic level, I'd suggest removing all of the beans from the hopper, removing the plastic finger guard "dome" from the center (it's held in by a single philips head screw), and then vacuuming out the center (easily done using a small hand attachment for a vacuum, or simply a bare nozzle pressed flush against the center). This would help clear out anything that might have accumulated there. From there, you can try wiping down the hopper in a two-step pass to remove excess oils and spread the remaining around evenly--use a damp cloth (not soaking wet) and wipe across the entire hopper, then dry it with a dry cloth/towel.
For re-assembly, you don't even necessarily need to reinstall the plastic dome, as it may be catching on the beans you're using and holding them back, depending on how sticky or oily they are. If you choose to leave it out, place it in a plastic sandwich bag and try to avoid poking fingers into the running grinder for largely obvious reasons.
You can try putting beans into the hopper again once everything is completely dry.. Repair is your next step if the problem persists.01-01-14 04:40PM
HI Sanfam ~
We had already tried what you suggested and it didn't help. Something I neglected to originally mention was this is an intermittent problem. It'll work for a week or so and then after the beans are ground, the red warning light comes on telling us the bean hopper is empty and the process stops. I don't know if this makes a difference or not but thought I ought to mention it.
So any other thoughts? If not and repair is the only other answer, where do we find a Gaggia repair person?01-26-14 08:52PM