Tips: Breville coffee burr grinder and brewer

If you know me you know I live for coffee.

I get the freshest beans possible from multiple sources: air dropped from Coffee Fool, Larry’s Beans super-secret warehouse (where you can buy 2.2 lb bags, yes I drink enough to go through that!), Oak City Roasters (when you can find the garage door open, not very often), and Cafe de los Muertos, my fav place to drink it when I dare to leave my cave.  Muertos sells Oak City, and roasts their own in-house pretty regularly.  One time they didn’t want to sell it to me because it was freshly roasted and needed to settle for 3 days – that’s what I’m talking about here.  TOO FRESH.

So yeah, we are talking pots-per-day here.  When my Breville goes on the fritz, I get those caffeine jitters Robert Young always warned us about.  The Breville has a round steel platter with a single rectangular hole.  The hole is over the grinds chute during grinding, letting the grinds through to the hopper, then rotates after grinding to separate the grinder from the steam that comes up from the hot grinds in the hopper.  Pretty smart.

With the volume of coffee I ram through this thing though, it is only a matter of time before that platter becomes caked with grinds tar.  That happened today, to the point where the platter stopped rotating properly.  The grinder sounds like a freight train, and with the grind chute blocked due to the platter not rotating, today it sounded like a seriously wounded freight train squealing to its death.  I’m sure the motor would have burned out if I let it try to go the whole cycle.  I had to get the platter unstuck.

I tried to find a disassembly guide to remove the platter, and found out that most of the machine is hot-glued together, making repair difficult.  In the end, I cleaned the whole thing of beans and grinds, then sprayed soapy suds all over the platter.  I turned the machine on, locked down the bean hopper, and closed the door, so the plate would attempt to rotate closed.   Then I opened the door and unlocked the hopper, so it would rotate open again.  I repeated this several times.  Then I wiped it all down very well and repeated with clean water.  After a few more rotations, I sprayed canola oil all around the plate, and repeated more open/close rotations.  I wiped down around the edges of the platter, that tar kept squeezing out in little bits.  I found that if you over-rotated the plate to the left, past the chute, then when the machine went to rotate the plate back to the right, it would KNOW that it was off, and rotate it ALL THE WAY AROUND to the left.  Sweet!  Gently holding a paper towel in the hole as it did a full rotation allowed me to get the back side of the plate pretty clean.  Clean enough to get it all working again.  All is full of light.