Congratulations! You've probably recently purchased, or perhaps received, a Sage espresso machine.
Why is the pressure in my Sage Barista Express not rising enough? Why don't I have a crema layer on my espresso from the Sage Barista Pro? If these are questions you also encounter, this is the right blog for you.
Setting up a Sage espresso machine is certainly not rocket science , but you do need to know what you're doing.
With this handy step-by-step plan, you can set up your Sage in no time and make the most delicious coffee.
Because a Sage Barista Express or a Sage Barista Pro is a semi-automatic machine with a built-in grinder, we assume that you are setting up a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Because you only have 1 grinder, we set it to the perfect espresso.
Do you want to set up a different type of espresso machine? Then read: how to make an espresso in 6 easy steps.
Setting up Sage coffee machine: What do you need?
- A Sage Barista Express or Sage Barista Pro .
- A (kitchen) scale .
- Possibly. a separate timer / the timer of your smartphone if you use the Sage Barista Express.
- Freshly roasted coffee beans.
- A cup (or more).
Set up step-by-step plan Sage coffee machine:
1. If your machine is on , your hopper is filled with coffee and your water tank is filled with water, we can start.
2. When setting up, use the double filter basket which is single-walled. With the dual wall, the name is on the bottom, so what is not on it is the single wall.
3. Weigh your piston/filter carrier on the scale and set it to 0 . Now dose 19 grams of coffee. This seems like a lot, so while grinding you can tap your portafilter back and forth a bit (left-right) so that the coffee can settle a bit more. Flatten/smooth a bit with your fingers and tamp with 20-30 kg of body weight.
4. If you use a Sage Barista Express , prepare a timer so that you can switch it on quickly. If you use a Barista Pro, this is not necessary because of the built-in timer in the LCD screen.
5. Before you secure your piston in the machine, briefly let the hottest water run out of the brewhead by pressing the double espresso button. Press again to stop the water.
6. When you secure your piston in the machine , place your cup underneath and press the button as quickly as possible for a double espresso.
7. When you press this button, you simultaneously press the button to start your timer (if using Barista Express). Stop the timer when the last drop has fallen into your cup.
- Now look at your time. Is this time under 22 seconds? Set your grinding degree a lot (you) finer. Is this time above 30 seconds? Set your grinding degree a bit (you) coarser.
NOTE: After adjusting your grind size: throw away 2 shots of grind, because there will always be some ground coffee left in your machine. This feels like a shame, I know, but otherwise you'll end up working longer and losing more coffee because your new grind setting doesn't quite match your new time.
- Weigh again 19 grams of coffee. With different degrees of grind, different amounts of coffee can come out in the same time. Repeat the step-by-step plan above (steps 1-7) and look at the time again. Adjust your grind to this until you reach between 22-30 seconds for a double espresso. After each adjustment of your grind size, first throw away some ground coffee and re-weigh your shot of 19 grams each time.
Have you found the ideal grind size? Then adjust your grind amount / grind time accordingly. With the Barista Pro this is in seconds, and see how many seconds it takes to get 19 grams every time.
Adjust this so you don't need a scale every time after this :-)
You always make the best coffee with a double espresso, thanks to the flat and even filter basket.
However, do you also want to use a single shot? Then dose a little more than half of a double. So think 10-11 grams per shot . Keep the grind the same...
Good luck and if you can't figure it out, send me an email to [email protected] !
Pro tip: is the finest grind still not fine enough for you? Check here how you can further calibrate the grinder.
VIDEO: Setting up Sage Barista Express
Making regular coffee with the Sage The Barista Express or Pro
Now of course you have followed all the steps I explained above. Yes! your first successful espresso is a fact. But you prefer a 'regular' coffee.
You make the regular coffee with a semi-automatic espresso machine like an Americano . So you first make the perfect espresso according to the above step-by-step plan.
Then press the hot water button of your Sage espresso machine and pour in some hot water.
So, now you have also made a nice regular coffee with your Sage coffee machine.
Read also: All 17 coffee types in a handy overview
Sage Barista Touch and Oracle Touch
With this Barista Touch and the Oracle Touch you can also follow almost all the steps above. With the Barista Touch you weigh 19 grams yourself, with the Oracle Touch this is done automatically.
The big difference with the Sage Barista Express and the Sage Barista Pro is that the Touch machines are adjusted for time instead of volume. Opt for espresso, double and then anywhere from 25 to 30 seconds.
Then measure your brewed double espresso in grams at the end: is the weight for a double shot between 40-60 grams?
Then you are right in terms of grind. Is it less? Then set your grinding degree a bit coarser and vice versa. Just follow the step-by-step plan!
Common problems with setting up your Sage Coffee Machine
- The ground coffee is too coarse, so that the water flows through the coffee too easily. You can also recognize this because the coffee is ready very quickly (the ideal brewing time for an espresso is +/- 20-30 seconds).
- There is coffee on the edge of the piston or in the brew group. As a result, the machine does not create a nice vacuum, so that the machine cannot build up pressure.
- The coffee beans in the machine are too old. Sage, and so do we, always recommend using freshly roasted coffee beans for your Espresso machine. If coffee gets too old, the solubility of the coffee is very high. As a result, the water runs through the coffee too easily and quickly, so that no counter pressure can be built up.
Completely descale the machine following the descaling cycle with Sage Descaler - it sounds like you've already taken this step! For the sake of completeness, I would recommend that you still do this step before the other steps below:
Unscrew the tip of the steam pipe and tap it on a surface that can withstand it, usually some mess comes out.
- Pierce the holes of the tips with a needle.