Have you ever been to a coffee shop where the espresso machine seems to be the most noticeable noise in the room? Although this noise may seem a little irritating, there are good reasons why espresso machines are so loud.
Most espresso machines grind their beans and steam and froth milk for specific beverages; both processes will result in a certain level of noise made.
Do you have a loud espresso machine at home and are concerned that the sounds it makes aren’t “typical”? Are you interested in the process of making an espresso?
This article will provide you with a plethora of information regarding espresso machines and the noises they make.
Why are Espresso Machines So Loud? (6 Most Common Reasons)
While we all prefer a little peace when preparing our morning espresso or waiting in line for our caffeine jolt before heading to work, some things are out of our control.
Even with modern technology and advancements that keep appliances and other daily products quiet, some are still out there that require loud sounds to perfect the job.
Some reasons an espresso machine makes noises are very common and required; other reasons may have a solution to reduce the unwanted sounds.
- Grinding the Beans
- Frothing the Milk
- Brewing the coffee
- Broken parts
- Clogged valves
- Pump Problems
The list above shows the top 6 common culprits of a noisy espresso maker. Now we will get into a little more detail as to why they make so much sound and whether or not it should be cause for concern.
Grinding the Beans
As you can imagine grinding whole coffee beans isn’t a silent task. Most espresso machines have their own grinders and prepare the coffee beans for each use, creating a full-flavor and fresh espresso.
When you grind coffee beans, whole beans are placed into an attached machine, similar to a blender) chopping away at the bean until it is finely ground up, providing the best way possible to extract the robust ingredients.
Frothing and Steaming Milk
Many people love the frothed (or steamed) milk that sits on top of a freshly prepared espresso or cappuccino. Espresso machines come with steam wands to get the smooth, silky, and bubbly consistency in milk.
When preparing these beverages, you slowly push the steam wand into your cup of milk; it will begin breaking down the fats in the milk, expanding them, and creating micro-bubbles.
The steaming process is fascinating, and it prepares a flavorful, rich addition to your espresso. However, it can get a little noisy.
Espressos require a substantial amount of brewing to extract the bold and robust flavors from the coffee beans. While not all espresso machines make a lot of noise during this process, some can.
The noisest part of the brewing process is towards the end when the last drops of water and coffee emerge from the pot, and the compressed air and steam are finally being released.
If your espresso machine’s noise seems more mechanical, it may be from loosening or broken parts. There are a lot of jobs placed on an espresso machine, requiring many pieces and accessories.
If your espresso machine is clanging, jiggling, or sounds like metal hitting metal, it would be a good idea to look over the machine from top to bottom. Ensure all tubes, valves, connectors, and other removable parts are securely attached.
If you are concerned about the sounds coming from your espresso machine, a great place to check is the valves and block. If the valves are clogged up or stuck open, this will release built-up steam, causing a loud sound to escape.
If your thermal block (aka boiler) is clogged up, it will force the machine pump to work much harder, creating a loud and annoying sound.
If the pump isn’t performing correctly and the pressure is too high, this will create a lot of noise. If you cannot adjust the pressure, there may be damage somewhere in the pump, and it needs to be repaired or replaced.
How to Reduce Loud Noises in an Espresso Machine
Unfortunately, we can not suggest a silent espresso machine; some of these sounds are just par for the course. However, you can do a few different things to reduce the noise to make preparing your favorite drinks a little less frustrating.
First and foremost, keeping up on machine maintenance is the number one way to reduce any unnecessary noises coming from an espresso machine.
Keep up cleaning all of the parts and pieces thoroughly inside and out. The directions on machine maintenance will be different based on the type of espresso machine you have. Hence, you should refer to the owner’s manual to get proper care instructions.
Things you should be checking on a noisy machine includes:
If any of these parts are broken or damaged, repairing them should eliminate the noise issue. You can find these parts at most home improvement or hardware stores, or you can find them on the manufacturer’s website.
An example of a quick fix that you can try is checking the feet on your espresso machine to make sure the vibration hasn’t loosened them. This may cause them to wiggle around the countertop more.
Purchase a Thick Mat
Sometimes the most obnoxious sounds related to an espresso machine come from issues as simple as wiggling around on the countertop.
Some of the steps to creating a delicious espresso require hard work from the machine, which can cause a lot of wiggling and movement. If this happens on top of a solid surface, there will be unnecessary noise.
The best solution (and cheapest) is to purchase a thick mat to place underneath the machine, creating a barrier between the movement of the appliance and the surface beneath it.
Purchase Pre-Ground Coffee Beans
The loudest natural noise from an espresso maker is during the bean grinding process. If this sound annoys you, simply purchase pre-ground coffee beans, skilling this step entirely.
Many stores and online shops sell pre-ground specialty coffees that are made explicitly for creating delicious espressos without the hassle of grinding the beans yourself.
Turn up the Music
Sometimes we just have to sacrifice a little to enjoy the finer things in life. So instead of getting frustrated with the extra sounds coming from your espresso maker, drown them out.
As long as nothing is mechanically wrong with your machine, turn up the music and maybe even dance around the kitchen, improving your moods and boosting your metabolism while waiting for your drink.
So, Is it Normal for Espresso Makers to Make Noise?
To some degree, it is totally normal for an espresso maker to make vibrating, grinding, and blending sounds. You may hear the brewing process with some brands, and you may not listen to it with others.
As long as your machine is working correctly, their noises are probably nothing to worry about.