If you’re thinking of getting an espresso machine then you might be wondering whether or not they are dangerous.

This article will show you the dangers of espresso machines and how to reduce them.

So, are espresso machines dangerous? Espresso machines make espresso with hot and pressurized water which could be dangerous if it is not used correctly. They also feature milk steamers that blow hot steam out of them which could cause injury if you let it come into contact with your skin.

Despite this, most people are able to use espresso machines without any issues and you can greatly reduce the risks of using espresso machines by using them exactly how they are designed to be used.

Dangers of espresso machines

Below, I will talk about the potential dangers that you could face with espresso machines and what you can do to avoid them.

Pressurized water

To create espresso the machine will push hot and pressurized water through a portafilter that contains the coffee grind.

If the machine becomes damaged then it could cause the hot water to create too much pressure or for the hot water to be forced out of the wrong parts of the machine.

This is why it is important to maintain the machine properly and to replace certain parts of the machine as they age.

You can read this post about how to maintain the espresso machine in the longer term.

Hot water

The water used to make espresso will usually be around 200 Fahrenheit which is hot enough to cause burns if it comes into contact with your skin.

To avoid letting this happen it’s important that you ensure that you are careful when holding the cup with hot espresso in it and that you have the cup set properly when pouring the espresso.

Espresso machines will often also have hot water dispensers that you can use to make Americano or long black. The same safety precautions would apply to using the hot water dispenser as when making the espresso.

Milk steamer

Espresso machines also contain milk steamers that can get hot and push out hot steam.

To avoid getting injured using them it is important not to touch the wand when it is hot and to set it into place before using it. It’s also important not to allow the steam to come into contact with you and to be careful when handling the hot milk.

Bacteria in the espresso

If the espresso machine is not properly maintained then it could result in harmful bacteria making its way into the espresso.

This can be avoided by regularly cleaning the machine and by backflushing the machine as shown in the video a few sections down.

How to reduce the danger of espresso machines

There are a number of things that you can do to prevent espresso machines from being dangerous.

Only use water

Many people have asked whether or not they can use liquids other than water to make the espresso. While it is ok to add things such as milk after the espresso has already been made it is important that you put water into the machine to make the espresso.

The machine will be specifically designed to produce espresso using water. If you use a liquid that isn’t water then you could cause damage to the machine and you could cause bacteria to develop inside of the machine which could cause the espresso to contain germs.

Avoid touching the milk steamer or letting the steam touch you

The milk steamer is something that you will likely use a lot when using an espresso machine and it can be easy not to think about what you’re doing after having used it many times.

However, it is important that you ensure that you avoid allowing the steam to come into contact with you and that you make sure to avoid touching the steaming wand when it is hot.

Maintain the machine properly

In order to prevent the machine from becoming dangerous, it is important to maintain it properly.

This means that it will be necessary to regularly backflush the machine which is where you put a portafilter that contains a basket that doesn’t have holes inside and you run the machine for five seconds five to ten times over.

You can watch the video below to see how it is done.

In addition to that, it will be necessary to clean the machine and to replace parts as they start to degrade or become damaged as gets talked about in this post.

Avoid using beans that are out of date

Coffee beans can lose their freshness quickly. It is generally recommended to use coffee beans within three weeks of having been roasted otherwise they will lose their freshness.

In addition to that if the coffee beans are very old then they could become moldy and using them will not only pose a health risk but it could also cause the machine to get damaged and for bad bacteria to develop in the machine.


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