Sage Barista Pro Advice for New Users

The Sage Barista Pro is one of the best coffee machines out there for those looking to advance their coffee making skills. However, it can take some time to get to grips with the machine, especially if you don’t have much experience in making high-level coffee.

With that in mind, we asked a couple of devoted Sage Barista users what advice they would give to someone who has just bought a Sage Barista Pro and wants to make the perfect coffee. Here’s what they had to say.

Sage Barista Pro Advice From Wayne Williams

1. First notes, dial in the grinder for each bean. Don’t be afraid to throw away some bad shots.
2. Don’t dump a bag in the hopper and hope for the best. Measure each dose entirely by weight and drop in before grinding. Timed grinding imprecise.
3. When finished grinding kick the grinder on for a few seconds and lift the corner of the hopper and slam it up and down a few times. This will push air through the grinder and lower the retention so you’re dosing the right amount.
4. See if there’s a manual mode. On my Pro, I can press and hold either of the dose buttons to start a manual timed shot. I usually pre-infuse for 6 seconds, then let go of the button to continue running a normal shot. But because I’m in manual mode I have to press the button again to stop it. So I wait till my scale reads twice what my dose is and then stop the flow.
5. If you like larger drinks get a bottomless portafilter and a IMS basket. The quality of the basket holes are much better and it will hold more coffee as well. It just doesn’t fit int he stock portafilter without removing the plastic insert. The stock basket does 15-17g for the double non-pressurised basket. The IMS does 21-23g.
6. Get a 3D printed plastic dosing funnel it will help when filling the basket and keep you from wasting good coffee. (They’re cheap)
7. If you like milk drinks, learn to make proper micro foam. It’s super easy once you get the hang of it and you’ll be making latte art like a pro. Plus it looks baller when you serve drinks to your friends
Some resources:
YouTube – Hoon’s Coffee, he works a lot with the Barista Pro and Express, has tons of educational videos.
James Hoffman, he will teach you amazing things about espresso and coffee in general if you want to completely nerd out.
Lance Hendrick, former world latte art champion. Has a few Sage Barista Pro and double boiler videos specifically showing you all the steps to make and improve your latte art.

PHEW! I hope that was enough? Can you tell I love my machine, also that I’m a weird coffee person?

Sage Barista Pro Advice From Howard Madia

My advice has to do with the upkeep and operation of the machine. If you are interested, read on. Please note that whatever I say is based on my experience with the Barista Express, so some may not apply to your machine.
First of all, assuming it has the same grinder as the Barista Express, pay attention to the amount of grind that the grinder dispenses. I have had the Barista Express for close to two years.
A few months ago I found that the grinder is inconsistent in the amount of grind that it dispenses. Since then, I don’t keep any beans in the hopper. I simply weigh the beans and the put them into the hopper to grind when I want to make an espresso or latte.
For the first few times you may get less than what you put in, because some beans are stuck inside, and some grounds are retained by the grinder. But after that, you’d get out what you put in. Maybe your machine has a better control mechanism and does not have that problem. In that case, I envy you.
Second, get a proper tamper. In my case, the one that comes with the machine is about 1.5 mm smaller than the filter. If yours fits snuggly, then please ignore this.
Third, use filtered water, e.g. Brita. It improves the taste of the coffee and promotes the longevity of the parts.
Fourth, clean your machine more regularly than the machine’s cleaning light (or however yours indicates the need for cleaning) suggests. Do it once every three months at least. Again, it helps to head off troubles.
I use a descaling powder to clean the whole system from the water tank to the group head, steam wand and the water dispenser. I use Cafiza tablets for the back flush cleaning (my machine’s cleaning process) once I used up the tablets that came with the machine. Use whatever appropriate cleaning agent you like, just clean the whole system from top to bottom every time.