Why Do Coffee Machines Explode?

Today we are going to talk about a safety issue that surely worries many users: why do coffee machines explode? More specifically, Italian coffee machines, which are very popular for their simplicity and low price, but which also have this small – or large – drawback.

Accidents with this type of machine are relatively frequent, and there is even an intense – but unresolved – debate about why coffee machines explode.

Be that as it may, this is a problem that concerns security, and therefore needs to be addressed carefully. And the root of it is often obstruction; or, in other words, preventing the steam resulting from the process from being released in the most appropriate way to the outside.

Let’s get down to business:

Why do Italian coffee machines explode?

When we talk about exploding coffee machines, we mean in particular why Moka pots explode.

To understand this problem, it is necessary to understand how an Italian coffee maker works. You can review this in the article we have just linked to.

Here we summarise the elements involved in the safety of Moka Pots:

  • It is essential that the coffee maker is hermetically sealed to prevent leaks. To do this, it is essential that the two parts are perfectly screwed together, that they are not dented, and that the rubber seal is in perfect condition.
  • The ground coffee should not be over-compacted, to avoid clogging. Nor should we use anything other than coffee.
  • The safety valve is responsible for releasing excess steam and reducing the pressure inside the coffee machine. Never fill the boiler above the valve with water, because you could obstruct it and prevent it from doing its job.

Why did my coffee machine explode? Well, possibly because one of the aspects we have just mentioned has failed. And, as prevention is better than cure, we recommend that you never neglect the maintenance and cleaning of your coffee machine.

Another possible cause of the explosion of an Italian coffee machine is that we forget to put it on the fire. We explain this:

It may be that the safety valve works properly, but we must not forget that the valve also has a warning or alarm function. That is to say: when steam starts to escape from the valve, it means that the coffee machine is under overpressure and we must remove it from the fire immediately. If we are not careful and leave it to heat up, it will end up exploding.

When a coffee machine explodes it can go off in any direction, so be very careful. It can blow the cover, it can go up to the roof, it can break into pieces as you see in the previous picture, or it can hit the face of someone who is nearby. This is not to be taken lightly.