Learn how to maintain the drip tray, dreg drawer, and brew unit for the Gaggia Accademia, as well as how to lubricate and how to understand maintenance alerts.
Drip Tray, Dreg Drawer & Brew Unit Maintenance on the Gaggia Accademia Espresso Machine
Maintenance Alerts & Icons
When it comes to maintenance of the Gaggia Accademia, one of the best features is the color display with dedicated icons that lets you know when, where, and why your machine needs attention.
Some of the most common alerts include:
- "REFILL WATER TANK"
- "ADD COFFEE"
- "EMPTY DRIP TRAY AND COFFEE GROUNDS DRAWER"
- "INSERT GROUNDS DRAWER AND DRIP TRAY"
- "INSERT BREW GROUP"
- Perform a descaling cycle
External Drip Tray
If and when the Accademia shows the "EMPTY DRIP TRAY AND COFFEE GROUNDS DRAWER" alert, you should first locate the external drip tray, which is located at the bottom portion of the front of the machine and covered by a steel grate cover. The cover utilizes two magnets to hold the steel component in place, so give it a tug and it will pop off.
Once the cover has been removed, the black plastic insert will be exposed. You can lift the entire insert out of the machine. You should also notice bright red float, which serves the purpose of letting you know when the drip tray is ready to be emptied. This is because the float is buoyant and rises up as water accumulates. It's recommended that you get in the habit of emptying the drip tray whenever you see the float bobbing.
The drip tray can hold 10 ounces, and will fill up rather quickly if you're dispensing a lot of water into it. To slow the accumulation of water in the drip tray, its recommended that you always keep a cup under your brew spouts to catch some of the water dispensed by your machine during the routine rinsing cycles that occur when powering on and powering off. By doing this, you can dump the contents in the cup more frequently and much easier, while also reducing the frequency of having the empty the entire drip tray.
Internal Drip Tray & Dreg Drawer
When it comes to the internal components of the Accademia, there is a small button on the middle of the far-left side of the machine's front panel that you can press to swing the door open and reveal the inside of the machine.
Inside the Accademia, there are steel hinges that hold everything together, as well as an assembly along the left side and bottom that contains the dreg drawer and an internal drip tray.
The dreg drawer is located on the left side and is where spent coffee pucks go. The internal drip tray runs along the bottom and catches water from the brew group that can accumulate during brewing. It's recommended that you empty out the external drip tray, you get in the habit of emptying the internal drip tray as well.
The final internal component of the Accademia to take a look at is the brew group, which is where coffee is compacted and brewed after a grind cycle.
To remove the brew group, press on the tab indicated by the word "PUSH," then proceed to slide the entire group out of the machine. There are different parts of brew group, such as the entry chute, ejection ramp, and a shower screen that can collect ground coffee over time.
Every week, you should get in the habit of removing the brew group from your machine, giving it a rinse., and letting it air dry overnight. You do NOT want to towel dry it, as using a towel can cause fibers to stick to some of the more finicky components. Once the the brew group has been rinsed and is dry, go ahead and reinsert in back into the machine.
There are sliding tracks where different components of the group move, and this is where you should apply the included Food-Safe Silicone Lubricant. This process should be done every 1-4 months based on how much you use your machine. Refer to the "Gaggia Accademia User Manual" for more information.
When reinserting the brew group, locate the two tracks on the bottom of the brew group that line up with the bottom corners of the space the group occupied when you first removed it, then go ahead and put slide it back into. You'll know if you've done this correctly if you are no longer able to remove the brew unit without pressing the tab again. After that, reinsert the internal drip tray and dreg drawer as well, then close the door.