Espresso machine advice needed.

I have an Anniversary X1 Illy machine that has been steadily getting worse at delivering a good espresso. It is an Illy Iperespresso with its own capsule type. I bought 2 re-usable capsules that seemed to work nearly as well as the throwaway plastic ones made by Illy at first. But lately more and more partially brewed coffee is leaking out of the PortaFilter basket at the top instead of going through the capsule entirely and going out the bottom. I have been using coffee ground at Espresso Machine fineness and later, a preground coffee to see if i would get different results. I fill the capsule to just below the top after i have packed it down gently.
I have tried packing more firmly and using less coffee which got me more overflow and weaker coffee respectively.
Any advice on what i should do to get a good espresso again?
I have ordered a couple cans of Illy capsules but prefer to not throw away that much stuff and the price of the capsules is higher at around 80 cents a shot.
Sorry i did not post this under Drinks, i got a “You do not have permission…” message there.

Sorry I can’t advise on the machine. But for posting in the Drinks Discussion area, once you’ve navigated there you have to select from the 2nd drop-down menu either the Wine or Other Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks categories (below image).

No idea why, as this sort of selection isn’t demanded in the other main categories like Cooking, Culture/Media, etc.

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I’m not super familiar with this particular machine, but I would think the issue is with the portafilter not forming a tight seal when against the grouphead gasket. The seal may have started to break down.

I would clean the portafilter and the grouphead thoroughly, and then test it a few times. If the issue persists, I would look into if it’s possible to replace the seal.

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Thank you. I will carefully disassemble the grouphead and clean it. I disassembled and cleaned both of the re-usable capsules but that did not change the situation.
Grouphead sounds like a good place to try.
I have never done this before so it will be interesting.

I logged out and logged back in, and you still have to select a sub-category from within the Drinks Discussion category, before you will be allowed to click the “New Topic” button.

Otherwise the button won’t click and hovering over it gives “You’re not allowed to create topics in this category” (see in image below, small gray text upper right near the “Bell” symbol).

I don’t have this brand of espresso machine. Mine is a Gaggia and every three or so years it needs a major overhaul/service. Typically seals will have started to perish or harden causing leaks to happen.

Luckily there is a guy only 10 miles away who runs a professional service operation. The only problems are a) if I use the London Underground to get to him it takes an hour and requires three changes of trains but at leaast he is close to the Tube station, b) there is no parking outside, and c) what parking there is is handled by two different councils requiring his customers to be extremely careful and vigilant about which ticket machine they use. To compensate for b) and c) one has to book a time slot to drop the machine off and pick it up later.

Before finding this guy I was scouring YouTube for videos on how to service the machine. It was only when I searched for a parts supplier that his web site popped up in DuckDuckGo results.

There will come a point when the cost of servicing and new parts exceed the depreciated value of the machine but for now I am content to pay.

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I just flipped my espresso machine over to try to clean the grouphead and saw this. So I tried to remove the Allen/Hex screws and a 2mm seemed too loose and I could not get a 2.5mm into it. I think I could have gotten the 2mm to work but I was not convinced that I would not strip it so I left it alone.

I think the entire assembly is loose and the capsule is not getting seated firmly onto the grouphead, so the half brewed coffee is leaking over the top of the basket. Since I can not get to look at the grouphead guts, and the portafilter is loose, I may end up taking it to an espresso repair company south of Whitefish. It is out of my way but Whitefish is a town worth visiting and I do not want to strip out the Allen screws.
Thanks for the advice! It was worth giving it a try even if I end up handing it off to a pro.


it’s not an allen key screw - it’s a Torx head
if it is tight, allen key will no work . . .



SMH. My ignorance could have been a real problem.
Thanks for the heads up.

happy to help!

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Just as a followup, I took the machine to a espresso machine repair store in Whitefish and the guys there were knowledgeable and very cool to work with. And they are not getting positive calls back from any of the Illy parts supply companies that they have contacted. Only one has said that they think they can get the parts but they are not sure when they will be able to do so. They claim that Illy wants to sell new machines, not sell parts to keep the older ones running.
So I wait and drink coffee from an old Mr. Coffee machine.