1st-line Bench Testing and Shipping Damage
At 1st-line, after you place an equipment order, we go through a bench testing process for most heat exchange espresso machines and dual boiler espresso machines by all manufacturers. We also randomly test some single boiler espresso machines and coffee grinders. We do open every equipment box to make sure there is no physical damage to the body or frame while stored in our warehouse.
Espresso Machine Bench Testing
Here is our reasoning… The manufacturers test the machines with water, and they can not get all the water out. Machines ship from Europe throughout the year, but during late fall, winter, and early spring, these espresso machines are subject to freezing temps, which damage the inside of the machine (freezing pipes or valves). The only way to weed out these machines is by testing by water just before we ship to our clients.
We do test with water only before shipping, but just like the manufacturer, we can not remove all the water. However, we try to remove more water than they do, and we usually leave all valves open for the remaining water in the machine. The water can leak out of those valves as the machine is transported and tumbled during shipping.
Coffee Grinder Bench Testing
Almost every manufacturer we work with tests with actual coffee beans in their grinders. They do clean most of it out, but there is always some residue. This residue looks like a lot after you receive a grinder because just 7-10 grams spread out far and wide across the entire body of the grinder. When we test new grinders, we usually do not use coffee beans. We run a dry test.
Many different espresso machines can have concealed internal damage during shipping. Boilers shifting, pipes shredding, fittings get loose, and wire terminals coming off their connections are just a few examples. We have seen it all. Bench testing ensures that the machine left our facilities in working order. However, with shipping, there are inertial forces that create the aforementioned problems, which can happen over and over again at a particular shipping location. Think of the inertial forces as driving a car. The brakes are slammed on a short-stop, there is no external damage to the car, but the people and items in the passenger compartment or truck-shift. People inside can get injured or damaged, respectively.
What to do when the espresso machine arrives wet or even with condensation?
Please wait the 48 hours to air dry outside of any packaging. Please test the machine with water only and make sure there are no leaks. If there are none, our confidence level is very high. The electronics are very durable as long as you do not plug in the machine while wet and not allowed to air dry for 48 hours. Please save all packaging!