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After the first brew the machine should brew excactly the amount of water added to the water reservoir. Since the reservoir always keep half full then you should add the maximum amount you need in two steps.
COFFEE PREPARATION PROCEDURES
1) Place filter into brew basket.
2) Put the proper amount of coffee into the filter.
3) Slide the brew basket into holder.
4) Place empty decanter on warmer located directly under the brew basket and turn corresponding warmer switch ON.
5) Pour decanter of fresh water through pour-in opening at top of brewer.
6) Hot water will be delivered through the sprayhead. This distributes the hot water evenly over the coffee bed within the brew basket. The coffee will drain from brew basket into the container below.
7) Red light indicates warmer is ON.
8) Before brewing next pot, remove brew basket from brew rails and dump filter into waste basket.
hi elite 288! have you tried pre-heating your coffee cups? i fill w/hot water, then set them on cup warmer until i brew coffee (dump out water & slide cup under spout at last moment) and i do my frothing of milk before brewing espresso. also, have you allowed adequate time for machine to warm up/run just water through machine: after it indicates it's ready to go, hit the brew button & allow about a 1/2 cup or cup of water to run thru, warming up the brewhead. when ready button again lights up, brew your espresso. if this doesn't get it hot enough for you, try descaling your machine (you can look online or in manual for how to do this). since you have a refurb unit & heating element may not have been replaced, it could have some build up on it causing it to heat up all the water less efficiently. if this doesn't work, you may need to have the place you purchased it from diagnose and repair. good luck!
It sound like you are either missing the sprayhead or the temperature isn't hot enough. Check first to see if the sprayhead is there. It fits under the brew basket and looks like a little shower head - it's round and has usually five or six little holes in it. If it is missing your coffee will be weak due to the water not being spread across all of the grounds evenly. The other thing to check is the temperature. Depending upon where you live the water should be between 185F - 200F. If the water is below that temperature the coffee may look like tea.
You're supposed to wait for the blinking light to go solid before attempting to steam your milk!
Until then, the water isn't hot enough (it's at coffee-brewing temp, not steaming temp) to produce steam.
Further, after steaming, the water is too hot for coffee's correct brewing temp, and the light again blinks until it has cooled down enough, if you care.