10 Top Tips for Cleaning & Maintaining Espresso Machine
1. Filter Your Water
It’s certainly the case that what goes in = what comes out. The importance of a
high quality water filter which is changed regularly cannot be overlooked. Hard
water causes scale which damages your espresso machine and affects the taste,
appearance and aroma of your espresso. Eliminating limescale is therefore vital
for making excellent espresso and reducing machine downtime. Independent
taste tests have confirmed that consumers can taste the difference between
coffee made with filtered water and coffee made with ordinary tap water.
2. Use a Top Quality Cleaning Product
When cleaning group heads using a product that activates quickly is essential.
The cleaning cycle itself only takes a couple of minutes, so if the product you
select doesn’t dissolve quickly enough it simply won’t work. Avoid products that
carry the hazardous symbol. You’re making coffee – make sure you are certain
of food hygiene & safety at all times.
3. Daily Cleaning – Group Heads & Steam Wands
Group heads and steam tubes need to be cleaned daily to remove residue from
coffee & milk deposits. Group head cleaning/backflushing, ensures that your
espresso is free from coffee deposits which can leave drinks with a bitter
aftertaste and unpleasant odours. Overtime these deposits build up causing your
machine to fail. An effective steam tube cleaner will remove milk deposits and
calcium build up inside the tube and improves the micro texture of milk foam,
reducing the time taken to foam.
4. Clean the Filter Basket & Filterholder
Deposits from oils & fats in the coffee build up in the filter basket and
underneath it. If left, these restrict the flow of coffee through the basket leading
to an uneven extraction and a bitter aftertaste. Use a good coffee grounds
cleaning brush to sweep the basket out inbetween shots, remove and clean the
filter basket and wipe the inside of your filterholder several times a day. Soak
the filterholder in a basin of water with a measure of your group head cleaner
every evening.
5. Purge the Group Head inbetween Shots
Always purge between every shot to remove any excess coffee grinds in the
group head.
6. Wipe the Steam Wand with a Damp Cloth immediately after Frothing
This prevents old milk from crusting up the steam wand & inside the steam
nozzle throughout the day.
7. Remove the Shower Screen
Clean the shower screens on a daily basis. Chemical backwashes do not always
dissolve the old grind within the shower screen. If you’ve never done this before
you may be in for a shock for the amount of residue you will find. It’s best to do
this daily as you wont be re-brewing old coffee if you let it build up.
8. Use the Right Tools
Don’t underestimate the importance of using the correct tools for the job. A good
group head cleaning brush, a coffee grounds cleaning brush, a microfibre cloth,
and of course your cleaning chemicals are all you need.
9. Don’t Forget the Grinder
The road to the perfect espresso starts with the grinder. Coffee deposits in the
grinder blades turn rancid when exposed to the heat from the grinding process.
Weekly cleaning of these deposits with a specialist cleaner ensures they are
removed. Don’t forget to clean deposits from the hopper too. Whenever you're
changing coffees, finishing a shift or shutting a grinder down, remember to
remove all the coffee from inside the grinding chamber
10. Staff Training
Invest in your staff. Taking the time to train your team to clean & maintain your
espresso machine & grinder is just as important as making espresso’s and
foaming milk. A clean machine really does produce the best coffee and it won’t
break down and let you down.
*Please check our barista supplies page to find the full range of high quality
espresso cleaning products and cleaning equipment.
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